On Oct 14, 3:58 pm, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> 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.

That some cells are synchronized to the same diurnal cycles doesn't
mean that there isn't spontaneous activity. Are they diurnal in the
sense that they are linked to photological changes or do they always
just beat every morning? How do they know when I fly to the other side
of the world 12 hours ahead? How do the ion channels in each neuron
know what time it is?

I'm sure that that there are thousands of oscillating patterns of
varying frequency that can be discerned in neurological patterns.
Seasonal patterns. age-based genetic triggers, rhythmic pulses synched
to cardiovascular conditions, hormonal variations, blood sugar cycles,
etc. It's a gigantic fugue in there. That doesn't mean that we can't,
for instance, at any moment in our waking life decide to say our name
out loud or pick up a fork and take a bite of food. We don't have to
wait until a particular time of day to be able to open our eyes or
take a deep breath.

We all have many clocks that we can turn to to help us arrange our
activities. Sometimes what we see when we look at the clock makes us
do something that we would rather have waited longer to do. In that
sense, a clock on the wall is 'providing some timing for the
organism'. That doesn't mean though that we don't have free will. If
that were the case we wouldn't need clocks at all, since our behavior
is already determined by our internal clocks. Why would such a timed
organism ever need to look outside of itself to pretend to want to
know the time?


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