Specialization and Optimization Of Neural Organization By

Mike Coward (mikec@ilnk.com)
Sat, 08 Nov 1997 15:23:01 -0500

>Date: Sat, 08 Nov 1997 15:18:37 -0500
>To: <extropian@extropy.com>;<transhuman@logrus.org>
>From: Mike Coward <mikec@ilnk.com>
>Subject: Specialization and Optimization Of Neural Organization By
Selective Stimulation And Deprivation
>Before you people decide to ignore my questions
>I want you to know I want to know your thoughts
>and I do not care if your field of speciality is shoveling dung. :-)
>Date: 07 Nov 1997 18:47:24 +0100
>From: Anders Sandberg <asa@nada.kth.se>
>Subject: Re: Head Transplantation
>Mike Coward <mikec@ilnk.com> writes:
>> If I did have no limbs,
>> what would happen to the parts of the brain
>> that used to control them?
>Other areas take over the use of the cortex; this can be quite large
>changes if they occur early or during periods of neural
>1:1- How do I induce plasticity?
>1:2- If there was hyperplasticity what would it be like,
>short term memory?
>1:3:1- How does short term memory work?
>One fun paper is
> author = {L. G. Cohen and P. Celnik and A. Pascual-Leone and B. Corwell
and L. Falz and J. Dambrosia and M. Honda and N. Sadato and C. Gerloff and
M. D. Catala and M. Hallett},
> title = {Functional relevance of cross-modal plasticity in blind humans},
> journal = {Nature},
> volume = {389},
> number = {6647},
> pages = {180--3},
> month = {Sep 11},
> year = {1997}
>where they found that the visual cortex of a group of blind people was
>used when reading braille with their hands.
>I could only find references to that.
>I got this from
>Electrophysiological evidence for cross-modal plasticity in humans with
early- and late-onset blindness.
>Kujala T; Alho K; Huotilainen M; Ilmoniemi RJ; Lehtokoski A; Leinonen A;
Rinne T; Salonen O; Sinkkonen J; Standertskjöld-Nordenstam; CG; Näätänen R
>Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland.
>Psychophysiology, 1997 Mar, 34:2, 213-6
>It is commonly believed that sensory deprivation can lead to cross-modal
reorganization in an immature but not in a mature brain. The results of the
present study suggest, however, that plasticity between sensory modalities
is possible even in adults: activity indicating involvement of parietal or
occipital brain areas in pitch-change discrimination was found in
individuals blinded after childhood. Event-related brain potentials of
early blinded (before the age of 2 years), late-blinded (12-28 years of
age), and sighted adults were recorded to stimulus sequences consisting of
standard tones occasionally replaced by deviant tones. Even when
participants were not attending to auditory stimuli, the deviant tones
elicited the mismatch negativity (MMN) in each group. There were no
significant MMN front-back scalp distribution differences among the groups.
However, when participants were detecting deviant stimuli, these stimuli
elicited N2 and P3 waves that were posterior in distribution in both groups
of blind participants relative to those of the sighted participants. These
results suggest that cross-modal reorganization may occur even in the
mature human brain.
>MeSH Heading (Major)
>Blindness|*PP; Brain|*PP; Evoked Potentials|*PH; Neuronal Plasticity|*PH
>MeSH Heading
>Adult; Age of Onset; Brain Mapping; Electroencephalography; Female; Human;
Male; Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Time Factors "
>> Now think about my whole body control area
>> being taken over by my head control area.
>> Imagine the processing power,
>> a full brain used almost entirely for thinking!
>Unfortunately this doesn't work well for simply psychological
>reasons. We are built to have a large sensory throughput, and by
>removing most of the body you lose a lot of the feedback loops, some
>of which are important for emotions and motivation. My guess is that
>the way to go is to *extend* the mind and body, not the reverse. More
>cortex to the people! :-)
>2:1- What could possibly happen if this was a controlled action, in terms
>2:1:1- problems?
>2:1:2- benifits?
>2:2- This basicly happens to the paralysed, what happens to them?
>2:3- If I wore sunglasses, earplugs, and gloves 24 hours a day
>how would my brain change after...
>2:3:1- a week?
>2:3:2- a month?
>2:3:3- a year?
>2:3:4- a decade?
>2:3:5- a century?
>2:4- Why are throughput and feedback loops relevant?
>The only emotion I really need is courage to follow my will.
>2:5-1 What parts of the brain CAN I retask?
>2:5-2- ...and to what tasks?
>2:5-3- Can I overwrite some of my childhood?
>I need a funtional brain map
>to see what tasks are next to eachother;
>I've spent several hours looking but failed.
>2:6- What is the best machine for mapping brain functions, in terms of...
>2:6:1- locating general area?
>2:6:2- locating specific area?
>2:6:3- economic conservation?
>Your way of extending the mind and the body may be a good goal for the future
>but I can use cross-modal reorganization NOW!
>I actually found an idea I don't have to invent. :-)