Brain Mapping

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by Cris, Jul 12, 2001.

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  1. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Good site and more information on mapping human brain functions.

    http://www.brainmapping.org/

    A lot of effort is now being directed at understanding the human brain, and to some extent the effort is taking on the form of the human genome project.

    Cris
     
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  3. Deadwood Registered Senior Member

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    Cris

    I recently saw a documentary about heroin addiction, and hows there's been a vaccine out for a while for it since the program was maed about 20 years ago. It was tested where I live and it works by making antibodies latch on to the drug and so making the drug to big to be able to pass through into the reward center of the brain. They were thinking about making a nicotine one, and the program also featured cocaine and a vaccine for that as well.

    They call it the reward center because while it is the part of the brain that gets stimulated when someone is under heroin. As time goes by the reward center requires more and more heroin to be stimulated, showing why users of heroin require more of the drug as time goes by to get the same hit.

    I hope you found that interesting if you didn't already know.

    Thanks

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  5. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Deadwood,

    I hadn't heard of that - thanks.

    But I can see how that would work. Such drugs latch on to the synapses (the connections between neurons), and either stimulate them or suppress them. Either way, the synapses behave abnormally and produce the effects that many people find as enjoyable. Over time the synapses adapt and return to normal functioning even though the drug is present, hence the reason why heavier doses have to be used to force the abnormal functioning.

    Cris
     
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  7. kmguru Staff Member

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    The brain mapping technique is basically same as data mapping on a hard drive or momory chip. The problem with that is that without understanding how information is stored and optimized in the brain, it is vodoo technology. Even though we understand protein synthesis same way as the technology behind magnetic data storage, it is the data itself that needs the understanding. Whether it is encrypted, compressed, compacted, metadata enveloped etc. Without that knowledge - we can only know the hardware.

    I hope we find a methodology to reverse engineer the brain. It is like someone took a laptop back 200 years and the scientist at the time try to figure out how the lap top works and how to duplicate it. Can they?
     
  8. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

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    Nature has been performing this little miracle for ages. Something that we comprehend on a very limited scope. And all we see, hear, do, and think is recorded. But we only use a tenth? Now the brain is only the size of a good double handful and is divided into areas of use (as we understand it). It is protected by the skull and has no pain nerves to tell it is in trouble. Does it not strike you as odd that this should exist this way?

    The nature of it is such that there is a barrier that prevents most infections and drugs from going to it. The blood supply is one exception. It makes it fiendishly difficult to design a drug to affect just the brain and not involve the rest of the body. To the opposite side there are some viruses that have learned to not only cope with this but to use it to its advantage. The Herpes comes to mind. It hides behind this barrier and medical science can affect it but can not "put it away" without doing serious damage to the brain and body. When threatened with the removal of the air supply the brain will shut it's self off from the body and horde what oxygen there is for itself leaving the rest of the body to do without. Even to the point of killing parts of the body first if it can last that long. The same with hypothermia. It will horde the blood and heat to the point of shuting down extremitys first so that it retains the lions share. It has a hardwired control of the body that will not listen to the consisous mind but will run on instinct.

    The brain also colors and filters the way we see the world. accessing and coordinating the input to get us as individuals a window to experience the world. And when it comes to pleasure it is the king. We have only in the last few decades begun to unravel this mystery. With the tools such as catscan, MRI, and simular we have begun to see and decode some of what happens. Such as the effect of drugs and how the brain deals with it.
     
  9. kmguru Staff Member

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    another aspect related to the brain is that out of all the sensors in the body, only smell bypasses the data filtering mechanism of the brain and goes straight to the main processing unit. Here is a pleasure use of that ability you can test yourself.

    Find a cologne/perfume that you or your parents used when you are a child (in happy times). Relax in a comfortable and non distracting place. Close your eyes and take a very small whiff. If the perfume is old and unused for many years, you will recall the moments of the past vividly.

    You can also keep a specific perfume/cologne sealed for future use. To make it work, you must have a time separation from original use and memory recall. ENJOY....
     
  10. Deadwood Registered Senior Member

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    kmguru, I agree with you on this. One day a few months ago, I smelt this smell that reminded of my Grandma's house. It reminded me of when she was here.

    Also, sometimes I take one of my dog's old coats who's dead now and put it up to my nose, and it is a little bit more real than memories.

    Thanks

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  11. kmguru Staff Member

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    Thanks Deadwood.
    Sometimes ago I had this business idea. Since I have not done anything, I would like to share with the world.

    Compress the air and aroma at different parts of the world every year and sell them to public. Suppose I grew up in Paris and moved to US ten years ago. If you had taken the aroma of the bistro or the general area and bottled up (aroma is nothing but chemicals) say from 1990. Today if I smell it, it will quickly remind me of that place. These memories do not slip away and it is vivid.

    Now I am sure you can find application for this use besides remembering good times. It could be used someway to wake up from high G turns for fighter pilots. Now they try sound therapy, but I think smell will be a better solutuion (if conditioned as such).
     
  12. Jez Optimist Registered Senior Member

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    I think that if we learned fully how the brain works, we would be able to program some incredible AI!
     
  13. tony1 Jesus is Lord Registered Senior Member

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    *Originally posted by Jez
    I think that if we learned fully how the brain works, we would be able to program some incredible AI!
    *
    If we did, would we need to?
     
  14. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Jez,

    Clearly that is true. But there are many more advantages to such an understanding. The advantages to medical science would be immense, and provide the means to cure many brain related defects and abnormalities. But building AI style models would help scientists study and experiment on many other aspects of brain behavior that of course could not be performed on a living human brain.

    And how likely are we to be able to build such a perfect model, well I suspect almost 100%, but “when” is a different question, however, this link gives some promise.

    Cris
     
  15. Anon1268 Registered Member

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    Thats got me over-excited now..

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  16. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Awright, but calm down, it will be a few years before we see some real benefits.

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    Cris
     
  17. tony1 Jesus is Lord Registered Senior Member

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    *Originally posted by Cris
    it will be a few years before we see some real benefits.
    *

    I tend to agree.
    I'm thinking right around the time the sun cools off, we will see real AI.
    In the meantime, we will see clever, though buggy, programming.

    Of course, programming means that it will be human intelligence expressed through code that we will be seeing.
     
  18. kmguru Staff Member

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    Looks like this thread is waiting for the Sun to cool off....
     
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