Human Brain Software
Two famous statements made by William Herschel underscore the importance of this lengthy chapter as preparation for observing the Herschel objects. One is that Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt. As described below, there is no doubt that the human eye can be trained to see better in at least four distinct areas involving the viewing of celestial wonders - these being dark adaptation, averted vision, color perception, and visual acuity. And the reason that this is really possible is that the eye works not alone but in conjunction with an amazing image-processing computer - the human brain
The second key tool the brain possesses that is critical in the process of learning is the power of insight. The human brain creates insights by the gathering of perceptions and grouping them into meaningful wholes. A perception in turn is any sensual stimulation (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell) that has real meaning to the perceiver. If I look at two objects, say a potted plant that sits to the left of a table. The spatial relationship of the plant and table constitute a perception. If I stand on the opposite side of the table, the plant and table have the opposite spatial relationship. By combining the two perceptions together, you create an insight, the knowledge of what the true three-dimensional spatial relationship of the plant and the table is. Learning is enhanced when all senses are used to gather perceptions, but in astronomy we principally use only sight. Sound, smell, touch and taste are just not used at the telescope. Keeping your eyes healthy, rested and trained is...
Such complex reasoning is a quintessentially human activity. While we are driven by biological needs and instincts, we are uniquely capable of controlling those drives and acting for other reasons. The human brain has evolved into a stunningly complex instrument capable of taking in information, storing it, recalling it, modifying it, evaluating it, learning new ways of thinking, and acting on these thoughts through our bodies.
In addition, the maps corresponding to different ring diameters refer to different depths under the surface. In this way Duvall and friends could map the flows as a function of depth. They had invented a method ( helioseismic tomography ) similar in principle to the famous CAT scans that physicians use to create three-dimensional images of the human brain from a sequence of slices.
The process of evolution has not changed the human brain very much (some scientists say not at all) since the dawn of civilization. The ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Africans, and others were just like us We did not develop our gadgets and conveniences and weapons of mass destruction because we are smarter than those people were. In fact, as historians delve deeper into the nature of ancient civilizations, evidence mounts to suggest that they were in some ways superior to us. The process of evolution generally requires thousands of centuries to make a significant difference.
As discussed by Hansson (1992), computer chips functioning in a manner analogous to the human brain - neural chips - are a real possibility. And as suggested by Hansson (1995), intelligent, interacting automata constructed using these neural chips might even satisfy our criteria as self-aware, self-conscious entities.
Telemedicine will permit earthkind to provide patient care to spacekind, and vice versa it will also permit first aid and medical services anywhere on the lunar surface Offworld applications will advance the creation of intelligent machines that manifest artificial intelligence, robotic mobility, and computational speed. Terrestrial research is moving toward a convergence of computing and robotic skills with biosciences. Inventors are already applying nanotechnology to sensors and robots, leading someday to approximating life-like activities to mechanical beings . Some scientists are researching artifical limbs capable of communicating with the human brain. Before the end of this century, expect evolution toward Robo sapiens as a result of genetic engineering blending humans, animals, and machines. In this millennium, robots will be used to terraform asteroids and other planets. No wonder the late Japanese genius Ichiro Kato, creator of the WABOT 2 robot with an IQ equivalent to a...
If we can treat the mind-brain as an elaborate type of information-processing unit, it might be possible to ultimately create non-organic equivalents to the brain -devices of the same or greater complexity as the human brain that could directly interface with human and animal brains. Assuming that interface and hardware problems can be solved, and that humans and machines can be linked at the neuronal level, we are faced with an interesting possibility. Perhaps the software defining the human mind (or soul ) might be downloaded to the computer. Tipler (1997) has suggest that a 100-g nanocomputer payload may be capable of containing the memories of as many as 104 human brains. It is strange to imagine that within such a tiny structure, the essences of a host of human personalities might interact as if in a small town, in a computer-generated virtual reality.
A great deal of his presentation is devoted to an analogy between myth and music that presupposes that the reader has a detailed knowledge of modern music and of the history and theory of music. Levi-Strauss claims that the structures of music and of myth are dependent on the same basic properties of the human brain and particularly on binary oppositions. In terms of archaeoastronomy, his most interesting conclusion is that a considerable number of myths incorporate an astronomical code that is hidden behind surface messages that have no astronomical content. Unfortunately, his astronomy is merely a statement of structural oppositions about astronomy, such as a widespread contrast between organized Orion and chaotic Pleiades. He makes no attempt either to reconstruct mythical prototypes or to determine whether astronomical events or processes are being described. He sometimes concludes that widespread similarities among myths (of which he has striking knowledge) are due to similar...
