Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
I heartily endorse this product and/or service.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.

user:
pass:
register,


                                                                                                                               

The Overclocked Brain

  (+6)
(+6)
  [vote for,
against]

Alarmingly, it turns out that 50% of people have below- average intelligence. Even more alarmingly, those with above- average intelligence are not really **that** much smarter. Clearly, something needs to be done about smartness.

To the extent that smartness depends on the number of and interconnections betwixt brain cells, it's going to be tough to engineer it. We really don't know how the brain decides how many cells to have, or how to interconnect them. We have a few vague ideas about intelligence-related genes, but improving the brain's architecture is going to be decades down the line.

Howevertheless, if you can't redesign a computer, you can at least overclock it a bit. Most of the time spent in having a thought is actually all about impulses travelling along axons. This happens about 100m/s. So, if we guesstimate that the average transmission distance is 5cm (a lot less than the size of your brain, but then again neurons are somewhat clustered by function for this very reason), then the brain's clock speed is something like 2kHz. A thought that involves a mere 100 consecutive signals will take a whopping 50ms.

Now, nerve conduction is pretty well understood. The ion channels in one piece of the axon pop open, allowing a flow of ions which creates a voltage change. This change, in turn, triggers nearby ion channels to pop open, thereby propagating the wave. We know the relevant proteins down to atomic detail.

So, how do we speed this up? Well, one of the great things about cells is that they are pretty much transparent, which means we can use optical transmission to carry nerve impulses. First, we need to create a hybrid protein comprising the regular voltage-sensitive ion channel and luciferase. This will need a bit of tinkering, because we want the luciferase domain to be active only when the channel is open. Once we've done this, and bunged the new gene into someone, we'll have a brain that literally lights up while it's thinking*.

Next, we need to further engineer the protein so that it is light-sensitive. This shouldn't be so hard, since we can start with things like bacteriorhodopsin, and splice them into the protein. Again, it'll need a bit of tinkering, but what are protein engineers for?

Once we've done this, the whole process of transmitting nerve impulses will become a lot faster. As soon as an impulse starts, it will create a little burst of light. That light will tend to propagate down the axon, fibreoptically, at least for a few millimetres. And wherever the light goes, it will trigger the activation of more of the light-sensitive, light-emitting ion channel. The result will be that most of the transmission distance will be covered at 3x10^9 m/s instead of 100m/s. There will still be delays (assuming that the optical signal can't travel the whole axon in one go), but we might well expect the speed of thinking to increase by 10 or 100-fold.

[*This will, in itself, be a boon to psychiatrists, neurologists and brain surgeons - a gentle glow should be visible through the skull in a dark room, and with the skull opened you should see precisely which bits of grey goo are active at any one moment]

MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 27 2019

Luciferase kinetics https://pubs.acs.or...10.1021/bi00702a015
[bs0u0155, Mar 04 2019]

Brain connectivity in autism https://www.ncbi.nl...rticles/PMC4041005/
One of many studies [bigsleep, Mar 06 2019]

Autism Linked With Stress Hormone Levels https://www.science...04/090401204241.htm
On edge from day one [bigsleep, Mar 06 2019]

The hipster effect: Why anti-conformists always end up looking the same https://phys.org/ne...ti-conformists.html
Mentioned in my anno. Mathematical model of conformism and anti-conformism [notexactly, Mar 08 2019]

Inadvertent confirmation of the above result https://petapixel.c...-different-hipster/
A hipster got mad that his photo was used in an article about the above science, but it turned out he'd mis-recognized another hipster as himself! [notexactly, Mar 08 2019]

[link]






       //great things about cells is that they are pretty much transparent,//   

       Brain can be annoyingly opaque, but pick the right frequency and it's a valid point. One feature of the existing electrical system is that it operates in an environment of extraordinarily non-uniform electrical transparency. Neurons are conductive for metres lengthwise and nm radially. So, in an optically transparent environment, how do you stop cell 1 tripping the adjacent receptors in cell 2 rather than the more distant node in cell 1?
bs0u0155, Feb 28 2019
  

       //Alarmingly, it turns out that 50% of people have below- average intelligence//   

       [+] Priceless, consider me tickled ;D
Skewed, Feb 28 2019
  

       You’ve got to subtract from that the large proportion of people who actually are average, which of course once taken into account pushes the average up.
Ian Tindale, Feb 28 2019
  

