Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Neruon components perform computations

Smart neurons: Single neuronal dendrites can perform computations:

'via Blog this'

Imagine if all the on/off bits of your computer that represent binary states could perform calculations on their own. Or if multiple sections of each switch could. In a sense, that's what the neurons of your brain are capable of. Information processing takes place not only in the exchange of data between neurons, but within their components as well.

Which isn't all that surprising. We've known for a while that there's a fair amount of chemical computation taking place at the level of bio-active proteins both within and outside of neurons in the brain. Data is sent to surrounding white matter tissue, where it creates signal bearing cascades of chemical reactions, some of which feed back into the matter and neurons there.

There's a lot going on in between your ears, from the level of chromosomes and computing RNA loops up to the firing of individual neurons and entire networks and maps of them, and then all the way back down in scale again. Over and over and over in a rising and falling weave that references both the external world of the environment and the internal space of the body's needs as it tries to push us towards the ever elusive and interlinked modes of chemical, thermal, and emotional homeostasis.

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