Ned Beauman at Bullets has made a post on my comments about the research I’m doing at Cambridge. I agree with what he’s saying, in that it’s really only the information that matters when you’re talking about cognition or consciousness, but many other people wouldn’t; all of this is based on the assumption that the brain is working via a set of algorithms.
I happen to think that it is, but I don’t really want to get bogged down in this because I’m in the sticky situation of knowing enough to talk about the subject, but not enough to prevent myself from saying something stupid. Clearly more Dennett is in order for me.
On the research: I’m reading through a long report that forms the underpinnings of what I’m doing, and it’s quite amazing to see how the author of the report dismisses all of the current ‘important questions’ in neuroscience, stating that they are immaterial, and proposes instead a completely new set, all based around information theory (I’m going to write a proper ‘massive’ article on this eventually). I’m beginning to think that the research I’m doing here in Cambridge could be equally if not more important than the synaesthesia research I worked on in San Diego.
One Reply to “The important questions”
Interesting. Who are the main theorists in this area? I was interpreting what you were talking about in terms of Marr and computational theories of perception (because perception is the bit of neuroscience I know most about).
I think I agree with you that it is about information, but I think the ways the brain processes that information are also interesting. Becuase they’re unlikely to be perfect. Which suggests that there are limitations. And that could be really interesting. Especially how it impacts on higher order behaviour.