August 19, 2022

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Why are we smarter than other species

Why are we smarter than other species

Current theoretical models describe the brain as a Distributed Information Processing System: It has various components, which are closely connected through brain wires. To interact with each other, the regions exchange information through a system of input and output signals.

How is the information processed?

In a study published in Nature Neuroscience, it was determined that “there is no single type of information processing in the brain,” and How is it treated It varies between humans and other primates.

In this regard, concepts have been taken from the mathematical framework of information theory, studying the measurement, storage, and communication of digital information important to technologies such as the Internet and artificial intelligence. From this, it was found that different areas of the brain use different strategies to interact with each other.

Some areas of the brain exchange information with others in a very modular way, using inputs and outputs. This ensures that the signals are transmitted frequently and reliably. This is the case for areas specialized for sensory and motor functions (eg processing of sound, visual, and movement information).

Think of the eyes, for example, which send signals to the back of the brain for processing. Most of the information that is transmitted is repeated, and provided by each eye.

In other words, half of this information is not necessary. So we call this type of input-output information processing “frequent”.

But repetition provides Durability and reliability: This allows us to continue to see with only one eye. This ability is essential for survival. In fact, it is so important that the connections between these brain regions are anatomically connected in the brain, like a landline phone.

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However, not all the information provided by the eyes is redundant. The combination of information from both eyes finally allows the brain to process Depth and distance between objects. This is the basis for many types of 3D glasses in cinema.

brain synergy

We call the type of information processing, when complex signals from different brain networks are integrated, “Synergy”. Synergistic processing is more prevalent in areas of the brain that support a wide range of more complex cognitive functions, such as Attention, learning, working memory, and social and numerical cognition.

These areas where a great deal of synergy occurs, especially in the front and middle part of the cortex (the outer layer of the brain), integrate different sources of information from across the brain. Therefore, it is intensely and effectively connected to the rest of the brain from areas that deal with primary sensory and movement-related information.

High synergistic areas that support information integration also tend to have many synapses, the microscopic connections that allow neurons to communicate.

This ability to synthesize and generate information through complex networks in the brain is quite different between humans and other primates, which are evolutionarily close to us.

In fact, synergistic interactions have been found responsible for a greater proportion of the total flow of information in the human brain than in the brains of macaques.

This led to the conclusion that additional human brain tissue, acquired as a result of evolution, may be dedicated primarily to it Synergy.