Re: Is the brain a serial processor?

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Fri, 10 Sep 1999 07:55:50 -0500

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> > For such diverse tasks it is clear that the brain does operate in
> > parallel. But when it comes to tasks involving similar data items, the
> > brain appears to time-division multiplex, that is, focus its attention
> > on one object at a time so quickly that the conscious mind is not aware
> > of it.
> Oh, oh, I think this is Eliezer's, "unconscious congnition" raising
> its ugly head.

No, this is "supporting cognition". A neuron firing is not "unconscious", it's automatic. "Unconscious" implies something that can be either conscious or unconscious; we don't describe rocks as "unconscious" either. Automatic low-level cognition is what lets the brain run without a stack overflow. Unconscious high-level cognition is psychiatric hokum.

Kudos to Dr. Luck for daring to defy the established political correctness of connectionist AI!

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way