On 10/14/2011 12:40 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
I think spontaneous in the context of the video and papers you linked
means, "unexplainable activity in terms of what you would expect
neural circuits to be doing when the organism doesn't appear to be
doing anything". But it certainly does not mean (from the mainstream
pov) unexplainable in terms of physical processes. It just means these
circuits are firing, and there is no well established theory that
predicts that activity. That this spontaneous activity accounts for so
much resource consumption suggests that it is important, or else
adaptive pressures would have snuffed it out.
In short, I think spontaneous simply means "we have no idea why these
circuits are firing when the organism is at rest".
There are cells that participate in diurnal oscillations which apparently provide some
timing function for the organism.
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