Norman Allan
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Norman Allan : the story


Chapter 3: bafflement, the mind (and homeopathy): footnotes (cont'd)


16A: "mirror neurons" were discovered in the 1980s/90s by Italian neurophysiologists recording single cells in monkey "premotor cortex", neurons specialized for control of hand and mouth actions. Serendipitously, they found cells that fired not only when the monkey picked up a piece of food, but also when the experimenters picked up that piece of food! Cells that respond to an action, seen or done.
16B action and intention neurons: cells that respond to food picked up to eat, but not picked up to be put away, and visa versa, cells responding to food grasped to be put away, but not food grasped to be eaten.
16C intention and idea neurons: "… a mirror neuron which fires when the monkey rips a piece of paper would also fire when the monkey sees a person rip paper, or hears paper ripping (without visual cues)."
Humans: evidence from fMRI (and rare single neuron exploration) suggests that humans have analogous neurons, and that they exist all over the brain, not just in the premotor cortex where they were originally seen in monkeys.)

*. in the mid twentieth century.

**. at Sussex University, so we were living in Brighton

***. chick of the domestic fowl

17. the chick's vocal repertoire (I found) could be modeled as a primarily two dimensional field, the two variables being approach avoidance (footnote within footnote: desire/aversion : like/dislike : pleasure/pain) and intensity/forcefulness of the breath. (There is also a single step expression in a third dimension/parameter, speed of arousal - that is, with startle, they trill) (see

18.originally the work of St. Laudis, a scientist working in Beneviniste's lab.

19. this is the only image I could find on google.

20. to begin with, looking at the electrical behaviour of acupuncture points and then of healing wounds.

21. Davenas et al: Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE: Nature, vol 333, p.816-818, 30th June 1988.

22. "the truth": its as like as not that we are little bubbles of the divine, and that I and I am He.

23. wikisays: In 1887, mathematicians Ernst Bruns and Henri Poincaré showed that there is no general analytical solution for the three-body problem given by algebraic expressions and integrals. The motion of three bodies is generally non-repeating, except in special cases.

24. wikisays: the output of a nonlinear system is not directly proportional to the input


26. wiki gives another beautiful example: snowflakes!

27. Langton devised this "puzzle" in 1986.

28. wikisays: category error, is a semantic or ontological error in which things belonging to a particular category are presented as if they belong to a different category, or, alternatively, a property is ascribed to a thing that could not possibly have that property. ... minds are not the sort of things that can be said to be diseased or ill because they belong to the wrong category and that "illness" is a term that can only be ascribed to things like the body; saying that the mind is ill is a misuse of words. Another example is the metaphor "time crawled", which if taken literally is not just false but a category mistake.

29. These are mostly Ken Wilber's words from "Eye to Eye", but I have edited them freely in an attempt to understand them.