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Posts Tagged ‘Brain’


A Human Brain

A Human Brain

The director of the Blue Brain Project claims that a fully functional artifical human brain will be built within ten years.  A bold claim from a person whose project has only similated certain elements of a rat brain! 

 

The Blue Brain project was launched in 2005 to deconstruct and create a mammalian brain.   This aims to help people with one of the multitude of brain injuries and diseases.

The organization currently completed a software program that models thousands of neurons, which will help them further on in their project

Although each modelled neuron is unique, certain emergent patterns have been detected in essentially all neural networks.  This was detected when scientists set up algorithms that define the behavior of the nurons in a supercomputer and let it run its course. 

The Cosmic Perspective

The human brain is a mysterious mechanism.  To this day, nobdy knows exactly how it works.  Neurons fire constantly, sending impulses through axons to dendrites.  Our brain has the capability to store huge amounts of information, learn new facts, and make logical leaps.  When this happens, however, what separates these computerized brains and humans?  They are able to perform the same thought processes as humans.  Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Age of Spiritual Machines poses these and more questions.   He believes that they will think themselves to be conscious and demand equal rights.  A scary situation, that may come true sooner than we think.  When I first heard about this research, I was skeptical regarding whether humans would be able to do anything more than mimic the mechanism of the brain.  But now, engineers have created a computer with 1/20th the power of a human brain.  Perhaps it is not so far fetched.

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This is a classic thought expanding experiment, which aims to get you to think outside the box. There is really no right answer to this one.

A man and his son are in a car crash. The man dies and the son is badly wounded. When the son reaches the hospital, the surgeon who is scheduled to operate on him exclaims, “I cannot operate on him: he is my son!” How can this be?

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A baby’s first words are often “mama” and “dada,” which sometimes causes some fierce competion to get the baby to say their name first.  But why these words?
Babys first words are often mama and papa, or tata.  But why?

Babys' first words are often mama and papa, or tata. But why?

Beyond the obvious – Mommy and Daddy are around a lot and babies are drawn naturally to their parental units and often hear the words (“Who’s your dada?”) – languages in many cultures have apparently made the task easy by creating words for mothers and fathers that feature patterns of repeating sounds according to some scientists.

Brain scans were made of 22 newborns while they listened to recordings of made-up words.  They heard words that end in repeating syllables, such as “balala” and “pakeke,” as well as words without them, such as “fluban” and “sherkol,” for example.

 Brain activity increased in the babies’ temporal and left frontal areas whenever the repetitious words were played.  This suggests “mama” and “dada are well-chosen first words to try to teach a baby.  This study also shows that the ability to more easily recognize these sorts of repetitive sounds is hard-wired in the human brain.

 “It’s probably no coincidence that many languages around the world have repetitious syllables in their ‘child words,'” project leader Judit Gervain said.  For example Polish uses Tata and Mama, while Italian has Papa and Mama.

So, the brain areas that are responsible for language in adults do not ‘learn’ how to process language during development.  They are specialized to process (not necessarily learn or comprehend language from the earliest beginnings of life.

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