Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The mind is beautiful complexity, founded on intricate simplicity

There seems to be some resistance in accepting the notion that simple distributed design could produce anything as complex as the human brain. There is however little reason to support such thinking; as yet we have not discovered a significant component in the brain, the network of neurones seems to be the majority of its construction. We are not so blocked when considering the liver, it is an organ of several hundred functions and is largely homogenous. Each cell of the liver can be described yet how overall function is performed is largely unknown, complexity is formed from simplicity in this instance.

Experiments with artificial neural networks as shown that a) A three layer network can approximate ANY mathematical function and b) very simple neural network can produce staggeringly complex behaviours. A single layer, 16 neurone network is sufficient to link 8 optic sensors to two wheels and give the behaviour of object avoidance.
Given that the majority of components in the brain are neurones arranged in networks, that complex behaviour can arise from simple networks and that the brain is a network is of substantial complexity; is it not feasible that ALL of our behaviours and perceptions of consciousness are born out of the intricate interactions of very simple components?

Why the block about the mind. We accept that every other facet of our bodies is comprised of cells and each one is relatively simple and understandable. So why is it so hard for some to accept consciousness as distributed interaction?

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