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Neuroscience challenged by Donkey Kong

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Let alone the human brain. From Ed Yong at Atlantic:

The human brain contains 86 billion neurons, underlies all of humanity’s scientific and artistic endeavours, and has been repeatedly described as the most complex object in the known universe. By contrast, the MOS 6502 microchip contains 3510 transistors, runs Space Invaders, and wouldn’t even be the most complex object in my pocket. We know very little about how the brain works, but we understand the chip completely.

So, Eric Jonas and Konrad Kording wondered, what would happen if they studied the chip in the style of neuroscientists? How would the approaches that are being used to study the complex squishy brain fare when used on a far simpler artificial processor? Could they re-discover everything we know about its transistors and logic gates, about how they process information and run simple video games? Forget attention, emotion, learning, memory, and creativity; using the techniques of neuroscience, could Jonas and Kording comprehend Donkey Kong?

No. They couldn’t. Not even close. More.

Yes. We were blown away by this finding too. 😉

See also: Neuroscience tried wholly embracing naturalism, but then the brain got away

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2 Replies to “Neuroscience challenged by Donkey Kong

  1. 1
    Neil Rickert says:

    I am not at all surprised by this. It is what I would have expected. And this is one of the reasons that I tend to be skeptical of a lot of what comes from neuroscience.

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    The human brain has never been shown to be behind any intellectual or, artistic (which is not as intelligent as they say anyways, creations.
    Its a rejection of the soul that is first behind the need to find the brain deserves the credit.
    The brain is just a tool, I say just a memory machine, for our thinking souls.
    So looking at its parts is a waste of time. its the parts of the machine we use.
    As usual they waste everyones time by looking at thier own presumptions.

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