       One of the interesting things about the brain is that it is effectively a big sheet, screwed up into a ball (well, the shape of a brain, coincidentally). This indicates that the circuit construction is predominantly planar, along two dimensions in the first order, and as a second-order effect three dimensionality is achieved by proximity of folded sections of the sheet. Levels of ATP could be balanced in terms of build-up and dissipation by a strict timetable of rationing, to prevent overheating. Although it is said that we use 10% of the brain (which is not only not true, it is untrue too), if we ever did use closer to 100% or more, the brain would simply overheat. This is why people are more than 98% water, most of which is dissipated through the top of the head.
Ian Tindale, Feb 28 2019
  

       //So, in an optically transparent environment, how do you stop cell 1 tripping the adjacent receptors in cell 2 rather than the more distant node in cell 1?// I'm relying to some extent on axons behaving a bit like fibreoptics. I'm also counting on glial cells and other bits of gubbins to attenuate signals leaving the axon. If it becomes an issue, we just arrange for melanin to be expressed in glial cells, or stick a light-absorbing protein domain onto the external side of an abundant transmembrane protein.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 28 2019
  

       //One of the interesting things about the brain is that it is effectively a big sheet, screwed up into a ball // Well, my brain is certainly screwed up.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 28 2019
  

       overclocking a 286 Processor does not give you a Pentium chip. Or whatever their current generation thingy is.   

       is the goal doing arithmetic faster or being able to process more complex problems? I mean yes brute force speed up is useful for certain algorithms, but not for making a good choice in the election booth, is it.
theircompetitor, Feb 28 2019
  

       Overclocking won't address all areas of cognition, but it would get you to an answer a lot faster. Overclocking a computer does let it do stuff faster, albeit not as fast as one with a greatly improved architecture.   

       Moreovermore, the effect would not be confined to neurons in the brain. Sensory and motor inputs would likewise be accelerated. Imagine a tennis player whose reaction time was a few milliseconds instead of 100ms.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 28 2019
  

       //but not for making a good choice in the election booth, is it.//   

       Personally I'm increasingly persuaded the only good choice in the election booth is the postal ballot.. but they tend to look askance at you at those events if you bring a pump action shotgun, wouldn't let me in last time.
Skewed, Feb 28 2019
  

       // people are more than 98% water, most of which is dissipated through the top of the head //   

       Yes, I've seen this happening too.
mitxela, Feb 28 2019
  

       Incidentally, there is an inherited disorder that leads to the accumulation of copper in various sites around the body (for example, around the iris). If this could be manipulated, you could gradually lay down copper cores in all your axons, which would mean that (a) you could think and react faster and (b) you'd make pretty green flames when cremated.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 28 2019
  

       //there is an inherited disorder that leads to the accumulation of copper in various sites around the body (for example, around the iris)///   

       Or rather than using it to think faster it could just be used to solve the great copper shortage of 2107.   

       Selectively bred humans that lay down lots of copper in the eye, which makes them blind, which is good really, because then they won't complain so much about having their eyes dug out for the copper.
Skewed, Feb 28 2019
  

       Mind racing -> overstimulation + indecision -> palpitations + creeping existential horror -> a brisk walk -> a nice glass of pale ale + a biryani -> gulab jamun + Irish coffee   

       Actually that ended quite well, but I'm tempted to skip straight to the later stages without dazzling my axons. Point being that those above average intelligence are often blessed with unhappiness and craziness too. So they tell me.   

       OTOH, //we want the luciferase domain to be active// has a nice gothic ring to it. Gonna need a bigger pentagram for that sort of thing.
pertinax, Mar 01 2019
  

       As I understand it, overclocking a computer tends to result in ventilation issues. It may be that we will need to address a similar problem with the overclocked brain. Trepanation would seem to be the most conveniently mechanical solution. The added bonus is that the head becomes a sort of disco light. The potential drawback is that the increased consciousness, coupled with the increased uh computational power could result in ill-directed galaxy braining.
calum, Mar 01 2019
  

       But if this is essentially replacing one biochemical pathway with another, and the end result is a dramatic increase in signal processing and reaction times, why hasn't evolution by natural selection already got to this solution? Would it use more energy, or have some other concomitant evolutionary disadvantage which would cause it not to be selected?
hippo, Mar 01 2019
  

       //ventilation issues// Yes and no.   

