Intelligent Design Neuroscience

Human neurons are strangely more efficient than animal ones

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Researchers did not expect to find that human neurons have fewer — not more — ion channels than eight other mammal species do.:

What makes humans different should be straightforward, right? We should, at least, have more complex neurons than ferrets and macaques. But we don’t. We have simpler ones:

News, “Human neurons, brain, much more efficient than animal ones” at Mind Matters News (November 16, 2021)

Neurons communicate with each other via electrical impulses, which are produced by ion channels that control the flow of ions such as potassium and sodium. In a surprising new finding, MIT neuroscientists have shown that human neurons have a much smaller number of these channels than expected, compared to the neurons of other mammals.

The paper requires a subscription.

MIT, “A Striking Difference Between Neurons of Humans and Other Mammals” at Neuroscience News (November 10, 2021)

In the most extensive study of its kind, nine other mammals were studied. Larger mammals have larger neurons. And in every case but one, they found that “as the size of neurons increases, the density of channels found in the neurons also increases.” Except in humans:

[and the researchers were surprised]

More.


Also: What was formerly thought to be “junk DNA” differs between humans and chimpanzees and plays a role in brain development

You may also wish to read: There is no escape from human exceptionalism. Author Melanie Challenger thinks we should embrace our true animal nature. But that’s impossible. Animals can’t reason but humans can’t NOT reason. We just become bad humans by not reasoning. That’s why we are and will remain an exception.

3 Replies to “Human neurons are strangely more efficient than animal ones

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    In most wqys the computer model fails, but this is one situation where it works.

    Microcomputers work faster than tube-based IBM mainframes because they’re smaller. Each path is a thousand times shorter, so the electrons can arrive a thousand times sooner. In an analog system like the brain, shorter conductors and smaller coils allow higher frequency resonances. A smaller brain can resonate faster, and smaller neurons can resonate faster.

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    The main difference between humans and any other so called close species is the massive expression of proteins that affect neural development. It’s apparently happening in some way different than ion channels.

    humans can’t NOT reason. We just become bad humans by not reasoning. That’s why we are and will remain an exception

    People seem to be uninterested in that though. They rather rant their emotions than reason.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Seeing that Darwinists have no realistic clue how a single neuron could have possibly originated,

    “The brain is not a supercomputer in which the neurons are transistors; rather it is as if each individual neuron is itself a computer, and the brain a vast community of microscopic computers. But even this model is probably too simplistic since the neuron processes data flexibly and on disparate levels, and is therefore far superior to any digital system. If I am right, the human brain may be a trillion times more capable than we imagine, and “artificial intelligence” a grandiose misnomer.”
    – Brian Ford research biologist – 2009 – The Secret Power of a Single Cell

    HOW COMPLEX IS A SINGLE NEURON IN YOUR BRAIN? – Sept. 2021
    Excerpt: To find out, David Beniaguev, Idan Segev and Michael London, all at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, trained an artificial deep neural network to mimic the computations of a simulated biological neuron. They showed that a deep neural network requires between five and eight layers of interconnected “neurons” to represent the complexity of one single biological neuron.
    Even the authors did not anticipate such complexity. “I thought it would be simpler and smaller,” said Beniaguev. He expected that three or four layers would be enough to capture the computations performed within the cell.
    – How Computationally Complex Is a Single Neuron? – Allison Whitten – Sept. 2021 – Quanta Magazine
    https://mindmatters.ai/2021/09/how-complex-is-a-single-neuron-in-your-brain/

    And seeing how Darwinists have no realistic clue how the entire ‘beyond belief’ human brain originated,

