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Fielder

I'd rather live in a Tolkien Shire.

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10 hours ago, dmwalker said:

That's a whole interesting topic by itself. The latest estimate is that only up to 35% of the human brain is used at any time so one wonders what it could be capable of if the remaining 65% could be activated.

"the case of a Sheffield University student who had a measured IQ of 126 and passed a Mathematics Degree but who had hardly any discernible brain matter at all since his cortex was extremely reduced by hydrocephalus. However, it is believed that the subject's brain mass was not absent, but compacted into the small space available, possibly compressed to a greater density than regular brain tissue."

So, imagine a brain made from compacted tissue but the same size as a normal brain. What might it be capable of. Maybe the human circulatory system wouldn't be able to supply a sufficient blood flow or maybe the brain would be unable to dissipate the heat generated.

 

Yep, neurological density is important as well a brain size. In fact, cats have a higher neurological density than dogs, despite their smaller brain. 

Asa mentioned by others, the 35% thing is not true. They used to say 10%, that's not true either. There's pretty much no area of the brain that can be damaged without consequences. I think that the way it works is that all regions are used, but because the brain has regions that are more active for particular functions, not necessarily all the brain is highly active all the time. 

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8 hours ago, dmwalker said:

“This pattern is by no means limited to the visual brain. A smaller but still impressive study recorded neurons in a part of the cortex responsible for hearing in rats. It found that only about 10 percent of neurons responded to sound stimuli.”

 

Maybe we just haven't found out what the other neurons are used for, but they do have a function. The reserve capacity theory sounds possible though. 

They used to say our bodes had so called junk DNA that didn't do anything, which was of course misleading, they are just active in a different fashion other than encoding proteins. 

Edited by martin-w

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11 hours ago, dmwalker said:

I see now that the 35% figure has been debunked but, in the article linked below, there isn't a simple answer.

No, it isn't simple, but I think the beginning of part 2 of the article you linked has a good line at the start.

Quote

I showed recent neuroscientific evidence that there is a substantial number of neurons that don't seem to have any usefulness we can discern.

Are we truly able to discern everything about our brains yet? The author explains how difficult it is to properly measure brain activity and how recent some of the techniques are. It seems like maybe we need more data before really drawing any solid conclusions. As martin points out with our DNA, just because we don't currently know what it does doesn't mean it isn't doing something useful and necessary.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/your-internet-brain/202102/you-cant-use-100-your-brain-and-s-good-thing-0

Edited by goates

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4 hours ago, martin-w said:

The reserve capacity theory sounds possible though. 

It makes sense. I was thinking inactive neurons could be involved as required in neuroplasticity.


Dugald Walker

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1 hour ago, goates said:

just because we don't currently know what it does doesn't mean it isn't doing something useful and necessary.

It's like UFOs. The U means unidentified, nothing more and nothing less.


Dugald Walker

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9 hours ago, martin-w said:

 

😁 Nope, don't think so. The brain deteriorates due to aging, if aging is switched off that wont occur. I don't think the brain is like a container that can be filled up. 

So you say but it is unknown, that sort of thinking is naturally reflective of the arrogance of mankind, fountain of youth will have side effects and will have mental health issues that is absolutely true, and will not be available to the masses because of its value, therefore just like Plastic Surgery today is for the wealthy any fountain of youth will be very expensive because of its value.

My view is the already crazy eclectic wealth will get to live to 200 years and their brains weren't right in the first place, and it won't get any better with medically induced age 🤣 


Matthew Kane

 

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4 hours ago, Matthew Kane said:

My view is the already crazy eclectic wealth will get to live to 200 years and their brains weren't right in the first place, and it won't get any better with medically induced age

I think the brain never actually "fills up".

Instead, older memories fade and are eventually "overwritten".

Without diaries of some sort, or artificial memory upgrades, I suspect immortals will eventually forget their entire life histories as they continually become essentially whole new people every 200 years or so......

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We are all connected..... To each other, biologically...... To the Earth, chemically...... To the rest of the Universe atomically.
 
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5 hours ago, HiFlyer said:

Instead, older memories fade and are eventually "overwritten"

Actually I remember the distant pass better than I remember what happened last week.  I have vivid memories of grammar school and high school and Marine Corps boot camp.  My two best friends in the neighborhood I grew up in were Robert Leach and Richard Brosio. But ask me what day I went grocery shopping last week and I can't tell you.

I have a home nurse visiting me once a week and a physical therapist who walks with me three times a week.  In the initial visits when they were interviewing me they both said that physically I am still in my late 60s.  But my short term recall is about right for my age.  However I can still write legibly.

Noel

Edited by birdguy

The tires are worn.  The shocks are shot.  The steering is wobbly.  But the engine still runs fine.

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Visions of the future … from the past:

1968 - “Wild in the  Streets”  Where the voting age is lowered to 15 and those older than 30 are shipped to concentration camps and forced to take LSD

1971 - Anyone remember this classic Public Service Announcement about exercising?

 

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15 hours ago, Matthew Kane said:

that sort of thinking is naturally reflective of the arrogance of mankind

 

I think its based on biology to be honest. I think the confusion arises because people think the brain is like a computer, with a hard drive to store memory, and its not. There are something like 86 billion neurons and 126 TRILLION synapses. It can store something like 2.5 million gigabytes of information. But it doesn't store that information like a computer does, it's much more dynamic and fluid. To retrain memories "reinforcement" is required. For memories it's a use it or lose it scenario. Old memories that are no longer reinforced are pruned. The brain is an incredibly complex organ, the most complex arrangement of matter we know of.

