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    gamma     Fri, Jan 7, 2011  Permanent link

    The computation does not occur at small scales, damn it! It occurs at the level of neurons since many neurons that work on the same task can be represented by a single neuron.

    The spiking model is the simplest model of a neuron. There are a few more complicated models, until the multi-compartmental models that define a neuron as a series of compartments to which to apply the diffusion-reaction equation for ionic currents and some spiking model.

    The ionic currents work with very small number of ions in a sea of ions. The transduction utilizes very little, so even a dead neuron can keep receiving and sending signals!

    The neuron can receive and send signals in a small small variety of ways. Energy can be used to clean up after the ion exchange. In all cases, the ion currents pass through the protein gates, some of which are called "receptors". Usage restructures the synapses and the neuron by activating the DNA and changing different molecules within the cell. New synapses can grow according to the DNA instructions. Long axons look for other wires to link with by searching for chemical cues and who knows what. (This is developmental.)

    michaelerule     Fri, Jan 7, 2011  Permanent link
    but there are other signaling systems that perform useful computations at the level of a single cells. these computational aren't neural, they are common to all life but seem to get more complex in animals. if we're going to say that neural computation constitutes experience, then we should why complex chemical computation cannot also constitute experience.
    gamma     Sat, Jan 8, 2011  Permanent link
    I think that the growth of synapses occurs faster in the postsynaptic cell initially, because it does not require the gene activation, but later it does. The anatomical changes of neurons could depend on the complicated chemical reactions. The anatomical changes evolve into different kinds of memories.

    I would expect even less chemical reactions in the case of electrical synapses, where the.ion currents are injected straightforward.

    Most of the computation in the cortex is based on excitatory-inhibitory feedback networks. I do not expect that the signals produced anywhere in any situation can become abnormal. They are standard so to speak. But, a chain of chemical reactions in the retina functions as an amplifier of light. So the modulations of signals could be strongly influenced by chemical reactions especially at the receptors.
    michaelerule     Sat, Jan 8, 2011  Permanent link
    the text was inspired by a required reading :

    Nilay Yapici, Young-Joon Kim, Carlos Ribeiro & Barry J. Dickson (2008) A receptor that mediates the post-mating switch in Drosophila reproductive behaviour, Nature, Vol 451-3

    which is one example of a molecular system controlling a nervous system.
    gamma     Sat, Jan 8, 2011  Permanent link
    Are you or are you not destructive, admit it?
    michaelerule     Sat, Jan 8, 2011  Permanent link
    I'm not sure I get your meaning.

    If you mean that I'm unreasonably backing the speculative position that molecular computation could support a form of consciousness, then yes.

    But in general, no ?
    gamma     Sun, Jan 9, 2011  Permanent link
    Yes Yes. I am also unreasonably against the idea and in the process I was ingenious, while you said nothing whatsoever. Shame on you.
    michaelerule     Sun, Jan 9, 2011  Permanent link
    I mean, my position was so speculative there was absolutely nothing factual to say.
    gamma     Tue, Jan 11, 2011  Permanent link
    Well, why don't you mention the biological clock that's based on chemical reactions. I have arguments against it.
    michaelerule     Tue, Jan 18, 2011  Permanent link
    I was just reading about the molecular clock yesterday, I don't know much about it. What are your arguments ?
    gamma     Wed, Jan 19, 2011  Permanent link
    I can't remember much since yesterday or... but, ... but, the memory engrams could possess time stamps based on molecular clock. The computation requires energy, so the traditional way of computing, that is the large scale computing by action potential creation and transduction takes 35% of cellular energy. If a cell were to compute something and generate more bits of information compressed to the size of a single cell (what ever that means), that would spend all its energy. The old memories are stored differently... and... bazooka? Because, the awareness of time is coordinated on a large scale... and... The data from the internal clock can be borrowed and perhaps hijacked, who knows. Better luck on writing tomorrow.