Introducing the brain: protecting memories of learned info (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, February 11, 2020, 14:35 (144 days ago) @ dhw

QUOTES: "Scientists have known for decades that learning depends initially on the brain's ability to rewire itself by forming new connections between neurons. These new studies represent growing evidence that myelin's ability to reinforce and maintain these new connections may determine what makes certain memories stick."

"'We are now seeing that the process of oligodendrocyte generation and myelination can be quite dynamic in the normal adult brain. It's a form of plasticity that responds to experience and that causes long-lasting changes. This is a very recent concept that we are in the early days of exploring.'"

DAVID: Note the last quote which indicates how quickly the brain protects its new learning. The brain is carefully designed in its plasticity and in its methods of protecting memories which help all animals learn to live safely.

dhw: I hope you will note both quotes, which could hardly make it clearer that changes to the brain take place as a RESPONSE to new experiences (think of the illiterate women, the taxi-drivers and musicians), not in anticipation of them. You yourself have pointed out that they may even result in expansion of certain sections. There is no reason to assume that this process had to be reversed in the pre-human brain, with expansion preceding new experiences!

Of course the brain works this way after it was created this large and this complex and with itsd plasticity mechanism. As such a specialized organ, it is not logical to extrapolate to claim the mechanisms of actual evolution work this way. This is carefully designed.


QUOTE: His model showed that layer one neurons behaved in a similar way: A little top-down activation wakes them up so they are more responsive to sensory inputs, but too much activation makes the circuit freeze and ignore incoming information."

DAVID: An obviously needed control system, designed to avoid confusing overstimulation.

dhw: Yes indeed, cells respond to sensory inputs and make their decisions accordingly.

Yes they are designed to do it automatically

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