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Analysis of the Human Brain

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Side by side, those three bytes form the word dog. Computers, quite literally, move these patterns from place to place in different physical storage areas etched into electronic components.

Sometimes they also copy the patterns, and sometimes they transform them in various ways — say, when we are correcting errors in a manuscript or when we are touching up a photograph. The rules computers follow for moving, copying and operating on these arrays of data are also stored inside the computer. Forgive me for this introduction to computing, but I need to be clear: They really store and retrieve.

They really have physical memories. They really are guided in everything they do, without exception, by algorithms. Humans, on the other hand, do not — never did, never will. I n his book In Our Own Image , the artificial intelligence expert George Zarkadakis describes six different metaphors people have employed over the past 2, years to try to explain human intelligence.

In the earliest one, eventually preserved in the Bible, humans were formed from clay or dirt, which an intelligent god then infused with its spirit. The hydraulic metaphor persisted for more than 1, years, handicapping medical practice all the while. In the s, the British philosopher Thomas Hobbes suggested that thinking arose from small mechanical motions in the brain. By the s, discoveries about electricity and chemistry led to new theories of human intelligence — again, largely metaphorical in nature.

In the mids, inspired by recent advances in communications, the German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz compared the brain to a telegraph. Each metaphor reflected the most advanced thinking of the era that spawned it. Predictably, just a few years after the dawn of computer technology in the s, the brain was said to operate like a computer, with the role of physical hardware played by the brain itself and our thoughts serving as software.

Miller proposed that the mental world could be studied rigorously using concepts from information theory, computation and linguistics. Although he acknowledged that little was actually known about the role the brain played in human reasoning and memory, he drew parallel after parallel between the components of the computing machines of the day and the components of the human brain.

Propelled by subsequent advances in both computer technology and brain research, an ambitious multidisciplinary effort to understand human intelligence gradually developed, firmly rooted in the idea that humans are, like computers, information processors.

This effort now involves thousands of researchers, consumes billions of dollars in funding, and has generated a vast literature consisting of both technical and mainstream articles and books.

The information processing IP metaphor of human intelligence now dominates human thinking, both on the street and in the sciences. There is virtually no form of discourse about intelligent human behaviour that proceeds without employing this metaphor, just as no form of discourse about intelligent human behaviour could proceed in certain eras and cultures without reference to a spirit or deity. And like all the metaphors that preceded it, it will certainly be cast aside at some point — either replaced by another metaphor or, in the end, replaced by actual knowledge.

They saw the problem. It encumbers our thinking with language and ideas that are so powerful we have trouble thinking around them. The faulty logic of the IP metaphor is easy enough to state. It is based on a faulty syllogism — one with two reasonable premises and a faulty conclusion.

Setting aside the formal language, the idea that humans must be information processors just because computers are information processors is just plain silly, and when, some day, the IP metaphor is finally abandoned, it will almost certainly be seen that way by historians, just as we now view the hydraulic and mechanical metaphors to be silly.

If the IP metaphor is so silly, why is it so sticky? What is stopping us from brushing it aside, just as we might brush aside a branch that was blocking our path? Is there a way to understand human intelligence without leaning on a flimsy intellectual crutch? And what price have we paid for leaning so heavily on this particular crutch for so long?

The IP metaphor, after all, has been guiding the writing and thinking of a large number of researchers in multiple fields for decades. When the student has finished, I cover the drawing with a sheet of paper, remove a dollar bill from my wallet, tape it to the board, and ask the student to repeat the task. When he or she is done, I remove the cover from the first drawing, and the class comments on the differences.

Because you might never have seen a demonstration like this, or because you might have trouble imagining the outcome, I have asked Jinny Hyun, one of the student interns at the institute where I conduct my research, to make the two drawings.

Jinny was as surprised by the outcome as you probably are, but it is typical. As you can see, the drawing made in the absence of the dollar bill is horrible compared with the drawing made from an exemplar, even though Jinny has seen a dollar bill thousands of times.

What is the problem? Obviously not, and a thousand years of neuroscience will never locate a representation of a dollar bill stored inside the human brain for the simple reason that it is not there to be found. A wealth of brain studies tells us, in fact, that multiple and sometimes large areas of the brain are often involved in even the most mundane memory tasks.

When strong emotions are involved, millions of neurons can become more active. The idea, advanced by several scientists, that specific memories are somehow stored in individual neurons is preposterous; if anything, that assertion just pushes the problem of memory to an even more challenging level: So what is occurring when Jinny draws the dollar bill in its absence?

If Jinny had never seen a dollar bill before, her first drawing would probably have not resembled the second drawing at all. Having seen dollar bills before, she was changed in some way.

Specifically, her brain was changed in a way that allowed her to visualise a dollar bill — that is, to re-experience seeing a dollar bill, at least to some extent. The difference between the two diagrams reminds us that visualising something that is, seeing something in its absence is far less accurate than seeing something in its presence.

