Friday, June 13, 2008

The Mind Node; More Evidence

From this.

"According to this theory, spontaneous electronic activity in the brain, "acting as a Darwinian-style generator of neuronal diversity," creates dynamic, highly variable networks of nerve cells, whose variation is comparable with the variation in DNA. Those networks then give rise to the reflex movements of the newborn infant. Over time the infant's movements become better coordinated. Neural networks associated with more successful movements—such as grasping an object—are "selected"; that is, their activity is reinforced as their synaptic junctions become strengthened. As the child continues to explore his or her surroundings, Darwinian competition strengthens some of these transient networks sufficiently to make them relatively permanent parts of the child's behavioral repertoire. Changeux calls the process, first elaborated in a 1976 paper, "learning by selection.""

Exactly what you would expect from a mind node fuelled network. It would generate basically random networks, each growing from a particular mind node. Later, more deterministic processes prune the networks, cutting back and cutting out on useless generations.

This links up well in a continuum with instinct. Instincts can be explicit, like the behavioral loop some wasps can be caught in, but can also be more implicit, by biasing the brain to produce a particular kind of neural network.

This also links up nicely with the facts of brain plasticity. If the brain is to remain conscious, the mind nodes must remain active, which means that new random networks are constantly being generated. These networks can take over damaged functions.

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