Thursday, February 22, 2018

Analysis of neural computation might have application for deep learning

The cortical brain is an evolutionary marvel which interacts with the outside world via self-regulation, based on its resting or ground state. The resting state, which is disturbed during the stimulus and sensory processing, is recovered by automatic operations. A new research articleTHE THERMODYNAMIC ANALYSIS OF NEURAL COMPUTATION examines the energy-information cycle of sensory processing in the brain. The work also has relevance for artificial intelligence, such as deep learning. 

The brain’s energy need multiplies in warm-blooded animals. Although the human brain represents only 2% of the body weight, it receives 15% of the cardiac output, 20% of total body oxygen consumption, and 25% of overall body glucose utilization. The baseline energy consumption might be entirely dedicated to neuronal signaling. This nearly constant and massive energy use maintains the brain’s alertness, even during sleep, by a dynamic balance between inhibitory and excitatory neurons. 

The slightest variation in excitation determines whether a spike is generated. Such a delicate balance of excitatory and inhibitory neurons turns the resting state into a highly energy-requiring state. Even in the absence of stimulus, the delicate balancing excitatory and inhibitory neurons produce seemingly arbitrary activations. Like the tennis player's anticipation for the opponent's serve, the brain’s dynamic balance ensures its ability for a rapid, targeted response. For example, changes in inhibitory neurons increase frequencies and their energetic needs. Via the sensory system, the brain partakes in the energy information exchange with the environment.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Emotions: GPS for your mind

The future is fast approaching, and unprecedented technological progress will increasingly characterize every aspect of life. Adapting to constant change requires mental flexibility. My upcoming book, 'Athena's Wisdom,' anticipates the personal side of this forthcoming singularity. My goal is to create a book that serves the reader in every step. This book will put you in the know about this exciting field full of practical information about effective practices based on the latest neuroscience research. The following is an excerpt from the book.

Historically, the economic necessity to use brute force and tedious work made intellect unnecessary and even dangerous. The breathtaking technological transformation of the past one hundred years replaced hard physical labor with machines. In contrast, human intellectual involvement is increasingly important at every level in the corporate world and society. The recognition that conflicts and problems between employees tax morale, degrade efficiency, and shorten the time spent on work led to increasing awareness and focus on the work environment's human side. 

Emotional and intellectual patterns are absorbed early in life by observing and copying the family environment. This powerful mental legacy hands the cultural fabric of society to the next generation. Unfortunately, parents also project accumulated fears, weaknesses, and imperfect emotional coping mechanisms onto their children. Thus, children grow up with a rigid mindset from the past and carry emotional triggers that predispose them to failure. Unfortunately, personal change can take generations. Emotional instability leads to attention problems, making it impossible to absorb the school material and handicap a person’s ability to contribute successfully at work. High intellect requires emotional stability, confidence, and love. 

Starting in Kindergarten, social skills can be taught and practiced in school. But changing the mind and mastering emotions is possible at any age. Bringing this awareness to companies and communities can transform society.  Over time, the understanding of emotion regulation can become as common as traffic rules. In a world where this understanding is a democratic right, individuals feel secure and supported. Support enhances responsibility towards our society, the environment, and for each other. Confident citizenry elects responsible governments, which act for peace, prosperity, and well-being. The positive changes on the individual level would meet positive changes in society and lead to a better world.

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Picture credit: Mother and child by Eva Deli

The Science of Consciousness Post, your news about the mind
The Science of Consciousness, please join the discussion
Website: evadeli
Copyright © 2018 by Eva Deli