Monday, 28 May 2012

An Evolutionary Model of the Brain's Internal Language

The purpose of this post is to suggest that the brain has a simple internal language for storing and using memories of objects and events, that this language is common to animals and humans, and as the capacity of the brain expands the language has sufficient power to support human intelligence. In particular it identifies two areas where changes in the learning/teaching mechanisms could have led to a tripping point where it became economical (in evolutionary terms) to develop a larger brain. It suggests that much, if not all, of what we consider intelligence is the result of cultural factors.

The following topics are addressed
  1. The Black Hole in Brain Research – bridging the gap between the neuron level and intelligence.
  2. Evolutionary Pressures on Brain Size – bigger is not necessarily better
  3. The Simple Brain Model – the minimum requirements of a learning animal – introducing “Memodes”
  4. A More formal Definition of a Memode
  5. Introducing CODIL - the history and references to this blue sky research project
  6. Why CODIL is relevant - and some factors to be considered
  7. Evolving More Brain Power - instructing and programming cultural information
  8. What Next? - Ensuring the ideas get followed up

Friday, 25 May 2012

Candles for Lucy

I pause at the computer and look out of the window and into the garden. The horse chestnut tree is in flower with more florets than ever. 
Memories come flooding back

Monday, 21 May 2012

We are all addicted to using more and more energy

A Talk on the wonders of Fusion Power
A few days ago I visited Culham to learn more about the research into nuclear fusion,, having followed developments since, as a Chemistry undergraduate I read the New Scientist accounts of the ZETA experiments in 1958. It was interesting to see JET (Joint European Torus) – or rather the control room and workshops associated with it, as the actual equipment is behind a strong concrete wall. I got no nearer to the newer and smaller MAST research tokamak as it was undergoing maintenance and of course the next generation system ITER is currently under construction in France as part of a major international cooperative project. As a result of the visit I feel I am more aware of the scale of the project and I also have a much better understanding of how a plasma at 100 million degrees can be stable (at least for a few seconds) in a solid container.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Academia suppresses Creativity

The Scientist has currently published an online article Academia Suppresses Creativity by Fred Southwick, which, together with some of the comments, is well worth a read. I have posted the following comment relating to my own experiences.
I read the article with interest as I have very much been the victim of the way that creativity can be suppressed.