TED Conversations

George Holevas

Student in Chemical Engineering, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

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Do you believe the human brain will continue to increase its capabilities?

According to neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran's TED talk, "The neurons that shaped civilization", a sudden emergence and rapid spread of a number of skills that are unique to human beings occurred 75k to 100k years ago. These defining skills include the use of tools, fire, shelter, language, and the ability to interpret a person's behavior.

He attributes the rapid development of these skills to a sudden emergence of a sophisticated mirror neuron system. Mirror nuerons are a relatively recent discovered set of neurons that fire when an animal either performs an action or observes that same action performed by another, essentially allowing us to emulate and imitate each other's actions.

Ramachandran speculates that this brain development was incredibly beneficial to the progression of mankind because it allowed an accidental discovery by one member of the group, such as use of fire or a particular kind of tool, to spread horizontally across the population and then transmit vertically down the generations. This temporarily made evolution Lamarckian instead of Darwinian, meaning that acquired traits over a lifetime could be passed down to offspring via emulation instead of relying on Darwinian evolution which could take hundreds of thousands of years.

The question I would like to pose is, might our brains (collectively as a species) soon experience such a new type of development once again? If so, what new skills could this more sophisticated neuron system facilitate our ability to perform, considering trends in globalization, collaboration etc (e.g. collaborative tasks across geographies, learning multiple languages more quickly etc )? Has the brain's full potential already been unleashed? Or will it perpetually continue to develop more complex neural permutations?


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    Mar 7 2013: We write our own script. My believe will help me continue to increase its capabilities. It will be an example for others and it is the process how human evolve. Engineering of Psychoware & Somatoware is going to be industry of Future. It will change education, religion, politics, health, finance and whole dimension of life. It is total solution for all walks of life and beyond. We are gifted bio computer.
    Nature proposes and disposes us.
    Untouchable part of existence is psychoware and touchable part of existence is somatoware.
    Life energy, emotion, wisdom, skill, attitude are untouchable part of life, it is psychoware. Body and whole touchable existence is somatoware.
    Religion, Philosophy, Tradition and Culture are operating system of life, same as windows or linex in computer.
    Five sensory organs are our input and output device, same as monitor or keyboard etc in computer.
    Mind works as information transformator, it convert information time and information space in real time and real space.
    Orgon energy, say PRAN in Indian mysticism is power to the bio computer.
    It is blend of our emotional expression and bio electrical charges on the surface of our skin at the time of emotion.
    Miracles happen in our life when we are full of this energy and mind is working on something creative information to convert it in reality.
    We are living in a connected human network globally, it is more powerful then www network.
    We are constantly and continue changing or upgrading own bio computer through eye contacts, skin contacts, ear contacts, nose contacts, tongue contact.
    Our teachers in school, parents at home, friends while we feel alone, media attack all are responsible for what we are today.
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      Mar 7 2013: Hi Suresh,
      Your analogy is incredible to think about. Every aspect of our physical and non physical bodies can be paralleled by man made computer terminology. But, are we really upgrading our own bio computer through the sensory input we receive from the environment? Or just downloading new information? I can download a new advanced software on my computer and one might call it "smarter", however, my computer had the ability to run that software from the day I bought it. Is it really possible to upgrade for instance, the motherboard, or processor of our bio-computers? Thank you for your comment! The analogy presents a pathway for a new and fresh way to look at the question posed.

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        Mar 8 2013: George Holevas,
        Software installation and data input are to different activity in computer. Software installation is extension/expansion of capacity. Development of hardware like speed of processor or invention of 3D printer or New dimension of Computing like electrochromic technology is revolution in hardware. These all are interdependent. Human interface is a greatest venue of development. Same is here in Psychoware and Somatoware, some installation depends upon our configuration of somatoware. It take generations to develop some capacities. Mutants and superhuman are an example on this planet. And sure it is possible to change your configuration of somatoware and psychoware with some Technics it is real spirituality. In india we call religion "Sanatan Dharam". It means constant up-gradation of psychoware and somatoware unto ultimate freedom from time and space.

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