The oldest living human stands at 122, and I don't believe her brain had a short circuit and overloaded due to too many memories. There may well be factors that are manifest at the age of 200 or 300, but its not going to be due to too much life experience and a brain that's too full. Not in regard to how we currently know the brain works. 

 

15 hours ago, Matthew Kane said:

and will not be available to the masses because of its value, therefore just like Plastic Surgery today is for the wealthy any fountain of youth will be very expensive because of its value.

 

Initially maybe, but like all technologies the cost drops and they become available for "the masses". Plastic surgery was, at one time, only available for the very wealthy, but that's certainly not true now. All manner of individuals have cosmetic surgery done. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, HiFlyer said:

Without diaries of some sort, or artificial memory upgrades, I suspect immortals will eventually forget their entire life histories as they continually become essentially whole new people every 200 years or so......

 

They wont forget their "entire" life histories, but those memories that are no longer reinforced will be pruned. That's how the brain works now. 

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6 hours ago, birdguy said:

Actually I remember the distant pass better than I remember what happened last week.

 

Yep, that's a common scenario. Key events that made an impact on us are reinforced, and accessible, but all those other details from the past are pruned away. At any age, you can forget what happened last week, but remember a key event from decades ago. 

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4 hours ago, martin-w said:

 

Yep, that's a common scenario. Key events that made an impact on us are reinforced, and accessible, but all those other details from the past are pruned away. At any age, you can forget what happened last week, but remember a key event from decades ago. 

When young, I ended up spending significant amounts of time with older people, and was often regaled with stories from their youths. What I found scary then was something I eventually called (and thought of all the way up to now) as the "Cutoff point".

This was a time I noticed in almost all of these peoples lives when they began disengaging with the present and living increasingly in the past; to the point that, as another poster mentioned, their core and most important cherished memories from that past apparently remained mostly intact, while current events began becoming increasingly hazy and even irrelevant.

Scared the poopy out of me as a kid, and if you read my "about me" on this site you will see "trying one new thing every day".

A policy I engaged in at a young age, and take probably too seriously to this day, terrified that my past will become my present while I withdraw without even noticing, from the future.

Overreaction from a creeped out kid? Maybe, but I hope to go down fighting.

Edited by HiFlyer
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We are all connected..... To each other, biologically...... To the Earth, chemically...... To the rest of the Universe atomically.
 
Devons rig
Intel Core i5 13600K @ 5.1GHz / G.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB Series Ram 32GB / GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 4070 Ti GAMING OC 12G Graphics Card / Sound Blaster Z / Meta Quest 2 VR Headset / Klipsch® Promedia 2.1 Computer Speakers / ASUS ROG SWIFT PG279Q ‑ 27" IPS LED Monitor ‑ QHD / 1x Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB / 2x Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB /  1x Samsung - 970 EVO Plus 2TB NVMe /  1x Samsung 980 NVMe 1TB / 2 other regular hd's with up to 10 terabyte capacity / Windows 11 Pro 64-bit / Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Elite AX Motherboard LGA 1700 DDR5

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5 hours ago, martin-w said:

 

They wont forget their "entire" life histories, but those memories that are no longer reinforced will be pruned. That's how the brain works now.

When you say 'pruned' do you mean no longer there Martin?

I believe everything we ever did, wrote, said, saw, experienced, lived, and more are still there hidden away.  The memory locations, synapses, neurons or whatever you want to call far exceed the memories we put into them.  Recalling them is the problem.  But they can be recalled...eventually.

The other day I was watching an old episode of Gunsmoke and I knew the real name of Quint, the guy who ran the blacksmith shop.  But try as I might I could not recall it.  So I quit trying and told myself I'd look it up on the internet and forgot about it.  About 30 minutes later it popped into my head...Burt Reynolds.  Whatever the mechanics of memory searches it had continued searching and found it and put it into my consciousness.  That has happened to me many times.

I have lot more files to search just because of my age.  I have collected a lot more memories than you have so I have used more storage locations than you have and recall takes more time for me.  But I have found that eventually what you are looking for...trying to remember...takes more time for an older person than a younger person.

Noel


The tires are worn.  The shocks are shot.  The steering is wobbly.  But the engine still runs fine.

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6 hours ago, HiFlyer said:

This was a time I noticed in almost all of these peoples lives when they began disengaging with the present and living increasingly in the past; to the point that, as another poster mentioned, their core and most important cherished memories from that past apparently remained mostly intact, while current events began becoming increasingly hazy and even irrelevant.

This happens with every generations. 

After a while the societal morals and values and behavior we were taught and grew up with are no longer valid having been replaced those that have changed.  And the older we get the more we don't fit into modern society anymore.  So we regress back to what we are familiar with and become uncomfortable with that which has changed and we are not familiar with.

Personally I am uncomfortable with politics, culture, morals and behavior of the present so I dwell on the past that is more familiar to me.  Luckily I live in an old folks home surrounded with people my own age and share my beliefs and venture out into today's world only to shop for groceries and maybe take a drive into the mountains where things don't change that much.  I haven't been to a motion picture theater in over 20 years.  I don't care for the entertainment and the sound is much to loud for me.  I watch old movies and TV shows of my time.  But some weight loss commercials I see would be considered disgusting in my day.

I'm not criticizing today's lifestyles.  I am just saying they are too unfamiliar for me to adapt to.

Maybe living too long is a curse and the Biblical three score and ten is long enough.  Thinking back over the past 20 years I think it would have been long enough for me.

Noel

Edited by birdguy

The tires are worn.  The shocks are shot.  The steering is wobbly.  But the engine still runs fine.

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