On Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 9:16 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>  The argument is
>>that IF an artificial neuron could be made which would replicate the
>>behaviour of a biological neuron well enough to slot into position in
>>a brain unnoticed THEN the consciousness of that brain would be
>>unaffected. If not, a bizarre situation would arise where
>>consciousness could change or disappear (eg., going blind) without the
>>subject noticing. Can you address this particular point?
>
> 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, 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.

It sounds like you do believe that if the neurons in your visual
cortex are replaced you could become blind but not notice that
anything has changed and continue to behave normally. If this is so,
how do you know that you aren't actually blind now?


-- 
Stathis Papaioannou

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