People sometimes report bright lights that follow their car or airplane. These tend to be explained away as probably Venus for no reason other than the fact that Venus is very bright and might well have been low in the sky and in the right direction. It's an explanation that may sound facile, but it is often right. What people tend not to appreciate is the degree to which the human brain, striving to find patterns in everything, processes the optical information from our eyes. Think about driving fast at night. Scenery is rushing past you at great speed, but with very little visual input you drive with complete confidence. Based on no more than a glimpse of a fence here, maybe a half-seen road marking or flickers of light in your headlight beam, or distant tail-lights, your brain confidently models the road ahead with stunning accuracy. Humans are incredibly good at mentally reconstructing the landscape in front of them at night, from the tiniest scraps of evidence. No computer could...
Deep interests in computers, physiology and the human brain all came together for Story Musgrave when he discovered that NASA was calling for applications from potential scientist-astronauts. A new door was being opened for him, and he applied, fully prepared to trade his ambitions of becoming a neurosurgeon for the prospect of one day working as a mission physician on flights to the Moon and Mars.
The telescope is a device that reproduces an image of reality. It does not write on paper like a copy machine, but its images are just as unreal. It creates its reproduction on a tiny image plane only a few centimeters from the tip of the observer's nose. The scrutiny is done using a powerful magnifying lens called an eyepiece. Only through the multiplicity of imaged values (location, color, brightness) and the selective visual processing power of the human brain does this reproduction get interpreted as reality.
The apparent brightness of astronomical objects is usually measured in units of magnitude. The system originated with Hipparchus' division of the naked eye stars into six subgroups, with the brightest stars grouped together in the 'first magnitude' and the faintest stars visible to the naked eye described as being of the 'sixth magnitude'. The human brain eye combination tends to judge brightness differences as ratios, rather than linear differences. If there are three light sources, A, B and C, where B is twice as bright as A and C twice as bright as B, a visual observer will estimate the difference between A and B as the same as that between B and C, although in linear terms, the relative brightnesses are 1, 2 and 4, respectively. The result is that the magnitude scale is logarithmic, rather than linear, and a given difference in magnitude corresponds to a particular brightness ratio.
The point of view is commoner than might be imagined, and part of the difficulty originates from the vast scale of the universe. Nobody can really picture a million miles , and the tremendous heat of the Sun's interior is equally beyond the human brain. The best way to give some account of scale is to visualize a model, which will at least put our ideas in some sort of order.
The field of robotics promises to make ever-greater contributions to space activities. Machine intelligence, as measured by instructions per second, is expected to match, and then exceed, that of the human brain by the middle of the twenty-first century.36 That increasing capability, combined with advances in sensor and manipulation technologies, will lead to the development of autonomous robotic devices ( automatons ) that will use space resources to undertake large-scale and hazardous space exploration and construction projects, and to replicate themselves.
Named in honor of Natalia Petrovna Bechtereva (1924- ), outstanding neuro-physiologist, director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine in St. Petersburg for many years and founder of the Institute of the Human Brain of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Bechtereva laid the foundation for basic research into the physiology of healthy and diseased human brains. She discovered the cerebral mechanisms that optimize
There was also the vexing problem of the physiological response to space flight that quickly came to be known as Space Adaptation Syndrome, or SAS - an affliction peculiar to more than half of all space travellers, ranging from mild discomfort to brief, episodic periods of nausea. To aid in their research the science team carried out a number of neuro-vestibular studies into the adaptation of the human brain to the environment of space. In order to record continuous measurements of brain and heart activity, and head and eye movements, the Spacelab crew members wore a physiological tape recorder - similar in appearance to a Walkman tape player - to provide data on whether head movements and visual disorientation actually provoked SAS.
The human brain contains some hundred billion neurones and a given neurone may be directly connected to a great many others. It seems probable that some of the interconnections are structured systematically, while others are random. The electrical output signal of a given neurone will depend in a non-linear way on the combined input it receives from its connected partners. These inputs may have both an excitatory and an inhibitory effect. Thus, the character of the output signal from a particular neurone, such as the rate of firing, depends in a very complex way on what is happening elsewhere in the system.
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