       //why hasn't evolution by natural selection already got to this solution// Evolution is a slattern and a layabout. Also, we've only had brains for a few hundred million years, so she may just not have thought of it yet. As far as I know, luciferase vanished from our lineage long before we were playing tennis or trying to solve differential equations, so evolution hasn't really had the raw materials to work with.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 01 2019
  

       that's the typical anti-telepathy and other psychic powers refrain isn't it. If it was possible it'd have evolved.
theircompetitor, Mar 01 2019
  

       Telepathy _has_ been evolved, it's just that we call it radio.   

       Brain-to-brain telepathy is trickier. However, there are plenty of fish that can both detect and send out electric fields to help them navigate and find prey, and I wouldn't be surprised if they also use them as part of a mating ritual, which would be a sort of telepathy.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 01 2019
  

       I reckon that for most of the last few million years, there hasn't been enough evolutionary advantage in brain-to-brain telepathy to warrant the 'cost' in energy and raw materials to produce, and the 'opportunity cost' in terms of what would have to be ditched to make way for it.
hippo, Mar 01 2019
  

       If you wore an airtight helmet with a slightly reduced air pressure, would this not make your brain work faster?
xenzag, Mar 01 2019
  

       // Trepanation would seem to be the most conveniently mechanical solution. The added bonus is that the head becomes a sort of disco light. The potential drawback //   

       …is that, like a Trisolaran, your thoughts can be literally seen by those around you.
notexactly, Mar 01 2019
  

       //an airtight helmet with a slightly reduced air pressure// Hmm. Not sure. Give it go, [xen], and let us know if it works.   

       Regarding telepathy, apart from radios we also have speech and arm-waving. Both of them can carry over considerable distances and require less power than a likely telepathic mechanism.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 01 2019
  

       //As I understand it, overclocking a computer tends to result in ventilation issues.//   

       The brain is a big energy-hog, normally that means lots of mitochondria which would bring a heat burden. Unfortunately, the extreme shapes neurons make themselves mean that getting enough mitochondria in the right places isn't easy. So neurons prefer cooler-running glucose, which ultimately off-loads the heat burden on the liver.   

       //Brain-to-brain telepathy is trickier. However, there are plenty of fish that can both detect and send out electric fields//   

       I've heard that humans can detect local oscillations in atmospheric pressure using an organ that functions as a brain-pressure interface. Perhaps by careful manipulation of air pressure, we could achieve wireless brain-brain communication.
bs0u0155, Mar 01 2019
  

       //Point being that those above average intelligence are often blessed with unhappiness and craziness too. So they tell me.//   

       Maybe for the following reason ..   

       //To the extent that smartness depends on the number of and interconnections betwixt brain cells, it's going to be tough to engineer it.//   

       This is actually observed in two types of brains - autism spectrum and PTSD. It's like the brain doubles down on interconnectivity to ensure survival over wider knowledge. It's your tunnel vision thing that often occurs after early or later trauma.
bigsleep, Mar 02 2019
  

       //those above average intelligence are often blessed with unhappiness and craziness too//   

       I don't actually believe that. Dumb people can be miserable and loopy.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 02 2019
  

       [Max] Please draw your imagined intelligence curve with ascii characters so I can better understand you thoughts on the subject. eg ooooooooo/'"''ooo.
__----- V ----/ooooo
oooooooooooooo.
  

       In my mind there are three parts to this human thing. Evolutionary speaking.
wjt, Mar 02 2019
  

       //Please draw your imagined intelligence curve with ascii characters// n is a reasonable approximation.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 02 2019
  

       It was only as recently as this week that I described to someone else what I think twitter is. I described it along the lines of this:   

       A telepathy of the gestalt of the zeitgeist of the spirit of the age. Effectively, a global telepathy where all states of mind leak out into all other minds in the network.   

       Little short-lived morsels of packaging styles of information arise, flourish and die out like information organisms.   

       The packaged morsels of the way you present information is a currency among others in the network –  more of a currency than the information itself.   

