Connectome, by Sebastian Seung is One of the most eagerly awaited scientific books of the year intellectually exhilarating, beautifully written, exquisitely precise yet still managing to be inspirational Irish Times What really makes us who we are In this groundbreaking book, pioneering neuroscientist Sebastian Seung shows that our identity does not lie in our genes, but in the connections between our brain cells our own particular wiring, or connectomes.Everything about us emotions, thoughts, memories is encoded in these tangled patterns of neural connections, and now Seung and a dedicated team are mapping them in order to uncover the basis of personality, explain disorders such as autism and depression, and even enable us to upload our brains This book reveals the secrets of the brain, showing how our connectome makes each of us uniquely ourselves With the first person flavour of James Watson s Double Helix, Connectome gives a sense of the excitement on the cutting edge of neuroscience New Scientist Witty and exceptionally clear beautifully explained the best lay book on brain science I ve ever read Wall Street Journal Seung is about to revolutionise brain science The Times The reader is swept along with his enthusiasm The New York TimesSebastian Seung is Professor of Computational Neuroscience at MIT and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute He has made important advances in robotics, neuroscience, neuroeconomics, and statistical physics His research has been published in leading scientific journals, and also featured in The New York Times, Technology Review, and The Economist....
|Title||:||Connectome: How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are|
|Publisher||:||Penguin 6 Juni 2013|
|Number of Pages||:||384 Seiten|
|File Size||:||972 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Connectome: How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are Reviews
Prof. Seung kann sehr gut und klar erklären, die Idee der Connectome ist gut begründet und logisch sinnvoll und consistent. Der Grundmechanismus wird einleuchtend dargestellt. Meiner Meinung nach wird zu viel Gewicht auf die Messmethoden und deren Erklärung gelegt; dies kann man nachschauen, oder gehört in den Appendix. Es fehlen mir mehr Beispiele und Diagramme für mögliche (oder bereits bekannte!) Connectome. Und es fehlt etwas der Bezug (oder die Abgrenzung!) zu den Netzwerkanalysen, wie sie von Olaf Sporns durchgeführt werden; diese könnten auch Grundlagen für die Connectome sein, wenn sie nicht sogar massiv überlappen.
Moderne Technik macht völlig neue EInblicke in bisher verborgene Winkel unserer Existenz möglich. Anschaulich erklärt der Autor (auf englisch) sein Hypothese, dass wenn man die "Verdrahtung" des Hirns kennt, man auch die Funktion ermitteln und ggf. wie im "Human Brain Project" der EU nachbauen kann.Für Leser mit gutem Verständnis für Logik, Biologie und Programmierung.
Seung does not claim too much. He deftly describes the possibilities and the challenges in researching one of the universes most complex achievements: the brain. Like networks of every ilk throughout nature, the brain is greater than the sum of its parts. It exhibits behaviours and patterns that would be impossible to predict through an understanding of the individual components that comprise it. The term "Superorganism" has been applied to insect colonies such as ants and bees, yet the human brain is itself a superorganism, comprised of billions of neurons and trillions of connections. Discovering the secrets of how human intelligence emerges might well provide the tools to understanding the very reality we inhabit. A fascinating journey, that with a little luck, we may yet live to see!
Who are we? What are we? Dualists take the position that the mind is separate from the brain, while monists say they are the same thing. The connectome presents an intriguing third option: the mind is not the brain per se, but rather the way that the neurons are connected. Sebastian Seung presents this using everyday language, relating the effects to everyday occurrences and meaning. Your genes determine how your body grows from an egg to an adult. Your connectome is determined only partially by your genes, and quite a bit larger part by your experiences. It is almost a platitude: your experiences make you what you are, but in this book we have a clear explanation of why and how that works.Part I starts by looking at the history of brain science. Phrenology, the study of the shape of the skull, is a largely discredited pseudoscience, but Seung teases us with the idea that phrenology at least promoted the idea that certain kinds of mental processing is associated with certain parts of the brain. Brain size has always been a historical fascination, but it is the structure that is important, not the size. Penfield's sensory homunculus maps specific sensory functions to specific parts of the brain. Phantom senses from amputated limbs can be found in this mapping.Part II starts with the building blocks: neurons, how they function, how they grow, and most importantly how they connect. Seung's unconventional style leads us to the 'Jennifer Aniston neuron' which apparently we all have. It is a specific neuron that is triggered when we recognize Jennifer Aniston. Similar neurons exist for all other specific concepts that we have come to know. This brings him to an explanation of how memory works. Neurons are triggered or inhibited through their connections. The repeated firing of neurons at the same time cause neurons to create new synapses -- new connections that are the basis for long term memory. Learning is then simply the making of new connections between neurons. The way we perceive the world, and the way we remember what happened to us in the past, all comes from the pattern of connections between the neurons. The future of psychiatry is destined to be reduced to a new field called connectopathy: the ways that the connectome might be mis-wired.However, connections are not simply binary on-off mechanisms. The connectome in changed through four different mechanisms which he calls the four R's of connectome change: