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Author Topic: Oh! The mystery of the brains!

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
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Icon 11 posted September 30, 2010 08:31      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I found that on a friend's quick blog (how else to describe Plurk?): The Itch, from the New Yorker and it is just too fascinating to be properly commented in a single short phrase... (A word of warning though: some of the story elements are disgusting - in a medical way -, and others are likely to make you itch...)

As I was reading it, many ideas popped in my mind.

First, that artificial vision has progressed to the point computers can do exactly what they describe the human brain (or most likely, any biological brain) is doing, that is infere on partial data to recognize an object as whole.

Then it got to me that the data we use to do this inference is what we have learned as baby. The touch of skin, the texture of bark, the scent of mommy (and/or daddy), the feel of water, the color of the sky, and everything in between. No wonder young children need so much sleep: they have to process all that data, that will be used again and again! And then this data is available as we grow up, to see the sky as blue even if we wear colored sunglasses. (Well, or grey, if it's raining, but then, no need to wear sunglasses, righ?) Imagine the constant wear (and headache!) we would get if we had to process the full data each time!

And following that, isn't that what causes the "uncanny valley" effect? Our brain says it's close enough to fit, yet the extra signals we catch don't quite fit what the "missing" data should be... So we get the conclusion the almost life-like substitute is "wrong."

And then, there is the whole way of how the brain can be re-trained to reassess the infenrence data, and readjust to a new reality...

Wow! I love this stuff! [thumbsup]

Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

Posts: 2289 | From: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

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