Re: BIBLE/BRAIN: Quantum computers

Scott A. Oakman (
Thu, 29 Aug 96 09:13:28 -0500

Glenn Morton writes:
> Scott Oakman wrote:
> >[..."phantom limb problem"...]
> This same phenomenon applies to the auditory cortex. I have lost a lot of the
> use of the nerve cells in my ears. These are the hair cells that vibrate at
> a characteristic frequency in response to a sound wave. Since the brain no
> longer receives any signal from some of these cells, the brain cells
> apparently get bored and start firing at random. This causes me to constantly
> hear a ringing in my ears. When I was a child, I thought this was normal and
> that everyone had it. It wasn't until it all got worse, and my wife thought I
> ignored her terribly that I found out it is not normal.
> It is just a bored brain.
I like this term. It also raises another really interesting (IMHO) issue: how
the brain often creates meanings and associations where none intrinsically
exist. An example of this is found in how the brain "fills in" the missing
lines in optical illusions and Gestalt figures. Francis Crick (yes, *that*
Francis Crick) discusses this in "The Astonishing Hypothesis" (*not* a theistic
work, lest anyone get the wrong idea!) and proposes that the neural mechanisms
that underlie this phenomenon might be the key to understanding the neural basis
for consciousness.

Scott Oakman Graduate Program in Neuroscience
University of Minnesota MD/PhD Program
Man wonders over the restless sea, the flowing water, the sight of sky,
and forgets that of all wonders man himself is the most wonderful.
--Augustine of Hippo