Life connected au des while technology evolves by design?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

neural nodes

A 'node' is a functional neural aggregate. It is connotatively different from 'nucleus' used in such a context in that it refers to an aggregation of neurons that was not genetically programmed for its function. 'Node' is broadly used in neuroscience to refer to a memory.

For example, when the concept of 'raisin' is nested in the node for the concept of 'grape', the activation of the raisin node is certain to activate the grape node. Even though the structures of nodes for a concept usually differ from person to person, concepts are usually stored in nodes.1

Each time a node is stimulated, the neurons composing it may make new connections. This may be why persons are in many circumstances more likely to forget a memory while they are accessing it. A memory becoming unforgettable (by a certain way of forgetting) is called consolidation. In Alzheimer's, progression of the pathology erases memories from recent to early. This is because of long-term potentiation of the synapses, and our earlier experiences are not memorable because the hippocampus is at that age not developed2 enough to store much explicit memories.

1Buonomano, Dean. Brain Bugs: How The Brain's Flaws Shape Our Lives. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011. 178-179. Print.

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