A question

Why do you think we as humanity taking too much time to solve this mystery of what is a brain?

How much time SHOULD it take to understand the most complicated structure known to exist?


I think its mainly for two reasons. though people here may disagree with me.

1: the brain is a freaking tangled mess of axons and cell types, nature has no regards for readability.

2: few neuroscientists actually dare to make their own original theories about how it works so we are stuck with a handful of popular theories that don’t actually work. most papers I see are like: “look we recorded data, have some plots, we concluded neurons do computation”

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I look forward to your alternate explanation.

I dont have a explanation yet, but I recently had an idea of how to go about it.

natural selection did it once, maybe we could try to make artificial selection do it for us then.

the problem with genetic algorithms is that they are too slow to optimize those sorts of broad problems but maybe we can help it a little by having simpler tasks we know the brain must perform at the microcircuit level in one way or another and come up with fitness functions for those individual components and optimize them individually then try to reverse engineer the evolved circuits and compare with biology.

I see some works where they try to evolve the circuit weight by weight like in the NEAT algorithm but I dont believe that can scale up, so wonder if we should mimic the developmental process and evolve a conectome description instead…

I am trying is to come up with a way to encode circuit motifs of simplified neurons as mutable bitstrings but its complicated to get it to be flexible and robust to mutations.

How do you know, it was complicated one without knowing what it is, how it works? What if it wasn’t complicated at all in macro-view, due to dynamic feature it looks complicated in viewing in micro-level. Every science problem seems complicated, but it wasn’t complicated at all after solved that problem.

I totally agree with you… are you a researcher?

I have been studying a cluster of related topics for the last 40 or so years. Computer science, neuroscience, biology, electronics, chemistry, physics, neural networks, with the occasional foray into whatever topic strikes my fancy.

I have read many papers and books on these topics and have a broad grasp of these topics from the basic mechanisms of the cells to the system level considerations.

I feel that I have a pretty good grasp of many of the brains systems and the work of many researchers in the field - many who have spent a lifetime in this or that area and from this broad survey - it is clear from what is already known that the brain is a very complicated machine.

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Yes… you were right… but the complexity of the brain resides in the molecular level. Not in the macro-level. What do you think about this? If we try to solve the problem from top-down i think we can solve it, but going from down to top is not a best practice i guess…

Both top down and bottom up have been useful to me to form the understanding that I have.

There is considerable system level complexity in the brain.

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I would like to ask you something, are you interested in reading my understanding about the brain. in case, you are interested i will send you a copy of my theory…?? I have my top-down theory would you like to have a read?

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Put it in it’s own topic and share with the forum.

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I can’t share it here, it was long and contains illustration. It would be incomplete even if i did.

You might be surprised what you can put on the forum.

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I think we do know a lot about how the brain works.
I think most lay-people would be surprised how much we know.

However scientists don’t talk about it for a few reasons:

  1. Scientists have a very high standard of evidence for calling something a “theory”, and until they collect a ton of evidence it’s considered a “hypothesis”. Generally speaking: theories have undeniable evidence and also it helps if you prove that all of the other hypothesises are wrong.

  2. We don’t have answers to the “big questions” that people typically ask. We have theories about how cells work and how information is processed (in the abstract). But we only have hypothesises about how the “conscious-experience” works, and we certainly don’t know how to make walking-talking robots.


unfortunately, I’m just a random dude with too much free time.

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Wow… i will try to put it in the forum…


Theories have a high standard of evidence and also it helps if you prove that all of the other hypothesises are wrong.

As an example of the drama, look to the debate between Integrated Information Theory (IIT) versus the Global Neuronal Workspace (GNW) theory.

  • The GNW theory is supported by evidence. Some evidence is from the neural correlates of consiousness (which are the measurable aspects of conscious processing), other evidence is from brains with diseases / localized damage. GNW makes specific predictions about how the brain works at a mechanistic level.
  • IIT on the other hand is mostly supported by introspection and abstract reasoning. It does not make predictions about how the brain works, so even if it’s true it’s not useful to neuroscience or AI. One of the few concrete predictions of IIT seems to imply that lobotomized people should retain most of their consciousness. It is IMO junk science.

“The amount of energy needed to refute [nonsense] is an order of magnitude bigger than that needed to produce it.” The authors of IIT are very prolific and very public with their findings, so now scientists are spending altogether too much time and money trying to prove their side of the debate, see What is COGITATE — ARC-COGITATE.


We’re on the same page. Go science! :scientist: :woman_scientist: :man_scientist: :lab_coat: :microscope: :test_tube:

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The problem with…science, is science. Too much like a religion, actually. The brain is far too complex for it, you need a polymath to understand it and just one is not enough.

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