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network pathology and vivisection

Bill Skaggs bill at NSMA.AriZonA.EdU
Sat May 2 13:18:43 EST 1992

In article <1992May1.141146.23349 at syma.sussex.ac.uk> 
andrews at syma.sussex.ac.uk (Andrew Shires) writes:
>I'm about to start a dissertation on neural networks, and specifically in
>the area of network pathology.  [ . . . ]
>I am under the impression that biological data in this area is collected from
>willing human subjects who have suffered injuries, etc.  How much does this
>area rely upon vivisectory data?  I'd be uncomfortable about taking this work
>on if it involved the use of such findings.  Please, withold any flames about
>my being concerned about this, but I am quite happy to hear people tell me
>I can't get on in neural nets work if I'm unwilling to use such information.
  If it were not for animal research, we would know virtually
nothing about the way parts of the brain are interconnected, so
the neuropsychological data from injured humans would be almost
meaningless in terms of networks.

  But if you insist on ignoring facts obtained in ways you don't
like, I'm afraid your problem goes deeper than this.  In fact, I
don't see how you can do psychology at all, because everything that
has happened since the 1920's has taken into account the work of
Pavlov, which involved cutting open the cheeks of dogs and implanting
tubes to collect some of their saliva.

  I sympathize with your dilemma, but I don't believe you have
found the right solution. 

	-- Bill

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