    The Human Brain Is ‘Beyond Belief’ by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. * – 2017
    Excerpt: The human brain,, is an engineering marvel that evokes comments from researchers like “beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief”1 and “a world we had never imagined.”2,,,
    Perfect Optimization
    The scientists found that at multiple hierarchical levels in the whole brain, nerve cell clusters (ganglion), and even at the individual cell level, the positioning of neural units achieved a goal that human engineers strive for but find difficult to achieve—the perfect minimizing of connection costs among all the system’s components.,,,
    Vast Computational Power
    Researchers discovered that a single synapse is like a computer’s microprocessor containing both memory-storage and information-processing features.,,, Just one synapse alone can contain about 1,000 molecular-scale microprocessor units acting in a quantum computing environment. An average healthy human brain contains some 200 billion nerve cells connected to one another through hundreds of trillions of synapses. To put this in perspective, one of the researchers revealed that the study’s results showed a single human brain has more information processing units than all the computers, routers, and Internet connections on Earth.1,,,
    Phenomenal Processing Speed
    the processing speed of the brain had been greatly underrated. In a new research study, scientists found the brain is 10 times more active than previously believed.6,7,,,
    The large number of dendritic spikes also means the brain has more than 100 times the computational capabilities than was previously believed.,,,
    Petabyte-Level Memory Capacity
    Our new measurements of the brain’s memory capacity increase conservative estimates by a factor of 10 to at least a petabyte, in the same ballpark as the World Wide Web.9,,,
    Optimal Energy Efficiency
    Stanford scientist who is helping develop computer brains for robots calculated that a computer processor functioning with the computational capacity of the human brain would require at least 10 megawatts to operate properly. This is comparable to the output of a small hydroelectric power plant. As amazing as it may seem, the human brain requires only about 10 watts to function.11 ,,,
    Multidimensional Processing
    It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc. The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates.13
    He also said:
    We found a world that we had never imagined. There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions.13,,,
    Biophoton Brain Communication
    Neurons contain many light-sensitive molecules such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores, and aromatic amino acids. Even the mitochondria machines that produce energy inside cells contain several different light-responsive molecules called chromophores. This research suggests that light channeled by filamentous cellular structures called microtubules plays an important role in helping to coordinate activities in different regions of the brain.,,,
    https://www.icr.org/article/10186

    Shoot, given that Darwinists have no realistic clue how consciousness itself originated,

    Darwinists ask, “Is consciousness a spandrel? A functionless accident? Even a dysfunctional accident?”
    – Is Consciousness a Spandrel? – Sept. 2015
    Abstract:
    Determining the biological function of phenomenal consciousness appears necessary to explain its origin: evolution by natural selection operates on organisms’ traits based on the biological functions they fulfill. But identifying the function of phenomenal consciousness has proven difficult. Some have proposed that the function of phenomenal consciousness is to facilitate mental processes such as reasoning or learning. But mental processes such as reasoning and learning seem to be possible in the absence of phenomenal consciousness. It is difficult to pinpoint in what way phenomenal consciousness enhances these processes or others like them. In this paper, we explore a possibility that has been neglected to date. Perhaps phenomenal consciousness has no function of its own because it is either a by-product of other traits or a (functionless) accident. If so, then phenomenal consciousness has an evolutionary explanation even though it fulfills no biological function.,,,
    Introduction Excerpt: as several authors have pointed out, establishing that evolutionary processes produced consciousness to ful?ll some biological function is a tall order (cf. Flanagan and Polger 1995; Polger and Flanagan 2002; Rosenthal 2008; Nagel 2012).The difficulties with adaptationist accounts appear so serious that some reject standard evolutionary theory—and even materialism along the way (Nagel 2012).
    This is an overreaction. We will argue that, even if adaptationist accounts fail, there is no need to abandon standard evolutionary theory, let alone materialism. Instead of an adaptation, consciousness might be a spandrel (in the sense of Gould and Lewontin 1979)—a by-product of some other trait that has adaptive value although consciousness itself has no adaptive value of its own (or may even be dysfunctional). Another possibility is that consciousness is a functionless accident, possibly even a dysfunctional accident.2 We call the view that consciousness is either a spandrel or a functionless accident the By-product or Accident View (BAV).
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282619766_Is_Consciousness_a_Spandrel
    Published online by Cambridge University Press

    Given all those rather dramatic failures of Darwinian theory, the only thing that is really surprising about this current research highlighted in the OP is the fact that the researchers themselves, somehow, still expected their findings to line up with Darwinian presuppositions in the first place.

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