Hi Roger Clough
F = U - TS points out a curious relationship between
information, which is nonphysical, mental and part of mind, hence S,
and energy U or F , which is physical so part of the brain.
----- Receiving the following content -----
From: Roger Clough
Receiver: - mindbr...@yahoogroups.com
Time: 2013-02-02, 03:12:05
Subject: Re: [Mind and Brain] "How to create a mind" ?
Hi Philip Benjamin
How about the fact that the brain deals with information,
which can also be a source or sink (as entropy) of energy ?
" This unusable energy is given by the entropy of a system multiplied by the
The historically earlier Helmholtz free energy is defined as F = U - TS, where
s the ... energy' for the expression E - TS, in which the change in F (or G)
determines ... "
----- Receiving the following content -----
From: Philip Benjamin
Receiver: MindBrain MindBrain
Time: 2013-02-01, 11:26:47
Subject: [Mind and Brain] "How to create a mind" ?
FW: [perspectiveofmind] Re: "How to create a mind" by Kurzweil - part 3
How is this (fundamental pattern recognition units) different from the
philosophical dualism of
Sir John Eccles & Friedrich Beck (1991-1992)? At least there was no violation
of the principle of energy conservation there for mind-brain interaction. Their
40 million dendrons were fundamental neural units of the cerebral cortex which
are cylindrical bundles of neurons arranged vertically in the six outer layers
(laminae) of the cortex. Each cylinder is about 30 micrometres as radius, is
linked to a mental unit, or "psychon" (nobody knows what it is) and represents
a unitary conscious experience. Psychons act on dendrons in willed actions and
thoughts, increasing for a moment the probability of the firing of selected
neurons through quantum tunneling effect in synaptic exocytosis. In perception
the reverse process takes place.
The same error is being repeated endlessly, conflating the locus of mind with
the mind itself and then leaving the mechanism of transduction of physical
information into mental phenomena. Physical cannot be transduced into or
interact with non-physical. The transformation into the mental may simply mean
interaction with a different form or "image"of physicality through the
"mysterious" (not mystical) resonance processes.
Friedrich Beck (2008). "My Odyssey with Sir John Eccles". NeuroQuantology 6
(2): 161?163. http://www.neuroquantology.com/index.php/journal/article/view/170
Friedrich Beck, John C. Eccles (1992). "Quantum aspects of brain activity and
the role of consciousness". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 89 (23): 11357?11361.
doi:10.1073/pnas.89.23.11357. PMID 1333607.
Friedrich Beck, John C. Eccles (1998). "Quantum processes in the brain: A
scientific basis of consciousness". Cognitive Studies: Bulletin of the Japanese
Cognitive Science Society 5 (2): 95?109.
John C. Eccles, How the Self Controls its Brain, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1994.
"Spiritual Body or Physical Spirit? Your Invisible Doppelg?ger". Sunbury Press
Trade paperback ISBN: 978-1-62006-182-4 Mobipocket format (Kindle) ISBN:
ePub format (Nook) ISBN: 978-1-62006-184-8 Materialism/Physicalism
"Bio Dark-Matter Chemistry", International Journal of Current Research and
Reviews Vol 4 issue 20, 2012
To: perspectiveofm...@yahoogroups.com; mindbr...@yahoogroups.com
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2013 08:18:32 -0200
Subject: [perspectiveofmind] Re: "How to create a mind" by Kurzweil - part 3
I noticed that, for some reason, the message I sent yesterday , when viewed in
HTML format, was not being shown completely. The last part was missing. Only
when viewed as a txt would the ending part appear.
So, I decided to send the message again, reedited, hoping that this time it
will be shown in its complete form even for those viewing it in HTML format.
I apologize for the inconvenience.
