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Goals and Rewards Redraw the Brain’s Map of the World (quantamagazine.org)
145 points by Osiris30 76 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments




Have you seen this?

A compressed sensing perspective of hippocampal function

Abstract: Hippocampus is one of the most important information processing units in the brain. Input from the cortex passes through convergent axon pathways to the downstream hippocampal subregions and, after being appropriately processed, is fanned out back to the cortex. Here, we review evidence of the hypothesis that information flow and processing in the hippocampus complies with the principles of Compressed Sensing (CS). The CS theory comprises a mathematical framework that describes how and under which conditions, restricted sampling of information (data set) can lead to condensed, yet concise, forms of the initial, subsampled information entity (i.e., of the original data set). In this work, hippocampus related regions and their respective circuitry are presented as a CS-based system whose different components collaborate to realize efficient memory encoding and decoding processes. This proposition introduces a unifying mathematical framework for hippocampal function and opens new avenues for exploring coding and decoding strategies in the brain.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4126371/


this mechanism also could underly apathies like privilege blindness--having the world seemingly match your expectations makes you unaware of how it can be skewed in your favor and against others.


Most likely the gap happens because, on the one hand:

1. The privileged do not see enough actual evidence of the lack of privilege — for example all those little or big moments when someone who doesn’t have the privilege has a much harder time

and on the other hand:

2. The people who seek to speak on behalf of the underprivileged group as a whole tend to play up the claims of hardship and bias, often using anecdotal evidence or partial explanations while ignoring or dismissing out of hand rebuttals to their assertions.

The truth is somewhere in between. The best way, in my opinion, to call attention the plight of a group of people is to massively document what is being spoken about, and show the disproportionality. It is tempting to cherrypick isolated incidents and blow them up into a global narrative. That’s what mainstream media in all countries does, including (funny enough) some Russian and North Korean media claiming the US is building internment camps for its citizens, or US seizing on isolated extreme incidents and alleging there are millions of them (in China, for example). We absolutely need a platform for regular people to document claims at scale. Not Wikileaks, but for regular people. End to end encrypted, anonymous but with reputations, and able to aggregate videos under different topics.


Another area this would be interesting to do more research would be agoraphobes, and/or people who stay in their bedrooms playing video games all day long. Wonder what the reward terrain would be like from their perspective.


This is completely expected, important and very easy to overlook.


Nice way to put it. I was struggling to articulate what parts of this seem brutally obvious with a moment's introspection, and what parts felt like a very significant (and nonobvious) tie-in with physical mechanisms.


Thank you for the info. Very interesting.




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