Jimmy's Reviews > I of the Vortex: From Neurons to Self

I of the Vortex by Rodolfo R. Llinás
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's review
Oct 01, 10

it was amazing
bookshelves: cognitive-science, neurobiology
Read from September 02 to October 01, 2010


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Reading Progress

09/05/2010 page 21
09/12/2010 page 93
35.0% "The chapter on nerve cells and their personalities was fascinating. I never knew that Portugese man-o'-war were actually cell colonies made up of genetically related cells, or "super-organisms". So many interesting insights on nervous systems and their relationship with the external world."
09/29/2010 page 206
78.0% ""We may feel a touch slighted by the fact that the self is fundamentally just a convenient structure on the part of the nervous system to centralize coordinate its predictive properties. We, our egos, also may feel a little deflated by the fact that learning, and subsequently what goes into memory, comes from the honing of properties that are already present in our nervous systems at birth."" 1 comment
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Jimmy I'm going to start this soon. I'm so excited about reading this book; gonna nerd the fuck out on this shit.

message 2: by Dick (new) - added it

Dick O_o looks straight, good look, playboy ;).

message 3: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Sep 02, 2010 04:53PM) (new) - added it

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I might have already sent you this...


(There's so much good stuff on that site.)

Jimmy Looks like he edited a collection of essays with Patricia Churchland.

Jimmy MyFleshSingsOut wrote: "I might have already sent you this...


(There's so much good stuff on that site.)"

Thanks for the link, Josh. It's extremely helpful, not to mention immensely interesting.

Jimmy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s95rfG...

The sea squirt is used as an example in order to illustrate Llinas' idea that the evolutionary development of a nervous system is an "exclusive property of actively moving creatures". So far he has declared himself to be a monist, and the focus of chapter one is the way in which neurons fire causing locomotion or muscle movements in response to their external environments. Also, how neurons function to cause muscles to move on their own. Haven't quite cracked the surface of his argument or thesis yet, but so far this is a fascinating book.

Jimmy Llina's makes an interesting case against the Tabula Rasa argument through a focus on the predictive properties of the brain and the connection between physical movement and the external world. The importance of FAPs (fixed action patterns) are also stress throughout the latter half of the book. This has been a truly dense, fascinating, controversial read so far. I'm excited about the chapter on qualia, and hopefully I'll be able to share the basic thrust of the argument with everyone. It's been a challenging read though. Josh, you should find a copy soon.

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