       If aliens landed all they need to do is look at twitter to see what the human species is all about. We’ve never had such a leaky publishing medium like it before, I consider it highly important to study.
Ian Tindale, Mar 02 2019
  

       The problem with thinking faster just means there is more chance the subconscious won't catch the dumb ideas. On the good side, truely good ideas will come from anyone because the subconscious will miss stopping the good ideas.
wjt, Mar 02 2019
  

       //there is more chance the subconscious won't catch the dumb ideas// What do you run your subconscious on, [wjt]? I use neurons for mine.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 02 2019
  

       On the other hand, [Ian], Twitter is only representative of the kind if people who have Twitter accounts - viz., celebrities, journalists and those who get a kick out if teasing them (notably Trump).
pertinax, Mar 03 2019
  

       ////To the extent that smartness depends on the number of and interconnections betwixt brain cells, it's going to be tough to engineer it.////   

       //This is actually observed in two types of brains - autism spectrum and PTSD. It's like the brain doubles down on interconnectivity to ensure survival over wider knowledge. It's your tunnel vision thing that often occurs after early or later trauma.//   

       Interesting.
Are you saying that post traumatic stress can increase brain function?
  

       [Max]Neurons are the hardware grouped into functions. Activity bit is the semantics. It is going to be hard to speed processing up, in the different areas of neurons, with the same ratio as the normal operating speed without the subconscious levels altering the thought orchestration.
wjt, Mar 03 2019
  

       // I'm relying to some extent on axons behaving a bit like fibreoptics. I'm also counting on glial cells and other bits of gubbins to attenuate signals leaving the axon.   

       Perhaps you wouldn't need to express the transgenes in EVERY cell, in exchange for a more modest gain in thought processing. Maybe just 1 in 100, and the other 99 unmodified neurons will figure out how to deal with the superneuron. The brain is rather plastic, after all.   

       Alternatively, do you think it would be possible to overclock the brain by tinkering with axon myelination? Either by modifying the resistance of the membrane or the number or distance between the nodes of Ranvier?
Cuit_au_Four, Mar 03 2019
  

       That certainly is true, but the general mechanism is in my opinion likely to widen in application such that most people become a contributing node. Today it is twitter that performs this, tomorrow, who knows, some kind of atmosphere of information which we might call an infosphere. It wouldn’t even need specific devices or services or accounts.
Ian Tindale, Mar 03 2019
  

       //overclock the brain by tinkering with axon myelination// Possibly, and I originally thought of just making the existing mechanism faster. But that's the sort of incremental thing evolution would have already come up with, if improvement were possible by such means. Optical transmission, though, is different enough that it may just not have had time to evolve since we first had brainz.   

       I did wonder if we should take another look at bioluminescent deep sea creatures. For instance, if you're a metre-long anglerfish, the quickest way to know what's happening to your tail is probably to look for any bioluminescent signals it might be emitting.   

       In fact, that does suggest an evolutionary pathway to an optical nerve system. Suppose you start with an organism whose skin bioluminesces when prodded. Suppose also that, like many deep-see creatures, its body is largely transparent. In that case, prodding the creature behind its head would result in a flash of light reaching its retinas (from behind), much more quickly than it would detect the prod via nervous conduction (which can be as slow as 1m/s in cold-blooded animals). Over evolutionary time, the transparency of a path from back-of-head to back-of-retina would increase, and perhaps it would develop fibre-optic properties for greater efficiency. Meanwhile, the retina would grow larger, with portions of it dedicated to receiving these internally- generated light signals from different parts of the body.   

       Point being, maybe some deep-sea beasties already use this mechanism.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 03 2019
  

       Is it that depolarization will be optically accelerated, while return to the resting potential will still proceed at the usual clip (because this optical system still triggers the endogenous ionic system)? Thus, the stretch of inversely polarized neuron will be much longer than wild-typical.   

       Also, how are you going to prevent back-propagation of the optical signal? Or even self-activation, since these ion channels are now sensitive to the signal they emit, if I'm reading this right? This seems prone to positive feedback.   

       In order to make the neuron more fiberopticky so that light-escape (and therefore, crosstalk) is lessened, I wonder if crystallins or other proteins that increase the refractive index of the intercellular millieu could be expressed.
Cuit_au_Four, Mar 04 2019
  

       //Meanwhile, the retina would grow larger, with portions of it dedicated to receiving these internally- generated light signals from different parts of the body.//   

       I think Jellyfish might be a good place to look. They're already into the whole bioluminescence game, including damage sensing <link> and they have 24 eyes of 4 types. Well, optical sensors, eyes is a stretch. It makes sense for them, the default "off" is energy efficient and speed doesn't matter so much when you can't act quickly.   

       Corals are clearly up to something with all their fluorescence, which is even lower energy. There's a suggestion they're using it to optimize light spectra for their algae, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was some serious signaling going on.   

       //the stretch of inversely polarized neuron//   

       This is an issue. Inverse membrane polarity is both energy storage and a robust way of preventing firing. You can't have negative ATP/luciferin.   

