Find could lead to new treatments for obesity, depression
It’s just common sense: the most orderly minds are the most brilliant ones. How else could a scientist memorize a complete taxonomy of the various types of quarks or weasels or planetary bodies? Their brains must be highly organized machines, with every piece of data carefully filed away and every method perfected exactly. Right? Wrong.
Medlock continued, “I also spend quite a bit of time thinking about the philosophical implications of development in AI, and intelligence is something that is very, very much a human asset.” This led him to deviate from a brain-focused model and explore, allowing him to see the cell as a worthwhile comparison. “I think the place to start, actually, is with the eukaryotic cell,” he said. When a lot of people hear artificial intelligence they hear “artificial brain,” but he thinks that instead, we can view the entire human body as an “incredible machine.”
A recently discovered type of brain cells called mirror neurons have been found to fire when a person observes a behavior in a similar way to when the brain is experiencing the action itself. Mirror neurons explain, for example, the sensation of cringing when watching a video of another person getting hurt. Human neuroimaging studies have shown a similar brain pattern when we feel pain and when we observe someone else experiencing that same pain. This is an important reaction for demonstrating empathy, but
“U.C.L.A.’s Mayer is doing work on how the trillions of bacteria in the gut “communicate” with enteric nervous system cells (which they greatly outnumber). His work with the gut’s nervous system has led him to think that in coming years psychiatry will need to expand to treat the second brain in addition to the one atop the shoulders.”
The subject of the research, carried out by scientists at the University of California, Irvine, had been paralyzed for five years. The work began with a stint of mental training designed to reengage the brain’s walking ability, which saw the subject don an electroencephalogram (EEG) cap (a piece of headwear fitted with electrodes that monitor the brain’s electrical impulses). The man was first made to control an avatar in a virtual environment, which was then followed with physical training to build up the strength of his leg muscles.
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