In my message posted to "Perspective of the Mind" and "Mind and Brain", on
January 24th, 2013, with the title: "How to create a mind" by Kurzweil - part
2, I wrote about the way I understood Raymond Kurzweil's ideas in regard to his
"Pattern Recognition Theory of the Mind" (PRTM), as presented in his book "How
to create a mind".
In that message I cited Kurzweil's reference to fundamental and repetitive
units he referred to as pattern recognizers, which he estimates to be composed
of about a hundred neurons each.
In this message I continue the citations and commentaries about the book.
My first understanding of the idea was that the task of each of these
fundamental units, the pattern recognizers, is to be imprinted with a given
pattern, during the process of learning and, later on, to have a role in
recognizing the same pattern every time it is inputted (thus acting both in the
processing of data and as an element of memory).
The process of learning would occur when a yet non-imprinted pattern recognizer
was first exposed to a new pattern (a pattern which wasn't recognized by any
other pattern recognizer) in such a way that certain connections within the
neurons composing the pattern recognizer would form/strengthen, thus forming
the imprinting. At the same time that the pattern recognizer was imprinted by
the new pattern, its output would link to one or more pattern recognizers up in
So, I was surprised when I reached the part where Kurzweil explains that he
believes these fundamental units, the pattern recognizers, have a relatively
stable structure, genetically determined, so that the connections between the
neurons they are composed, within each unit, do not change with learning. What
changes with learning are the connections between pattern recognizers.
So, he writes:
[Kurzweil]:"The pattern recognition theory of mind that I articulate in this
book is based on a different fundamental unit: not the neuron itself, but
rather an assembly of neurons, which I estimate to number around a hundred. The
wiring and synaptic strengths within each unit are relatively stable and
determined genetically - that is, the organization within each pattern
recognition module is determined by genetic design. Learning takes place in the
creation of connections between these units, not within them, and probably in
the synaptic strengths of those interunit connections."
In the book Kurzweil tells that the idea about the existence of these
fundamental units, the pattern recognizers, gained support from an observation
of Henry Markram, published in 2011.
So, he writes:
[Kurzweil]: "Recent support for the basic module of learning's being a module
of dozens of neurons comes from Swiss neuroscientist Henry Markram (...). In a
2011 paper he describes how while scanning and analyzing actual mammalian
neocortex neurons, he was 'search[ing] for evidence of Hebbian assemblies at
the most elementary level of the cortex.' What he found instead, he writes,
were 'elusive assemblies [whose] connectivity and synaptic weights are highly
predictable and constrained.' He concludes that ' these findings imply that
experience cannot easily mold the synaptic connections of these assemblies' and
speculates that ' they serve as innate, Lego-like building blocks of knowledge
for perception and that the acquisition of memories involves the combination of
these building blocks into complex constructs.' He (Markram) continues:
'Functional neuronal assemblies have been reported for decades, but direct
evidence of clusters of synaptically connected neurons... has been missing....
Since these assemblies will all be similar in topology and synaptic weights,
not molded by any specific experience, we consider these to be innate
assemblies...Our study found evidence [of] innate Lego-like assemblies of a few
dozen neurons... Connections between assemblies may combine them into
super-assemblies within a neocortical layer, then in higher-order assemblies in
a cortical column, even higher-order assemblies in a brain region, and finally
in the highest possible order assembly represented by the whole brain...
Acquiring memories is very similar to building with Lego. Each assembly is
equivalent to a Lego block holding some piece of elementary innate knowledge
about how to process, perceive and respond to the world... When different
blocks come together, they therefore form a unique combination of these innate
percepts that represents an individual's specific knowledge and experience.'"
The article cited by Kurzweil was published on line, on May 16, 2011, in
Frontiers in Neural Circuits, by Henry Markram and Rodrigo Perin, with the
title: Innate Neural Assemblies for Lego Memory", and can be found in the link:
Kurzweil also cites another publication that provides support to the idea of
the existence of these modules, the pattern recognizers.
