X-Message-Number: 25981
From: "Basie" <>
Subject: Each neuron is a computer in its own right
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2005 23:29:36 -0400

Apparently each neuron is not just a chip in a computer but a computer per 
se. Imagine a billion desktop computers stacked together. Those people that 
expect to be uploaded will have to remain frozen for a very long time.


"The action potential or spike is an analog signal that interacts complexly 
with other signals arriving at the receiving neuron. Each neuron is a 
computer in its own right and may have the signal-processing value of 
hundreds or thousands of transistors in a digital computer. Neuronal 
computation only makes sense when the neuronal interconnections are revealed 
by careful microscopic and electrochemical study. Neurons are living cells 
and unlike transistors, they breathe, eat, excrete, expand and contract, 
send and receive chemical messages. They get sick and die if conditions are 
not right. Neurons also pulse - they are spontaneously active; they can send 
messages whenever they feel like it. Neurons are not send-receive robots; 
they have their own ideas about what is going on."


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