A Question About the Cortex


—“Does the commensurability of the edge of the cerebral cortex require fractal geometry, like a coastline? Does it have self similarity?”—The Nationalist @Nationalist7346


  1. the outer layer of the cortex is just a couple of mm thick; consists two functions (what,where), using six layers; divided into columns and modules (groups of columns); homogenous in structure but differing in neural density by physical origin of nerves that enter them.

  2. So no it’s not fractal: the average size of a human cortex, if laid out flat would be approximately the size of a dinner napkin, and just as thick. The rest of the neocortex consists entirely of white matter (nerve fibers: axons) which connect everything to everything.

  3. With the hippocampus consolidating and organizing information, and then using rehearsal (replay) to encode episodes of memory, and thalamus controlling attention (what gets thru to the neocortex for computation, and basal ganglia that surrounds both releasing physical actions.

  4. Most of the advanced functions of the brain consist of these three ‘levers’ and the natural increase in reflection created by increasing brain size, from back (senses) to front (permuting, planning, manipulating). So the brain functions as a series of loops (operating system)

  5. That recursively process a moment of information and merge it with the next moment of information in a continuous stream which we can ‘buffer’ with a half life of just a few seconds, and no more than twenty or so. By Comparison of these moments we discern change in state.

  6. When people say the brain isn’t a computer they’re only a tiny bit right. It does operate in binary (on off) and frequency (hertz), and by competition for attention but with unimaginable numbers of connections in unimaginable parallel, in a continuous loop (OS).