Another Day in the Monkey's Brain by Ralph Siegel

By Ralph Siegel

One other DAY within the MONKEY'S mind charts a neuroscientist's trip to appreciate the principal mysteries of realization. Dr. Siegel begun his profession within the neurophysiology of imaginative and prescient within the Nineteen Eighties, simply while the sphere was once getting into concentration with the appearance of recent computing and imaging applied sciences. As a pioneer within the means of mesoscopic imaging, he labored with a number of the giants in imaginative and prescient technological know-how: Torsten Wiesel,  Read more...

Cover; Contents; advent; Preface; ONE: an afternoon within the MONKEY'S mind; : a quick SALK tale; 3: MY FIRST come upon WITH FRANCIS CRICK; 4: CHAOS throughout the having a look GLASS; 5: vibrant MOMENTS; SIX: 8th street LINE AT FOURTEENTH highway; SEVEN: smooth instances; 8: visible IRREDENTISM; 9: CRITIQUE OF natural CORTICAL TOPOGRAPHY; TEN: watching for THE educate TO BALTIMORE; 11: TRIUMVIRATE; TWELVE: cognizance; Notes; concerning the writer; Index; A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; J; ok; L; M; N; O; P; R; S; T; U; V; W; Z.

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However, both thought and cortical processing are flexible. This flexibility is due to the fantastic complexity inherent in large numbers. There are billions and billions of neurons and uncountable synaptic connections. Each neuron is a highly complex computing device. From the almost unknowable number of possibilities arises our species’ individuality and genius. Still, it is hard to imagine how the complexity of thought arises in a fixed type of computing machine. The world is variable, and so are we.

They trained monkeys to perform psychophysical visual-motion experiments, and created small chemical lesions in the motion area MT that made the monkeys motion-blind. Newsome began to work on the big problem—both experimentally and conceptually—of matching perception and neuronal activity. The initial experimental steps were straightforward enough. He would do both parts of Mountcastle’s study in the same animal. He trained monkeys to use eye movements to indicate the direction of dots’ motion on a screen.

Mountcastle took these techniques, which were well understood, commonly used, and noncontroversial in the study of humans, and used the same equipment and protocols to study monkeys. He took recordings from single nerve fibers in the hand of the anesthetized monkey, and then in the primary somatosensory cortex of the post-central gyrus of unanesthetized awake monkeys. Since Mountcastle assumed that the human participants’ psychometric function was identical to metrics derived from the monkey, if he could assess the neural events in the monkey, it would be as if he knew the neural events in the human, and so could find out whether the mental event, the perception, was identical with the firing of the neuron.

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