Friday, 26 April 2013

From the Neuron to Human Intelligence: Developing an “Ideal Brain” Model

I have just posted a discussion paper: From the Neuron to Human Intelligence: Part 1:The “Ideal Brain” Model which will shortly be followed by Part 2: Evolution and Learning. In these papers I propose a model which suggests how the electrical activities of neurons in the brain may be related, via evolutionary probable pathways to high level activities such as language and intelligence. If the model is even reasonably accurate it could have implications in many different specialist areas where an understanding of how the brain works is relevant.

It is clear that more research is needed to establish the validity of the model and my problem is how to go about both publishing and organising any further research, especially as some of the ideas are counter-intuitive – which can make communicating them difficult. If I was a young academic just starting out on a research career and working in a supportive university there would be some relatively obvious options. However I am 75 years old, my only resource is a personal computer with access to the internet, and I currently have no active contacts with any major academic institution. As a scientist through and through I feel the idea should be followed up, and as an old age pensioner I would be happy to hand the matter over to a younger generation and enjoy retirement.

Bearing in mind my limitations the approach I have taken is to use this blog as the means of stimulating discussion of the issues and disseminating information about the research.
  1. The two papers have been kept comparatively short to make them more readable. If I tried to address every possible research issue that might be relevant it would take me far too long and the texts would become unreadable.
  2. Anyone who want to see more examples of how CODIL works, its applications, etc. can look at the many CODIL papers already online. In addition I have other reports (some only in draft form) and actual computer listing of other applications – and these can be posted online if appropriate.
  3. If anyone has difficulty in understanding any points, and/or has specific questions – I will be happy to answer them via this blog. In particular if you are doing some brain related research (in the widest sense) send me details (remembering I may have problems with pay walls) and I will happily give you my suggestions. After all a good test of my ideas is whether I can answer your questions convincingly.
  4. If there is enough interest I will try and make arrangements to make MicroCODIL software and manuals available to anyone who has access to a BBC Microcomputer. (Because the computer has become something of a cult survival second hand ones are often available.)
  5. Should I be able to help an existing university research project by giving a talk, attending a seminar, etc., I am happy to do so. Even if you don't agree with me exposure to controversial ideas can help everyone to start thinking outside the box.
  6. If a particular research group wanted to resurrect any of the CODIL programs and applications, or use them as a basis for an “ideal brain” simulation I would be happy to advise.

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