The greatest machine

This week we learned about synaptic transmission, along with learning about action potentials in the previous week’s lecture. We’re now getting into the area that I find most interesting: information processing in the brain.

It’s sometimes said that the artificial neural networks used in machine learning are a simplification of real neural networks. At this point, I would already agree with that.  There’s a lot going on in the brain, and it’s a little difficult to keep track of all the terminology, or to remember what every different thing does.

Because I never come up with questions during the lectures, I decided to write down some interesting ones that came to mind that I would like to understand.

What is the purpose of sleep? How does it work? What about dreams? Or all the other stages of sleep? Could sleep be induced artificially in people?

How about memory, how does it work? How are short-term memory and long term memory different? How feasible would it be to read memories from brains?

How did the brain evolve? How does the brain develop as we grow up? How do mental diseases come about?

We probably will not learn answers to these questions during the course, but it’s definitely a first step towards understanding.

Posted by Teemu

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