[Neuroscience] Re: Convergent theorizing (was Re: Mirror, Mirror .... You Bloody Liar)

konstantin kouzovnikov via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by myukhome from hotmail.com)
Tue Feb 20 09:57:38 EST 2007

It is an amazing piece of scientific communication which deserves a good 
director, a better one than in the Beautiful Mind (actually, no reference 
here to Ken at all, as I think he is a wonderfully sane guy, just in a 
different part of the normal distribution, just dangerously too to the right 
which makes his desperate attempts to become accepted simply sad: the guy 
does not know who he is and what is means to be where, socially speaking,  
his mind is - on the top).

>(except for the first
>post in this thread, which is 100x more intelligent than anything I;ve
>ever seen you post)

Brilliance is just like pregnancy, it's ether you are or you are not 
pregnant; so, could it be that our problems with comprehending Ken's "world" 
are also caused by the factors which originate on this side of the 

I am going to line up some of your arguments here, Ian, then comment on 

>I think there may be serious issue with your TD E/I stuff here.
>using your case of the cerebellum as an example,

there is no issue here at all, it is inhibition, not excitation that is 
responsible for functional flexibility; in other words, information 
prosession which follows excitation of specific neurons should not be 
equated to self-management of the brain; in other words, executive 
functioning is not a part of brain's self-management about which Ken is 
talking about; there are very few hard data on this fact, but the recent 
neuroimaging demonstration of frontal cortex , through cerebellum, 
inhibiting cardiovagal system, to allow appropriate cardiac response to 
support a physical effort, is a good example; in any event inhibition is all 
what cerebellum does; plus, correct me if I am wrong, Ian, there was no work 
done on decerebrated animals which included more than supratentorial brain 
parts removal; it means that all we know in that domain invariably includes 
cerebellum and brain stem, together; the cases involving removal of 
cerebellum always included leaving supratentorial parts, at least in part, 
intact; iam I wrong?

>This implies, however, that the optimal TD E/I ratio is
>achieved when the brain is at rest, i.e. not signaling.

Why is it not at least intuitively true to you? Are you personally capable 
of sitting and starring on your mauntain/fire/sea/face of your child for 
hours and hours and enjoying it? doing nothing?

>The disturbing
>part about this is that the logical extension of this postulate is
>that TD E/I ratio is optimal during unconsciousness, coma, and
>especially death.

Have you ever heard about regression tendency and why, sometimes, it takes 
place? alternatively, when it doesn't, we are, equally disturbingly, must be 
socially nurtured, supported, prompted, reared, fed, accepted? It would be 
absolutely disturbing to state anything opposite to what you just have said 
as by doing so we would reduce humanity to functioning of brain with utter 
disregard to its environment and what it does to brain.

Ken's approach leads to the exactly these conclusions. Again, I am 
questioning your intuition here: are you surprised when your mobile gets 
"pretend-dead" for a while after you dropped it?
A confident scholar of brain science, you do know that brain (as in nervous 
system) is organized in hierarchical fashion. Why the idea of TD E/I 
mechanism being a tool for also sequential shut down of higher systems for 
the reason of preserving the essential systems (economic argument is here) 
so threatening to you? Unconscious processing, just like coma or death are 
the outcomes of autonomous decision making performed by brain based on the 
economy of a/ the overall functioning and b/ regional, and what is 
especially important, hierarchical priority based, regional economy.

>The fact that brain can shift the TD E/I in a rapid and coordinated
>fashion through various areas is what makes them good at doing
>everything that brains do.

Absolutely!!! if brain can afford it in every specific case, though.

Getting as into unconscious mode, coma, death is just a few extreme cases of 
such "coordination" when the resources are not there. Nothing is wrong with 
it if you believe that in choosing a lesser evil among multiple is not a bad 
idea of how to manage business...  to survive.

The fact that the bursts are often short is
>what makes them able to compute many discrete stimuli in a rapid
>period of time. However, there are often long-lasting events of either
>excitation or inhibition; or rhythmically generated waves of activity
>that are equally important to motivation, emotion and cognition.

See. your thinking about brain as brain is a kitchen with one shelf only. 
You are confusing synaptic transmission (exitation or inhibition wise) with 
what brain does. It is so.... 1995! (hope you are smiling). I think Ken is 
working on a higher level of information processing - subsystems about which 
we are all not entirely sure. I hope you would agree that you do not know 
how wrap up all these excitation/inhibition, rhythms, and activities into 
motivation, emotion, and cognition (I am rather surprised you left out 
memory, attention, actions and volition).

>all of them violate your theory of the purpose of brains being to
>optimize TD E/I ratios - not to mention disorders of brain activity
>such as epilepsy.

Brain is not stupid. It maintains what it is capable of maintaining:
- there are different kinds of epilepsy;
- in all cases the guy /girl is alive, despite seizures;
- what does it tell you? one answer is : based on some TD E/I ratios some 
subsystems are on their own and are isolated by their own pathology aND THE 
are OK; Makes sense as some Italian would ask?
- this is NOT all or nothing business, in human brain, unless is has to go 
dead, at least temporary - this is why some surgeons make a fellow go dead, 
temporarily. Why? Sometimes it is good for you.

>Think about it.

Thank you, father/dude. It is your turn now. But take into consideration the 

- Ken is saying in his own way everything D. Marr has ever did in his 
cerebellar and cortical theory, which is.. back and very much alive. What he 
is missing is the "second", but also very essential piece exactly from the 
70s science which was bet up and now is making its way back. This time I am 
referring to Kilmer's concept of "action selection mechanism". Your "it is 
nothing to do with cerebellum"  refer to something that is not exactly is 
known or demonstrable, at the moment. The last year alone produced a number 
of new discoveries concerning as parallel as direct ("single synapse", as in 
70s terminology) connections between cerebellum and frontal cortex. Similar 
wiring is being , very slowly, discovered in the brain stem. I mean as the 
technology capable finding outr what Posterior Fossa has or has not to do is 
evolving only recently and very gradually. I would not be so sure as you are 
when talking about these extremely neglected structures.
In short, if Ken would alo include another postulate that human brain, in 
health, having a very specific number of such "ratios" , which all related 
to the structural and functional characteristics of the nechamisms 
responsible for action selection, and then add another postulate concerning 
exponential "transmission" of such ratios to the higher, newer brain 
functional zones (suprantentorial functional zones), the concept would be 
rather complete and allow, here and now, very specific research strategy.
It is too bad he does not know that there is a theoretical "invariant" of 
his thinking which is the concept of Intrinsic Brain Activity according to 
which a pattern of oscillations when taken at rest and then converted into 
specific "ratios" may serve as a more reliable indicator of "norm" and 
pathology" related to what you, Ian, indicated as "more long-term 
conditions/states" which have very little to do with synaptic connectivity, 
excepot serving a role of such transmission's  "environment", i.e. the 
boundaries of what synaptic transmission can or cannot do.

One more comment to Steve's response re reflexive behavior. Pls take the 
periphery as still a part of the same brain. The absense of volitional input 
should not be equated with brain having "nothing to do" with a reflex. 
Naturally, I am refering to ken's clear statements that there is no one 
"ratio", but a number of them, in my view, organized hirarchically.

Well done, Ken. It is much lesser evil to have communication problems than a 
"tribal" bias. Nice to see someone well ahead of the pack.

Konstantin Kouzovnikov.

Don’t miss your chance to WIN 10 hours of private jet travel from Microsoft® 
Office Live http://clk.atdmt.com/MRT/go/mcrssaub0540002499mrt/direct/01/

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net