On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 11:56 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

> We do see neurons firing in response to no other stimulation other
> than the subjects conscious attention and intention. It's not magic,
> it's how it actually works. It's how you are making sense of these
> words right now. You can have your neurons move a mouse around, either
> through your hand or directly through one of those scalp rigs. It's
> only magic if you arbitrarily deny the subjects observation of their
> own subjective behavior.

The neurons are firing in my brain as I'm thinking, but if you could
go down to the microscopic level you would see that they are firing
due to the various physical factors that make neurons fire, eg. fluxes
of calcium and potassium caused by ion channels opening due to
neurotransmitter molecules binding to the receptors and changing their
conformation. If you take each neuron in the brain in turn at any
given time it will always be the case that it is doing what it is
doing due to these factors. You will never find a ligand-activated ion
channel opening in the absence of a ligand, for example. That would be
like a door opening in the absence of any force. Just because doors
and protein molecules are different sizes doesn't mean that one can do
magical things and the other not.

Stathis Papaioannou

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