Neuralink Elon Musk. Part two: the brain


2017-04-24 11:30:14




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Neuralink Elon Musk. Part two: the brain

Eccentric in the best sense of the word entrepreneur, playboy, philanthropist Elon Musk known around the world. He decided to bring humanity into space, to colonize Mars, to abandon a disposable rockets. He decided to make the world cleaner, transplanted us from cars with internal combustion engines to self-driving cars. While unfolding these businesses, he does not sit idly by. He conceived Neuralink that will help us become new people. Without borders and without weaknesses, as it should be in the new world (Elon musk). To document the crazy ideas Mask, as always, volunteered Tim urban from WaitButWhy (he wrote about artificial intelligence, colonization of Mars and SpaceX). We present one of the best works of modern popular science journalism. Further, in the first person.

This article reminded me of why I love working with the brain, which looks nice and clean like this:

Because the brain is very upsetting and sad. People rude.

But the last month I've spent at the bottom of the shimmering, blood-drenched section of Google images, and now you will have to read it. So relax.

Now let's go far away. In biology, there is such moment — it sometimes makes you think, and the brain sometimes makes most do not want. The first is the situation with the doll in your head.

Under your hair, skin, and below it, you thought the skull? — no, there was 19 items, and then only to the skull. Then comes the skull, and a whole bunch of things that await on the way to the brain.

Under the skull and above the brain there are three membranes.

Outside Dura mater (dura mater in Latin), durable, tough, waterproof layer. It is flush with the skull. I have heard that the brain doesn't have salecustomer region, but the Dura mater it is — about the same as sensitive as the skin on your face. Pressure on dura mater at the time of injury is often the cause of severe headaches.

Below is arachnoid mater, arachnoid or arachnoid meninges, which is a layer of skin and then an open space with elastic fibers. I always thought that my brain just floats aimlessly in my head in some fluid, but in fact, the only real space between the brain and the inner wall of the skull is the arachnoid mater. These fibers stabilize the brain in position, that it is not strongly moved, and act as a shock absorber when your head is something beats. This area is filled with cerebrospinal fluid that keeps the brain afloat, because its density is similar to density of water.

Finally, there is the pia mater, mater — thin, delicate layer of skin, which merges with the outer part of the brain. Remember, when looking at the brain, he's always covered in blood vessels? So they are not on the surface of the brain, as if they are enclosed in the pia mater.

Here's the full review for example the head seems to be pigs.

On the Left you see the skin (pink), then two layers of scalp, then skull, then the Dura, arachnoiditis, and the right brain covered only with a soft shell.

Once we remove all the excess, we remain tete-a-tete with this stupid boy.

This strange-looking thing — one of the most complex known object in the Universe — kilogram, says neuroengineer Tim Hanson, "one of the most information dense, structured and self-organized substances among all known." It works by using only 20 watts of power (computer power is equivalent to eating 24 000 000 W).

Mit Professor Polina Anikeeva calls it "a soft pudding that you can scrape up with a spoon." Brain surgeon Ben Rapoport described it more scientifically: something between pudding and jello. He says that if you put a brain on the table, under the action of gravity it will melt like a jellyfish. It's hard to imagine the brain is a wuss because he usually floats in water.

But in this we all. You look in the mirror, see your body and your face and think it's you, but really it's just a machine that you control. In fact, you're weird jelly-like ball. How about this analogy?

Given the strangeness of all this, do not blame Aristotle or ancient Egyptians, and many others for what they considered a meaningless brain cranial filling. Aristotle believed that the heart was the center of the mind.

Eventually, people figured out what was happening. But not in full.

Professor Krishna Shana just compares our understanding of the brain with how humanity was represented by a map of the world in the early 1500's.

Another Professor, Jeff Lichtman, is even tougher. He begins his classes with a question addressed to the students: "If all you need to know about the brain, it's a mile, how far we have gone in this mile?". He said that the students usually answer "three quarters", "half", "quarter mile," etc. But the real answer, in his opinion, "about three inches".

The Third Professor, a neuroscientist, Moran CERF, shared with me an old proverb of neuroscientists, from which it follows that the attempt to understand the brain is a catch-22: "If the human brain were so simple that we could understand, we would be so simple that it would be unable [to understand it]".

Perhaps, using the great tower of knowledge, which builds our species, we at some point come to this. Meantime, let's look at what we know about jellyfish in our heads, starting with the overall picture.


Brain from afar

Let's look at the major sections of the brain, using a hemispheric cross-section. Here is the brain in your head:

Now let's take out the brain from the head and remove the left hemisphere, which will provide us a better view inside.

The Neurologist Paul Maclean has made a simple chart that illustrates the basic idea, which we discussed earlier, touching on the theme of the brain of reptiles in the process of revolution, the subsequent add-mammalian brain, and finally our own third brain.

As this card is overlaid on our real brain:

Let's look at each section:

brainstem (and cerebellum)

It is the most ancient part of our brain.

This is a section of our brain cross section above, where does the boss frog. In fact the entire brain of a frog like this the lower part of our brain:

When you understand the function of these parts, the fact that they are ancient, it makes sense — all that make these pieces, you can do frogs and lizards. Here major sections:

medulla oblongata

The medulla oblongata takes care that you died. He does a thankless task control involuntary processes such as heart rate, breathing and blood pressure, and makes you tear when he thinks you've been poisoned.

Varoliev bridge

Varoliev bridge does a bit of everything. He is responsible for swallowing, bladder control, facial expressions, chewing, saliva, tears and the chair — in short, everything.


The average brain an even greater identity crisis than the Pons. You understand that part of the brain problems when almost all of its functions are performed by different brain part. In the case of mid-brain we are talking about vision, hearing, motor skills, alertness, temperature control and many other things in which other parts of the brain. The rest of the brain is also not very similar to the average brain, given how ridiculously uneven there was a "fore brain, mid brain, hind brain" that seems to be deliberately isolating the midbrain.

For what it is worth thank varolii bridge and the midbrain, is the fact that they control voluntary eye movement. Now, if you move your eyes, the bridge and the midbrain processes occur.


This strange-looking thing, similar to the scrotum of your brain, is the cerebellum or the cerebellum, Latin for "little brain." He is responsible for balance, coordination and normal movement.

Limbic system

Above the brain stem is the limbic system — the part of the brain that makes people incredible.

The Limbic system is a survival system. An important part of her work is that whenever you do the same, that can make your dog to eat, drink, have sex, fight, hide or run away from something terrible — driving is the limbic system. Whether you like it or not, but when you do something from the above, you are in primitive survival mode.

In the limbic system also live your emotions, and in any case, emotions are also responsible for the survival of is more advanced coping mechanisms needed for animals living in complex social structure.

Whenever somewhere in your head is unfolding internal struggle, is to thank your limbic system because she's doing something you later regret.

I'm pretty sure that control of your limbic system — it the definition of maturity, and a basic human struggle. Not that we were better without limbic systems — they make us human, in the end, and a large part of the life of the buzz associated with emotion and satisfaction of animal needs. Just your limbic system does not take into account that you live in a civilized society, and if you give her too much power in control of your life, it quickly destroyed it.

In any case, let's consider it in more detail. There are many small parts of the limbic system, but we will focus on the most famous.


The Amygdala is a kind of emotional disorder brain structures. She is responsible for the anxiety, sadness and fear. There are two min...


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