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semnae

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About semnae

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  1. "Could you clarify what you mean by cellular assemblies? And could you explain the relevance of the hippocampus?" Sure thing. There's actually a fascinating story behind this, which I'll sum up briefly. Once upon a time, a guy was having severe seizures. In order to stop the seizures, his surgeon removed his hippocampus. The procedure was a success, but had an unintended side effect. The man could no longer remember anything for more than a few hours. This led to the realization that any information committed to memory for more than a few hours had to be stored in the brain by the hippocampus. The hippocampus creates what are called "cellular assemblies". These cellular assemblies are assemblies of neurons that somehow hold the information we commit to long term memory. That's where I'm stuck. I assume that the cellular assemblies create some kind of information code, similar to how DNA constitutes a code that can be used to create proteins. What I'm trying to figure out is how the code is read, and what exactly does the reading. How are the memories stored by the hippocampus as cellular assemblies recalled? If you want to upload information into someone's brain, that would mean manipulating the hippocampus into creating specific cellular assemblies containing that information. We need to understand how the cellular assemblies created by the hippocampus translate into memories in order to do that.
  2. I am interested in the possibility of uploading information to the brain like in The Matrix. To that end, I’ve been studying the brain and trying to understand how memories work. Unfortunately, I’ve hit a wall. I have a basic understanding of the structure and function of neurons. I understand that memories are stored in the brain as cellular assemblies formed by the hippocampus. I also understand that memories are not stored in any particular region of the brain, but are stored across the entire cerebral cortex. I know that the temporal lobes become enlarged in people who memorize a lot of information due to the accumulation of cellular assemblies. What I don’t understand is how cellular assemblies translate into memories. I can’t find any information on this, and the puzzle has been haunting me. Help would be much appreciated.
  3. The human population does not need to self-regulate. The evolution of rational thought has given humans a competitive advantage that makes us extremely adaptable to our environment. This adaptability has made it much easier for our species to accumulate resources, which in turn has allowed room for the human population to increase. The human population will continue to increase until resources begin to run low. Once this happens, the mortality rate will be much higher than it is now, and people will compete for resources in a "survival of the fittest" fashion. There is no need to worry about regulating the growth of the human population because natural competition will do that for us. Natural selection will continue until the next big step in evolution, causing the whole process to start all over again. China's one-child rule failed because they could not enforce it. There is no known effective means of enforcing any such population control. The best you can hope for is to postpone the inevitable.
  4. My back yard has a horrible mosquito problem. Under close analysis, I have identified them as Asian Tiger Mosquitos (Aedes albopictus). There is no standing water that I can find anywhere near the yard. There is no place that I can find for the mosquitos to lay their eggs. The nearest possible location is a drainage ditch several city blocks away, and it seems strange that the mosquitos would fly so far from their breeding ground to be in my yard, while the houses immediatly next to the ditch do not have problems with mosquitos. Stranger than that, is that the yards immediately adjacent to my back yard do not have mosquitos. While trying to figure out why they are attracted to my yard, and only my yard, I made a remarkable discovery. The mosquitos very densly swarm around the Monkey Grass (Liriope muscari and Ophiopogon japonicus) I was using as a garden liner! After a little research on mosquitos, my hypothesis was that the males, which don't drink blood and feed on nectar, are attracted to the monkey grass inflorescences. The females are then attracted to the males, and attack me when I step out into my back yard. My hypothesis failed because the mosquitos are just as attracted to the monkey grass with all the inflorescences removed. This leads me to think that there is some other quality about the plant that is attracting the mosquitos. I could just remove the grass and solve the problem, but monkey grass is extremely difficult to remove, and I am really very curious as to why these mosquitos are so attracted to this particular plant. This knowledge could also prove useful in the creation of new, more effective mosquito lures. Any ideas?
  5. I'm a college student studying biogeography this semester. I was reading my text, when I came across the 10% rule, which says, "On average, only about 10% of the energy of any trophic level is passed on to the next trophic level." Since humans are omnivorous, we have the option of eating plants, animals, or both. People on the atkins diet take the role of a secondary consumer, while vegetarians take the role of a primary consumer, and people on the food pyramid diet take the role of both. Does this mean that a vegetarian will have more energy than someone on the atkins diet? Will the atkins diet cause people to become lethargic when compared to people on the food pyramid diet? Will vegetarianism cause people to become hyper when compared to people on the food pyramid diet?
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