"The mind is a compact, multiply connected thought mass with internal connections of the most intimate kind. It grows continuously as new thought masses enter it, and this is the means by which it continues to develop."

Bernhard Riemann On Psychology and Metaphysics ca. 1860

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Riemann's Foresight on the Mind Brain Problem


Experience shapes the brain's circuitry throughout adulthood

June 15, 2010

The adult brain, long considered to be fixed in its wiring, is in fact remarkably dynamic. Neuroscientists once thought that the brain's wiring was fixed early in life, during a critical period beyond which changes were impossible. Recent discoveries have challenged that view, and now, research by scientists at Rockefeller University suggests that circuits in the adult brain are continually modified by experience.

Bernhard Riemann wrote in his philosophical papers in the mid to late 1800's of what he called "thought masses." That is, that all thoughts had a correlative formation of mass in the brain. In this sort of thinking he was a student of Fechner, who he quotes in these same remnants. Riemann revolutionized mathematical physics leading directly to Einstein's breakthroughs. It seems, he was equally prescient in his outlook on the mind brain problem. His model of space a determined by the evolving curvature of an N+1 dimensional manifold certainly applies most profoundly to this arena.

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