reweighting, reconnection, rewiring, and regeneration.Part IV shifts to more practical matters: how can we measure and study the connectome? He surveys the various means for solidifying the brain, slicing it, photographing, recognizing the structures, and tracing the path of nerves and how they are connected. For a worm with 302 neurons this has been done, but this is hardly a practical approach for humans-scale brains. MRI and other techniques allow studying living brains. It is all a bit too course grained for now, because while understanding the function of regions of the brain is important, it is the actual specific connections between specific neurons that form actual intelligence. Technology allow for increasingly fine observations, and increasingly massive data result sets, and it would appear that some day it may be possible to map your connectome.Part V concludes the book with some interesting speculation that is sure to please the science fiction fans among us: can we achieve immortality through scientific means? First, can we freeze or pickle ourselves and be revived in the far future when death has been cured? Second, can we be uploaded to a software simulation of the brain. If the connectome can be fully traced in an individual, there is no reason that a simulation of the nerves would not produce a running facsimile of that individual with all their memories and skills. However, that copy of the person would be that: a copy, and not the original individual. It would make no sense to desire that a copy of ourselves achieves immortality, however some connectomes are wired to be insanely egocentric, and just might decide to do it anyway.One tidy book brings us up to date on the state of neurology -- at least at a level that can be understood without a background in neurology. The book has to dispel a lot of myths and historical pseudoscience. It also makes it clear that we are still just at the beginning of the journey of understanding how the connectome achieves its most baffling result: a sense of consciousness.
I expected Sebastian Sung's book to teach me the latest information about the brain. But the author's intent was to make the text accessible to the general public and to tell a story more than to teach useful facts. The text is largely about historical brain theories going back to Aristotle. Professor Seung presents some facts but largely hypothesizes and postulates about what could be next steps in research, or what could be the brain's mechanisms - in other words, a lot of what-if scenarios. His stated goal (p. 277) was to empty his cup so that it could be filled, but he seemed to empty the cup over and over again, repeating the same information. And yet, he did not supply a basic helpful tool such as a drawing of an axon versus a dendrite.I felt he could have made his points in 20 pages; I took only a half-page of notes on an almost 300 page book. I expected a more academic treatment, but even though he includes a lengthy bibliography, he makes no actual citations, so i can't easily reference the original sources. By background, Professor Seung is a theoretical physicist, but in "Connectome" he seems to be a non-practicing theoretical neuroscientist. Why should we care.
Connectome, by Sebastian Seung is a discussion of modern neuroscience from the perspective of the neuron. It combines some philosophy with cutting edge neuroscience techniques and considers the possibilities of the future. If one is interested in how the mind works, where science of the mind is going and what potentials future research hold, this is a must read. The author's research is very broad in topic and far reaching in its potential to give insight into the working of the mind. This is very much a broad strokes account rather than scientifically rigorous but it is hard not to get excited about the future of the authors research from this book.The author breaks down the book into 5 sections tackling different ideas. He starts out discussing the size of brains and the weak correlations between intelligence and brain size. He gives evidence that there is a correlation of size of brain and with intelligence- but is careful to remind the reader that correlation and causation are not the same thing. In addition, ideas about the mapping of actions and skills to certain brain regions is discussed - ie speaking with one part of the brain hearing with another. From the first theories of mind, the author bridges to the second part of the book which is the theory of mind from the perspective of the neuron. The theory of mind from the perspective of the neuron is the more evolved theory and the one the author is currently doing his own research on. The author continues on to discuss nature and nurture and the way the environment impacts the formation of our brains. He brings up the examples of children brought up in the wild or isolated from human contact who are unable to change when they are discovered and tried to be incorporated in human society. In particular the development of the mind has environmental prerequisits that are life stage dependent. The author then discusses connections in the brain in greater detail and how they are formed, revitalized and change over time. Understanding how neural connections work and are maintained is critical for understanding the mind. The author ends with a discussion of cryogenics and the science of it. It is an interesting philosophical and practical discussion of the permanence of the mind and what is needed for it.Connectome is very interesting and will excite the public about current fields of neuroscience. The author is in the process of trying to map the full connectome (connection of neurons) of rats. An enourmous feat given the exponentially growing complexity associated with the mapping of neurons. I enjoyed the book and think its a worthwile read, my only hesitation in giving it 5 stars it is light on science relative to such recent books as Kandel - In Search of Memory. It is more of a speculation on what the future of neuroscience holds than a discussion of what the author is specifically doing in detail. But that minor point aside, it is enjoyable and highly interesting.