       //how are you going to prevent back-propagation... Or even self-activation, ...This seems prone to positive feedback//   

       The inverse polarity, or "hyperpolarization" as it is stupidly called, provides directionality and further activation. Self-activation and positive feedback are central features of the action potential, they just need the directionality and to not TRANS activate adjacent neurons.   

       //develop fibre-optic properties for greater efficiency//   

       That's what you need. That and a replacement for luciferase. The kinetics are junk. It has an activation delay of 25ms, then it takes almost 1/3rd of a second to get its act together. The off kinetics are worse <link>. Using the central energy currency in signaling is also unwise. Cells avoid it, they run parallel systems like GTP/Ca2+ to stop energetic cross talk. Like how you wouldn't power a low-fuel warning light off fuel pressure.   

       If you wanted to speed up the current* system you could swap out your ions. Na+ is the lazy one, ~40% slower than K+, and that's super lazy compared to H+ which is 5-fold faster than K+. H+ is even faster when you consider the way OH- interacts and diffuses. There are Voltage gated H+ channels as proof-of-principle, but they're weird.   

       So an H+/K+ system would be super fast, and it is, mitochondria are already doing it.   

       *some say its a Voltage system, but they're only getting part of it.
bs0u0155, Mar 04 2019
  

       //Alarmingly, it turns out that 50% of people have below- average intelligence.//   

       LOL. Clever.   

       Somebody needs to invent a diet suppliment or government program that will turn this around and get 50% of the population into the ABOVE average IQ range.
doctorremulac3, Mar 04 2019
  

       //invent a diet suppliment or government program that//   

       I will need significant funding, but I'm confident it can be done...   

       //into the ABOVE average IQ range//   

       Sadly, in practice "average" is a RANGE, it's the meaty 70% or so of the curve. To be in the above average range, meaningfully at least, you need to be in the ~16% that's more than 1 SD away from the strict mean. IQ is the sharpest of a lot of very blunt tools, sadly it's difficult and expensive to do properly.
bs0u0155, Mar 04 2019
  

       //I will need significant funding, but I'm confident it can be done...//   

       If taxes need to be raised, so be it, we'll all have to pitch in. By "all" I mean everybody but me. I came up with the idea so I've done my part.
doctorremulac3, Mar 04 2019
  

       //Are you saying that post traumatic stress can increase brain function?//   

       It does in a way. Both PTSD and autism spectrum increase connectivity which I'd equate with a greater understanding rather than wider knowledge. My take is that somewhere a lone-wolf chemistry switch is thrown and the brain starts to become wary of what it wants to know and increases the neuron voting to be doubly sure of stuff.   

       If you are talking a soldier with PTSD or a traumatised kid with autism, they are forced into a mode of independent survival which requires them to be sure not to put themselves in harms way again. To make room for extra survival knowledge one of the facets of human understanding that is lost or not learned is social knowledge. Asperger etc kids have little understanding of human communication nuances.
bigsleep, Mar 05 2019
  

       ^
Fascinating.
  

       Explains a lot. Fuck. What are the odds eh? (that was a rhetorical question)   

       There's gotta be easier ways.   

       Hmm. I'm not sure about the autism "overconnectivity" idea, but would be interested to see any references that point to it. My [non-expert] understanding of autism is that those people lack the internal model of the world that most of us rely on; in non-autistic people, our senses and knowledge provide data for modelling the world, and it's that model (rather than the actual world) that we "see". Autists, in contrast, see something closer to the raw data.   

       (In support of this idea, there is some evidence that people with autism are less susceptible to optical illusions, most of which get their effect from our internal modelling of what we see.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 05 2019
  

       //I'm not sure about the autism "overconnectivity" idea, but would be interested to see any references that point to it.// [link]   

       What links PTSD and autism is stress hormones. Autistic types often suffer from being unable to regulate e.g. cortisol.   

