Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Neuroscientist Michael Weliky learned something interesting about mammalian neural activity when he had 12 ferrets watch The Matrix. As Weliky summarizes,
It's one thing to say a ferret's understanding of reality is being reproduced inside his brain, but there's nothing to say that our understanding of the world is accurate. In a way, our neural structure imposes a certain structure on the outside world, and all we know is that at least one other mammalian brain seems to impose the same structure. Either that or The Matrix freaked out the ferrets the way it did everyone else.
(For the record, I disagree with the concept of consciousness "imposing a structure on the outside world", but I found the article entertaining nonetheless.) Via GMSV.