Re: Neuron Computational Requirements?

From: Paul Hughes (
Date: Wed Apr 19 2000 - 19:32:01 MDT

Billy Brown wrote:

> Maybe, maybe not. Until we have a good understanding of how low-level
> electrochemical activity produces computation, we really can't say how much
> of this detail needs to be simulated. Reproducing a neuron's computation is
> certainly going to be much less complex than simulating the neuron in detail
> (because you don't need to fully simulate metabolism, self-repair, etc.),
> but working from first principles like this it is hard to say whether we are
> talking about a difference of one order of magnitude or several.

I've already stated this, much of the neurons function is involved in

> However, I think you are wrong to dismiss indirect measurements based on
> comparisons between the human retina and computer vision systems.

I'm not wrong just on the simple fact that psychoactive drug induced states of
consciousness are directly correlated with neurotransmitter activity within the
neuron itself to say nothing of the larger neural network pattern. That alone
is proof that there is *extra* computation taking place within the neuron.

We need to up the estimate of human computational requirements 2 order of
magnitude just to take into account the 100+ neurotransmitters involved in
neuron excitation and inhibition.

Paul Hughes

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