It is a study from the Massachusetts General Hospital, published in a March
2012 issue of the journal Science, which also shows a regular structure of
connections across the neocortex.
He mentions Van J. Wedeen, a Harvard neuroscientist and physicist, as the head
of the referred study, citing a text from Wedeen that appeared in a Science
[Van J. Wedden, being cited by Kurzweil]: "This was an investigation of the
three-dimensional structure of the pathways of the brain. When scientists have
thought about the pathways of the brain for the last hundred years or so, the
typical image or model that comes to mind is that these pathways might resemble
a bowl of spaghetti-separate pathways that have little particular spatial
pattern in relation to one another. Using magnetic resonance imaging, we were
able to investigate this question experimentally. And what we found was that
rather than being haphazardly arranged or independent pathways, we find that
all of the pathways of the brain taken together fit together in a single
exceedingly simple structure. They basically look like a cube. They basically
run in three perpendicular directions, and in each one of those three
directions the pathways are highly parallel to each other and arranged in
arrays. So, instead of independent spaghettis, we see that the connectivity of
the brain is, in a sense, a single coherent structure."
[Kurzweil]: "In whereas the Markram study shows a module of neurons that
repeats itself across the neocortex, the Wedeen study demonstrates a remarkably
orderly pattern of connections between modules. The brain starts out with a
very large number of 'connections-in-waiting' to which the pattern recognition
modules can hook up. Thus if a given module wishes to connect to another, it
does not need to grow an axon from one and a dendrite from the other to span
the entire physical distance between them. It can simply harness one of these
axonal connections-in-waiting and just hook up to the ends of the fiber. As
Wedeen and his colleagues write, ' The pathways of the brain follow a base-plan
established by.early embryogenesis. Thus, the pathways of the mature brain
present an image of these three primordial gradients, physically deformed by
development. ' In other words, as we learn and have experiences, the pattern
recognition modules of the neocortex are connecting to these preestablished
connections that were created when we were embryos."
The abstract of the article published on March 30, 2012, in the journal
Science, with the title: "The Geometric Structure of the Brain Fiber Pathways"
can be found in the link:
In his book, Kurzweil provides a copy of the illustrations of these highly
parallel structures mentioned by Wedeen, which are not freely availabe in the
Science Magazine link above.
If you haven't seen the illustrations yet, and you are curious to see them you
can find them in color in the link:
(Note: This is a link to a summary of Kurzweil's book provided at "New Books in
Further, he writes:
[Kurzweil]: "This pattern was found in all of the primate and human brains
studied and was evident across the neocortex, from regions that dealt with
early sensory patterns up to higher-level emotions."
He writes that the neocortex is one pattern recognizer thick ("as the neocortex
is always just one pattern recognizer thick").
Kurzweils argues in favor of the idea that the basic algorithm for learning,
using these fundamental units, the pattern recognizers, is the same all over
the neocortex. As argument he cites the discovery that the part of the
neocortex that in normal people is used to process visual inputs, processing
patterns representing shapes, in blind people was demonstrate to process
So, he writes:
[Kurzweil]: " Consider the implications of this study: It means that
neocortical regions that are physically relatively far apart, and that have
also been considered conceptually very different (primitive visual cues versus
abstract language concepts), use essentially the same algorithm. The regions
that process these disparate types of patterns can substitute for one another".
[Kurzweil]"The pattern of connections and synaptic strenghts within each module
is relatively stable. It is the connections and synaptic strengths between
modules that represent learning."
"(...) an actual physical connection must be made, composed of an axon
connecting to a dendrite. We each start out with a vast stockpile of possible
neural connections. As the Wedeen study shows, these connections are organized
in a very repetitive and orderly manner. Terminal connections to these
axons-in-waiting takes place based on the patterns that each neocortical
pattern recognizer has recognized. Unused connections are ultimately pruned
away. These connections are built hierarchically, reflecting the natural
hierarchical order of reality. That is the key strength of the neocortex."
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