       I don't really buy the 'raw data' view. I think its more the case that due to the overconnectivity in some areas of the brain, it just takes longer to register the detail - tunnel vision again.
bigsleep, Mar 06 2019
  

       I thought autism involved being flooded with detail, and not being able to extract the meaning?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 06 2019
  

       // [theory of autism being caused by trauma] //   

       Hmmm. That's interesting. I wonder, if that's true, whether it's the only way of getting autism. If that's the case, I wonder what the trauma was for me. The only thing I can think of is something that my parents now claim didn't happen. Until I was a teenager, part of my life story was that as a toddler I was stung by a bee and suffered anaphylaxis. I told my doctor this when I was a teenager (and also that I had been stung by bees in the intervening years without any serious effects) and she prescribed me an EpiPen just in case it happened again. When my mom asked why I got one, and I told her, she denied that I'd had anaphylaxis as a toddler, even though I'm 100% sure that she'd told me multiple times before then that I had had it. Anyway…   

       // My [non-expert] understanding of autism is that those people lack the internal model of the world that most of us rely on; in non-autistic people, our senses and knowledge provide data for modelling the world, and it's that model (rather than the actual world) that we "see". Autists, in contrast, see something closer to the raw data. //   

       I definitely see a model of the world rather than the raw data. But I'm high-functioning (Asperger syndrome, though the psychologists decided that doesn't exist anymore), so maybe that's how it works for people with more severe autism.   

       // (In support of this idea, there is some evidence that people with autism are less susceptible to optical illusions, most of which get their effect from our internal modelling of what we see.) //   

       Most optical illusions work for me as they do for neurotypical people. The exceptions are the ones where you're comparing the lengths of lines, the shapes of tabletops, the shades of checkerboard squares, etc., with different immediate surroundings, though I think that's maybe just because I've trained myself to evaluate those more critically. The other ones like the grid illusion and ambiguous drawings generally seem to work normally for me.   

       // Autistic types often suffer from being unable to regulate e.g. cortisol. //   

       I think my cortisol works just fine, and probably most/all hormones (though I'm not sure I could easily tell)—but, again, high- functioning—except maybe melatonin, though that might be unrelated to autism. <digression> My parents have told me (and not yet denied) that when I was little, they had to move my bedtime earlier by something like five minutes a night to get me to go to sleep at normal child bedtimes rather than midnight or later. I was too young to remember—I still remember the first time I stayed up past midnight while old enough to remember (around 10 years old, after having gone to the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show & fireworks). I had little trouble with sleep until Grade 11 or so, when I started to have delayed sleep phase syndrome. During my first two (which became my only two) years of engineering school, I found that I had to skip one night of sleep a week to stay on a 24-hour schedule the other nights. When I came back home after that, and had a part-time job with somewhat flexible hours, I smoothed that out to a 28-hour day (like the xkcd comic) or so. More recently, my sleep has been effectively random, with little ability to predict when I'll be awake or asleep more than two or three days in advance, except during school, when I can force my sleep schedule to fit into the available times of day that aren't classes, but it's still quite unpredictable and I can only do that for a few months straight. (This is why I'm avoiding looking for work when I probably should, because I expect this is incompatible with most jobs.) Lately a big driver of my lack of sleep has been staying up late (usually all night, actually) to get homework done, due to procrastination mostly by reading about all sorts of interesting stuff online. (I'm pretty sure I've developed ADD too, but I haven't gotten that diagnosed yet.) </digression>   

       // I thought autism involved being flooded with detail, and not being able to extract the meaning? //   

       For me, sometimes, I think might be even more than that: to avoid being overwhelmed with detail, my brain ignores it unless it's sure it's salient, which I guess is what neurotypical brains do too, but mine doesn't always know what's actually salient. It results in not a situation of not seeing the forest for the trees (though that happens to me too) but not seeing the forest due to ignoring the trees. Though I have limited introspection in this area, so I can't really be sure about what I just said.
notexactly, Mar 07 2019
  

       ^ (+)   

       //I think my cortisol works just fine//   

       How nervous are you in new situations ?   

       Let me finish the lone wolf argument for certain brain types; autistic, aspergers, ocd, bipolar (not saying all the previous have the same failure, but there are huge overlaps in the groups).   

       Ok. If we start with the premise that a psychologically impaired individual is basically shutting out the world and is hard to communicate with, then throughout life they rely more on their own perception of reality rather than groupthink. Groupthink for sociable types is often totally sufficient to get by in life without analysing the world and creating a working model.   

       I'll just trot that out again :- By definition, people with limited communication ability are destined to be mostly independent creatures who need a thorough model and understanding of the world to survive as a lone wolf.   

       I would argue that some individuals are DNA programmed e.g. by lack of cortisol re-uptake enzymes to split from the pack, double up on their synapses and spread human DNA further afield. Others predisposed for overconnected brains can be triggered by traumatic events and become lone wolves.   

