On 7/22/2011 2:55 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
I'm saying that if you kept randomly replaced neurons it would
eventually look like dementia or some other progressive brain wasting
disease.


But that's contradicting your assumption that the "pegs" are transparent to the neural communication:

"If the living
cells are able to talk to each other well through the prosthetic
network, then functionality should be retained"

Whatever neurons remain, even it it's only the afferent/efferent ones, they get exactly the same communication as if there were no "pegs" and the whole brain was neurons.

If it were possible to spare certain areas or categories of
neurons then I would expect more of a fragmented subject whose means
of expression are intact, but who may not know what they are about to
express. A partial zombie, being fed meaningless instructions but
carrying them out consciously, if involuntarily. Of course, there may
be all kinds of semantic dependencies which would render someone
comatose before it ever got that far. If i remove all vowels from my
writing there is a certain effect. If i remove all of the verbs there
is another, if i switch to 50% chinese it's different from going 50%
binary, etc. You would have to experiment to find out but i think the
success would hinge as much on reraining organic composition as
reproducing logical characteristics.

You're evading the point by changing examples.

It does raise in my mind an interesting pont though. These questions are usually considered in terms of replacing some part of the brain (a neuron, or a set of neurons) by an artificial device that implements the same input/output function. It then seems, absent some intellect vitale, that the behavior of that brain/person would be unchanged. But wouldn't it be likely that the person would suffer some slight impairment in learning/memory simply because the artificial device always computes the same function, whereas the biological neurons grow and change in response to stimuli. And those stimuli are external and cannot be forseen by the doctor. So what he needs to implant is not just a fixed function but a function that depends on the history of its inputs (i.e. a function with memory).

Brent

On Jul 22, 3:19 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>  wrote:
On 7/22/2011 4:16 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

I have already addressed this point - you can have a living person
with a prosthetic limb but you can't replace a person's brain with a
prosthetic and have it still be that person. The limb only works
because there is enough of the body left to telegraph sensorimotive
action through/around the prosthetic obstacle. On one level, the more
neurons you replace, the more obstacles you introduce. If the living
cells are able to talk to each other well through the prosthetic
network, then functionality should be retained,
I think your theory is incoherent.  If the neurons can "talk to each
other" thru the "pegs" then all the neurons except the afferent neurons
of perception and the efferent neurons of action could be replaced and
the person would *behave* exactly the same, including reporting that
they felt the same.  They would be a philosophical zombie.  They would
not *exhibit* dementia, catatonia, or any other symptom.

Brent



but the experience of
the functionality I would expect to be truncated increasingly. The
living neurons will likely be able to compensate for quite a bit of
this loss, as it is likely massively fault tolerant and redundant, but
if you keep replacing the live cells with pegs, eventually I think
you're going to get decompensation, dementia, and catatonia or some
zombie like state which will likely be recognizable to other human
beings.

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