If the AI boosters really knew how the human brain functions, they’d be getting the Nobel for Medicine instead of some geek prize.
University of maryland linguist: The formal structures of linguistics and neurophysiology are disjoint, a point emphasized by Poeppel and David Embick in a widely cited study. There is an incommensurability between theories of the brain and theories of the mind…
The trouble is, it’s not clear what the impact of the size of a human brain really is, vs. its organization. Then there’s the question of what opportunities a brain has to develop and what type of difference that makes.
Experience from recorded history is clearly of humans getting just such ideas as the authors claim to be impossible in remote antiquity — and to make their point, they use modern students! Most likely, the felt need to identify a subhuman state of mind lies behind such a claim. Unlike the claim that the Neanderthals never produced art, this one can’t just be exploded. It can never be demonstrated either but in the present environment, that doesn’t matter. If the claim is made enough times, it will become orthodoxy.
Theories about the evolution of the human brain are basically a war of trivial explanations. It’s like blaming World War II on indigestion, only monstrously bigger.
If we were in the middle of an information revolution, how would you know?
Notice that the neurons aren’t being called “junk neurons,” as in the exploded concept of vast libraries of “junk DNA.” Quite the contrary, they are given the somewhat glamorous cachet of “dark” neurons, as in “dark matter.” Perhaps something has been learned from the collapse of the concept of “junk DNA.”
He wonders: If I kill you but upload your mind into an android, did I murder you or just modify you? Is it even possible to upload your consciousness to a computer and, if so, is it still really you? The sci-fi TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013– ) tackled this question in an episode titled […]
Could be unique to humans: It turns out we humans may have an extra type of thinky bit that isn’t found in other primates. A previously unknown brain structure was identified while scientists carefully imaged parts of the human brain for an upcoming atlas on brain anatomy. Neuroscientist George Paxinos and his team at Neuroscience […]
William von Hippel, an evolutionary psychologist promoting a book, explains how we got here: Social connection and its middle-school messiness assured our survival — more than harnessing fire or developing opposable thumbs. Von Hippel writes that a series of “social leaps” — or movements forward in the way we connect with our fellow man — […]
From Mind Matters: Much popular literature leaves the impression that living organisms are machines or even billions of them linked together. For example, at Medium, we learn, Brains receive input from the outside world, their neurons do something to that input, and create an output. That output may be a thought (I want curry for […]
From ScienceDaily: Humans have extraordinarily large brains, which have tripled in size in the last few million years. Other animals also experienced a significant, though smaller, increase in brain size. These increases are puzzling, because brain tissue is energetically expensive: that is, a smaller brain is easier to maintain in terms of calories. Building on […]
From ScienceDaily: A perennial topic in human evolution is, what gave humans an advantage? A logical response to the question is: Name just about anything and someone will make a case out of it. A little while ago, it was meat. This time, it’s starch. People with more copies of the AMY1 gene — and corresponding […]
These findings don’t show that reptiles are secretly smart. They mainly deepen the mystery of the human mind, which traverses regions unknown to any of them without the brain being that much different.
At least, it hasn’t been seen in other life forms. From ScienceDaily: Tamás and University of Szeged doctoral student Eszter Boldog dubbed these new cells “rosehip neurons” — to them, the dense bundle each brain cell’s axon forms around the cell’s center looks just like a rose after it has shed its petals, he said. […]