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We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.
Artificial intelligence is growing up fast, as are robots whose facial expressions can elicit empathy and make your mirror neurons quiver.
A typical neuron makes about ten thousand connections to neighboring neurons. Given the billions of neurons, this means there are as many connections in a single cubic centimeter of brain tissue as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
Octopuses have hundreds of suckers, each one equipped with its own ganglion with thousands of neurons. These 'mini-brains' are interconnected, making for a widely distributed nervous system. That is why a severed octopus arm may crawl on its own and even pick up food.
Frans de Waal
The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe.
In the human mind, the number of possible connections that can be made between neurons greatly exceeds the number of atoms in the universe.
The brain is the most complicated organ in the universe. We have learned a lot about other human organs. We know how the heart pumps and how the kidney does what it does. To a certain degree, we have read the letters of the human genome. But the brain has 100 billion neurons. Each one of those has about 10,000 connections.
For me, consciousness is the most interesting unsolved problem of science, and, in fact, we may never know what it is about a particular arrangement of neurons that gives rise to consciousness. Our consciousness, like the air we breathe or like the passage of time, is central to our existence as intelligent beings.
Essentially, all expressions of human nature ever produced, from a caveman's paintings to Mozart's symphonies and Einstein's view of the universe, emerge from the same source: the relentless dynamic toil of large populations of interconnected neurons.
Your brain is built of cells called neurons and glia - hundreds of billions of them. Each one of these cells is as complicated as a city.
Throughout our lifetimes, we are constantly regenerating new brain cells in the hippocampus, a process called neurogenesis. New stem cells are constantly being born in the hippocampus that ultimately differentiate into fully functional neurons.
I once did a radio program with a famous materialist, that is to say a scientist who believed that absolutely everything was physical and that all emotions were reductive to little electrical impulses in your neurons. And I found that I didn't believe that. But what the emotions really are, I don't have an alternative theory.
Love is indeed, at root, the product of the firings of neurons and release of hormones.
Life and consciousness are the two great mysteries. Actually, their substrates are the inanimate. And how do you get from neurons shooting around in the brain to the thought that pops up in your head and mine? There's something deeply mysterious about that. And if you're not struck by the mystery, I think you haven't thought about it.
Synaptic summation is the technical term used in neurophysiology for those instances in which some neuron C is fired only by a combination of neurons A and B.
One part puzzle mixed with one part racer with just a dash of art and music just to blend everything together, 'Dyad' takes you on a fast-paced trip down a tunnel filled with lights and a shifting list of rules to keep your neurons nimble.
When you read a book, the neurons in your brain fire overtime, deciding what the characters are wearing, how they're standing, and what it feels like the first time they kiss. No one shows you. The words make suggestions. Your brain paints the pictures.
Space and time, not proteins and neurons, hold the answer to the problem of consciousness. When we consider the nerve impulses entering the brain, we realize that they are not woven together automatically, any more than the information is inside a computer.
An illustration I use to get people to understand it is this: I'll ask major corporate audiences: Why don't you just take all your traditional beliefs about organizations, and apply them to the neurons in your brain?
With its billions of interconnected neurons, whose interactions change from millisecond to millisecond, the human brain is an archetypal complex system.
Just as the mind emerges from the actions of individual neurons and their cooperation, the success of an organization emerges not only from its individual participants, but also from the interplay between them.
In my view, while the single neuron is the basic anatomical and information processing-signaling unit of the brain, it is not capable of generating behaviors and, ultimately, thinking. Instead, the true functional unit of the central nervous system is a population of neurons, or neural ensembles or cell assemblies.
Unlike the heart or kidney, which have a small, defined set of cell types, we still do not have a taxonomy of neurons, and neuroscientists still argue whether specific types of neurons are unique to humans. But there is no disputing that neurons are only about 10 percent of the cells in the human brain.
Thomas R. Insel
I think my characters with my fingers, I think my characters with my guts. But when I say I think them, that is what I do, I feel them with the sympathetic neurons and I work out with my brain what it is that I am trying to write about, or I can't do it.
A. S. Byatt
The neural code usually refers to how your current thoughts and feelings and perceptions are encoded in the signals that neurons are passing around - and it's not the same. The code is not the same for every person.
We started all this research way back in the early 1990s, developing a technique that allows us to record the electrical signals produced by neurons simultaneously.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image of the Moment
The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true.
J. Robert Oppenheimer
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