Just saw this article quite relevant to our discussion:

Researchers have used a neural implant to recapture a lost
decision-making process in monkeys—demonstrating that a neural
prosthetic can recover cognitive function in a primate brain.


On Saturday, 15 September 2012, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

> On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 2:55 AM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whatsons...@gmail.com<javascript:;>>
> wrote:
> > What you think third party observable behavior means is the set of all
> > properties which are externally discoverable. I am saying that is a
> > projection of naive realism, and that in reality, there is no such set,
> and
> > that in fact the process of discovery of any properties supervenes on the
> > properties of all participants and the methods of their interaction.
> Of course there is a set of all properties that are externally
> discoverable, even if you think this set is very small! Moreover, this
> set has subsets, and we can limit our discussion to these subsets. For
> example, if we are interested only in mass, we can simulate a human
> perfectly using the right number of rocks. Even someone who believes
> in an immortal soul would agree with this.
> > My point of using cats in this thought experiment is to specifically
> point
> > out our naivete in assuming that instruments which extend our perception
> in
> > only the most deterministic and easy to control ways are sufficient to
> > define a 'third person'. If we look at the brain with a microscope, we
> see
> > those parts of the brain that microscopes can see. If we look at New York
> > with a swarm of cats, then we see the parts of New York that cats can
> see.
> Yes, but there are properties of the brain that may not be relevant to
> behaviour. Which properties are in fact important is determined by
> experiment. For example, we may replace the myelin sheath with a
> synthetic material that has similar electrical properties and then
> test an isolated nerve to see if action potentials propagate in the
> same way. If they do, then the next step is to incorporate the nerve
> in a network and see if the pattern of firing in the network looks
> normal. The step after that is to replace the myelin in the brain of a
> rat to see if the animal's behaviour changes. The modified rats are
> compared to unmodified rats by a blinded researcher to see if he can
> tell the difference. If no-one can consistently tell the difference
> then it is announced that the synthetic myelin appears to be a
> functionally identical substitute for natural myelin. As is the nature
> of science, another team of researchers may then find some deficit in
> the behaviour of the modified rats under conditions the first team did
> not examine. Scientists then make modifications to the formula of the
> synthetic myelin and do the experiments again.
> > This is the point of the thought experiment. The limitations of all
> forms of
> > measurement and perception preclude all possibility of there ever being a
> > such thing as an exhaustively complete set of third person behaviors of
> any
> > system.
> >
> > What is it that you don't think I understand?
> What you don't understand is that an exhaustively complete set of
> behaviours is not required. I don't access an exhaustively complete
> set of behaviours to determine if my friends are the same people from
> day to day, and in fact they are *not* the same systems from day to
> day, as they change both physically and psychologically. I have in
> mind a rather vague set of behavioural behavioural limits and if the
> people who I think are my friends deviate significantly from these
> limits I will start to worry.
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou

Stathis Papaioannou

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