Perhaps you will object to this demonstration. Had she done so, you might argue, she could presumably have drawn the second image without the bill being present. She has simply become better prepared to draw it accurately, just as, through practice, a pianist becomes more skilled in playing a concerto without somehow inhaling a copy of the sheet music. As we navigate through the world, we are changed by a variety of experiences.

Of special note are experiences of three types: Misleading headlines notwithstanding, no one really has the slightest idea how the brain changes after we have learned to sing a song or recite a poem. The brain has simply changed in an orderly way that now allows us to sing the song or recite the poem under certain conditions. We simply sing or recite — no retrieval necessary.

A few years ago, I asked the neuroscientist Eric Kandel of Columbia University — winner of a Nobel Prize for identifying some of the chemical changes that take place in the neuronal synapses of the Aplysia a marine snail after it learns something — how long he thought it would take us to understand how human memory works. The mainstream view is that we, like computers, make sense of the world by performing computations on mental representations of it, but Chemero and others describe another way of understanding intelligent behaviour — as a direct interaction between organisms and their world.

People with damaged frontal lobe can have spontaneous facial expressions or even difficulties in speaking Brown, And as IQ tests involve convergent, rather then divergent thinking, it is possible to assume that frontal lobe damage is influencing divergent thinking, or problem solving ability. Behavioral spontaneity is said to be the other area associated with the frontal lobes.

It had been notices that people with damaged frontal lobes speak fewer words or spoke two much left and right frontal lesions Kolb and Milner, People that experiences damage of the frontal lobes can also have difficulties in interpreting and expressing feedbacks from the environment. They may not react to questions, behave risk and not comply with set rules Miller, Left frontal lobe damage leads to pseudodepression and right- to pseudopsychopatic.

Abnormal sexual behavior can be introduced after orbital frontal damage. Or sexual interest can be reduced due to dorolateral lesions Walker and Blummer, In order to check the functioning of the frontal lobe, following tests are involved: Parietal lobes are responsible for orientation, recognition, stimuli perception and movement.

They can be divided into two functional parts, where one is involved in perception and sensation and the other is dealing with sensory input integration with visual system. The sensory information is integrated and the perception is formed, and then the spatial coordinate system is constructed to show world around. When parietal lobes are damaged, patients experience striking deficits.

This syndrome includes the confusion of right and left, difficulties in writing, as well as difficulties with math. People cannot perceive object in the normal manner and have language disorders aphasia. When the right parietal lobe is damaged it can result in neglecting the part of body or space. The person will not be able to get dressed and wash himself. The person will not be able to write and draw. This syndrome is also called motor and visual attention syndrome and is characterized by the inability to control gaze, to integrate components of the visual scene and reach object using visual guidance Westmoreland et al.

When the area between temporal and parietal lobes is damages, it can lead to memory and personality deficits. Occipital lobes are responsible basically for visual processing and are the center of visual perception system. They are not very much vulnerable to injuries due to their location at the back of the brain, but nevertheless any injury can produce changes to the visual-perception system.

When one side of occipital lobe is damaged it can result in homonomous vision loss with the same field cut in both eyes. Disorders of this lobe can also cause visual illusions and hallucinations.

Visual illusions appear in the form of distorted objects and abnormal coloring of those. Visual hallucinations, when there are no external stimuli for such an image, appear after temporal lobe seizures or lesions to occipital part. Word blindness is another problem with occipital lobe injury; the person just becomes unable to recognize words.

The person with occipital lobe problems is also unable to recognize movements of the objects, which is called movement agnosia, and also have difficulties with reading and writing. The patient can even loose sight or obtain what is called cortical blindness, when the person has normal eyes, reflexes and eye movements, but lacks the perception pattern and has no idea of visual information.


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The brain is formed of two types of nervous tissue, Grey matter on the outer side and White matter on the inner side. The former is made of non-medullated nerve cells whereas the latter is formed of medullated nerve cells. The brain or encephalon is a white, bilaterally symmetrical structure.

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The Brain and Meningitis - Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes (meninges’) surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis has several causes including bacteria, chemical irritation, drug allergies and most commonly viruses.

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The Human Brain Essay - The human brain is a vital part of life; however, many do not understand the significance of this complex organ. The human brain is like other parts of the body; it grows, gets stronger, weakens and dies. The cerebrum, also known as the cerebral cortex, is the biggest portion of the human brain, linked with higher brain functions such as action and thought. The cerebral cortex is partitioned into four segments, referred to as lobes: the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe.

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The Human Brain Essay Words | 5 Pages. The human brain is a big, intricate—yet delicate, structure in the human body. It is the key structure in cognitive function. Any damage to the brain does not only “erase” memories but also may “deceive” the brain to erroneously remember a new object as being familiar (). The human being is considered to be the ultimate form of life on the. This is not because the human body is strong and agile. Many other. animals posses skills much superior to humans and are able to perform feats. humans can only dream of. The one thing that distinguishes humans from all. of the 3/5(9).