       Faced with a situation with a glut of new data, there is a lot of stress to digest it for asperger types as understanding situations is a matter of life or death - the individual is responsible for its survival, it can't just shrug and rely on groupthink to pick up the pieces.
bigsleep, Mar 08 2019
  

       In the condition known medically as “being bonkers”, it is frequent to find more than one lone wolf get together until there’s a whole pack of lone wolves. The entire lone wolf pack is highly alert to thinking the opposite of groupthink, and will culturally think the exact opposite all at the same time. They may even dress in a manner that opposes fashion.
Ian Tindale, Mar 08 2019
  

       Note to American readers: being bonkers is not the same as actual bonking.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 08 2019
  

       // How nervous are you in new situations ? //   

       Nowhere near as much anymore as when I was younger. I would estimate it's about average now. I think the main thing that's helped has just been experience with lots of new situations over the years. Now it's pretty much only severe when I'm going into a situation without knowing the structure of it, but even then maybe only half the time.   

       // If we start with the premise that a psychologically impaired individual [oof :)] is basically shutting out the world and is hard to communicate with, then throughout life they rely more on their own perception of reality rather than groupthink. //   

       That seems to maybe make sense for me. There are of course many (must be most) areas where I've just gone with the majority thinking, without even thinking about it, but it subjectively seems that I have insights based on my own perception more often than other people report. But this could just be due to them not reporting it—I don't usually report it either, and these things are hard to judge quantitatively from spontaneous reporting anyway. So I can't be sure either way.   

       // Groupthink for sociable types is often totally sufficient to get by in life without analysing the world and creating a working model. //   

       And it annoys me that so many people do that to the point of reliance on it. I wish they would be more logical, though not in the stereotypical sense of "I want people to behave in ways that make sense to me", but in the sense of thinking more logically, because that leads to better understanding and decisions, which is a good thing for everyone even if I never meet them. Fortunately this seems to be something that can be trained.   

       // I'll just trot that out again :- By definition, people with limited communication ability are destined to be mostly independent creatures who need a thorough model and understanding of the world to survive as a lone wolf. //   

       As I alluded to up top, I certainly do prefer to have a thorough model of the situations in which I (expect to) find myself, and I do sometimes avoid situations due to not having good enough models of them.   

       // I would argue that some individuals are DNA programmed e.g. by lack of cortisol re-uptake enzymes to split from the pack, double up on their synapses and spread human DNA further afield. Others predisposed for overconnected brains can be triggered by traumatic events and become lone wolves. //   

       Interesting. So having excess cortisol circulating, whether due to insufficient reuptake or actual stress, is theorized to be what causes the neurological changes, as a survival response?   

       Before she got me diagnosed, my mom briefly thought it was vaccines that caused it. Fortunately she never got really into that line of thinking.   

       // it is frequent to find more than one lone wolf get together until there’s a whole pack of lone wolves. The entire lone wolf pack is highly alert to thinking the opposite of groupthink, and will culturally think the exact opposite all at the same time. They may even dress in a manner that opposes fashion. //   

       Scientifically proven just recently: [link]   

       I don't think that's the case for me, though, at least at my current level of lack of fame. I see myself as not a deliberate anti- conformist, trying to make a statement, but just a non-conformist, because conforming is uncomfortable and inconvenient. If that turns into a statement, that could be a bonus, but I guess if I'm famous enough for that to have any notable effect, that makes me a trendsetter, which I'm not sure I want to be.
notexactly, Mar 08 2019
  

       Is there actually a cortisol reuptake pathway? I haven't encountered one.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 08 2019
  

       //haven't encountered one//   

       Probably just not frequenting the right clubs [Max], I recommend Slimelights (if it's still going?) you meet all sorts there, pretty sure I met a girl by that name there back in the 90's, if you're lucky she still goes.. if you're really lucky she doesn't but her daughter does.
Skewed, Mar 08 2019
  

       [Skewed], you really need to tweak your dosage.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 08 2019
  

       I know, but they won't let me have any more.
Skewed, Mar 09 2019
  

       He pissed over his photo? Either that’s somewhat immature, or, well, if you’ve got to go, etc.
Ian Tindale, Mar 09 2019
  

       //Is there actually a cortisol reuptake pathway?//   

       Can't find the articles again. With autism its not the cortisol that has a DNA problem but some regulation mechanism.
bigsleep, Mar 10 2019
  
      
[annotate]
  


 

back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle