APR 18, 2018 6:09 AM PDT

Digital or Analog?


The brain is frequently compared to a computer. Indeed, research shows that the mind is faster and more powerful than any computer that currently, exists. With billions of neurons, synapses and electrical signals flying around, it's a body part that isn't likely to ever be entirely recreated artificially. A philosophy professor at the University of Kansas has received a National Science Foundation Scholar Award to research a book on how the neural processes in the brain might be more analog than digital. Corey Maley, received the grant of $155, 121 that he will use to travel to conferences and science meetings to speak with researchers, other philosophers and even mathematicians and physicists on whether or not the brain is analog or digital.

Digital computers are binary, a system of 1s and 0s that make code. The brain is similar, with voltage spikes that ebb and flow, but in the brain, there is more variation in these spikes. It's not just on or off, as a binary or digital system works. Maney believes that the brain is more like the original analog computers. While those have fallen by the wayside, the way the brain works is quite similar to how computations are done on analog computers. While philosophy and neuroscience don't often overlap, understanding how the brain works is essential to treating brain injury or illness, so in this way, looking at it philosophically could advance our understanding of the brain.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JUL 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
How Do Astronauts Have Fun in Space?
JUL 20, 2020
How Do Astronauts Have Fun in Space?
Scientists who inhabit the International Space Station (ISS) typically have 12-hour shifts. These include two and a half ...
JUL 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Reveal the Biggest-Ever 3D Map of the Universe
JUL 26, 2020
Scientists Reveal the Biggest-Ever 3D Map of the Universe
After five years of research, an international team over 100 astrophysicists from around 30 institutions worldwide has r ...
AUG 20, 2020
Health & Medicine
Studying the World's Deadliest Animal
AUG 20, 2020
Studying the World's Deadliest Animal
Imagine hundreds of mosquitoes feeding on your arm for the sake of research! This is one unique aspect fueling the work ...
AUG 20, 2020
Health & Medicine
New Method to Detect Microplastics in Human Tissues
AUG 20, 2020
New Method to Detect Microplastics in Human Tissues
Microplastics make headlines frequently these days, and a discovery from Arizona State University (ASU) researchers is b ...
OCT 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Ultra-hot Exoplanet Vaporizes Iron in its Atmosphere
OCT 09, 2020
Ultra-hot Exoplanet Vaporizes Iron in its Atmosphere
Researchers from the University of Bern in Germany have found that an exoplanet, known as WASP-121b, is so hot that it c ...
NOV 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Detect Origin of Fast Radio Burst in Milky Way
NOV 07, 2020
Scientists Detect Origin of Fast Radio Burst in Milky Way
Scientists have identified a burst of cosmic radio waves- intense flashes of radio emission that last just a few millise ...
Loading Comments...