I Do Not Like To Play With Toy Soldiers (And Other Neuroscientific Gems)

Here are excerpts from the panel discussion on the brain I moderated at the Franklin Institute. The scurrilous rumor about me and toy soldiers pops up about 4 minutes into Sam Wang’s discussion of false memories.

0 thoughts on “I Do Not Like To Play With Toy Soldiers (And Other Neuroscientific Gems)

  1. Carl,

    I spent an hour watching all of the speakers. Overall, terrific. A group of very articulate neuroscientists.

    Who was the audience?

    A couple of comments, before I forget. You say that the revolution in Neuroscience dates back 400 years, to the finding that the brain is the organ of the mind. That’s correct. But there have been a few quantal leaps, and certainly the past few years have witnessed a sudden public interest in Neuroscience coupled with pretty good advances. I’d say one of the huge steps involved Cajal and the Neuron doctrine. This was the first substantive step in the development of a computational model of how the brain could be the mind. This illustrates that progress depends as much on revolutionary ideas as advances in technology.

    The develoment of computers is another big step. Computers demonstrate that computational processes can solve mind-like problems and, simultaneously, computers are the necessary tools for modeling brain function.

    Also, you and a number of other scientists were asked about the strengths and limitations of fMRI. I thought your answer was heading in the right direction, but didn’t go far enough. You talked about peppercorn resolution being insufficient (I’m not sure I know the size of a peppercorn). But without the ability to record the firing and interaction of individual neurons, fMRI points to the spot, but doesn’t address the question of what is happening there.

    Very enjoyable. Nice to see it online. Thanks.

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