First step to preserving conciousness – Sebastian Seung: I am my connectome


One of the most intriguing topics in life extension is Neuroscience. In this amazing TED talk Sebastian Seung, Professor of Computational Neuroscience at MIT, tells a story about what may actually be our self – the connectome. The term reffers to the entity of all the connections between neurons in our brain.
Professor Sueng is trying to map the incredibly complex network of neurons by analyzing the images of thin slices of the brain and identifying neural patways.

I’d like to draw your attention to a couple of ideas that are bought up by the researcher.

First of all, he mentioned other people saying the task is too complex and it’s basicly impossible to accomplish. There! This is exactly what is constantly happening to people – they loose hope on solving really complicated problems. No wonder radical life extension is considered an impossible task to implement, but in fact it’s not. It’s just nobody takes into account the acceleration of the scientific progress and the exponential growth of knowledge.

Sebastian Seung says: “Some day, a fleet of miscoscopes will capture every neuron and every synapse in a vast database of images. And some day, artificially intelligent supercomputers will analyze the images without human assistance to summarize them in a connectome. I do not know, but I hope that I will live to see that day.” This is one of the technological challenges, but the problem is finite. There is a finite number of neurons in the brain and a finite number of connections between them. I have no doubt that the problem will be solved in the not-very-distant future.

The other issue is the importance of Professor Seung’s work to radical life extension. Consciousness is believed to be determined by the connectome. If we learn how to preserve our it after the death of the body then we basicly can live forever. Possibly, that can be done by uploading it to a computer. Mapping the neuronal network is the first step to preserving the most precious thing we have – our conciousness.

3 Comments

Filed under Transhumanism

3 responses to “First step to preserving conciousness – Sebastian Seung: I am my connectome

  1. Ceorl Onlyone

    Maria, Thank you for sharing this. Indeed, everything is impossible until someone actually does it. The only absolutely impossible problems are the ones we don’t try to solve.

    Professor Seung’s explanation of connectomes was wonderfully understandable even to a layman like me. When I think of even the current state of virtual worlds, coupled with this model for identity, it really begins to look like a narrowing gap.

  2. Pingback: The Connectome and Radical Life Extension | techyum ::

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