Re: Neuron Computational Requirements?

From: Paul Hughes (
Date: Wed Apr 19 2000 - 22:47:18 MDT

Billy Brown wrote:

> If we know that some particular set of neurons performs a certain function,
> and we know we can duplicate said function with X MFLOPS, we have an
> accurate estimate of the computational demands of replacing said neurons.
> Period.

Huh? Now you are making no sense at all. What "If"?? That's the whole point, no
one has yet been able to duplicate any said function. You're caught in some
weird self referential tautology! You might want to clear your head and start
reading this discussion from the beginning since the crux of this argument has
obviously lost you.

As the 1992 study of the Purkinje demonstrates, it was an extremely difficult
task to simulate the function of a single neuron - and this was an admittedly
simplified simulation at that. It took an i860 processor almost 60 minutes to
simulate a single firing! So the question still remains how many xflops it's
going to take to simulate a *typical* neuron of the human brain not including
any of its self-maintenance functions.

So far both Robin Hanson and Anders Sandberg admit that a single transistor
isn't going to do the job. That much we all agree on. What exactly are you

Paul Hughes

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