Michael Levin: "Non-neural, developmental bioelectricity as a precursor for cognition"

:woozy_face: :face_with_spiral_eyes: :exploding_head:

Oct 11, 2021

Plenary Talk by Michael Levin on “Non-neural, developmental bioelectricity as a precursor for cognition: Evolution, synthetic organisms, and biomedicine” at the Virtual Miniature Brain Machinery Retreat, September 16, 2021. Introduction by William Baker. Michael Levin Director of the Allen Discovery Center Tufts University.

Seems to me that pretty well blows up Chalmer’s charming Hard Problem - time for philosophers to start from scratch and up their game, it’s not the Middle Ages anymore. :yum:
Amazing and fascinating, fascinating hell, utterly mind blowing from the perspective of better appreciation our bodies and the pageant of evolution that created us and all its folds within folds.

Write, here’s one reason why I don’t like the grand answers or that laser focus on microtubules, there’s so much in between that we still don’t understand.
Check it out,

The next frontier for studying brain development and function lies in rationally deciphering, harnessing, and engineering the living 3D brain. The Miniature Brain Machinery (MBM) Program is an NSF-funded research traineeship that combines cognitive and behavior studies with brain cell and tissue biology studies to train the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce in advancing discovery.

We target PhD students with strong quantitative skills who are motivated to learn across the disciplines of neuroscience and engineering. Trainees work with our faculty and incorporate some form of research on brain organoids into their studies.

Amazing but also terrifying, because ruthless madmen will be playing with this science as the technology improves.

I shall and come back to discuss it.

Off-hand I see no reason to dismiss the “dipolar” microtubule as a bioelectric processor. It is what they do! There is no other conduit.

Note that microtubules do not need neurons to communicate and transport electrochemical data at an intra-cellular and inter-cellular level.
This non-neural communication at quantum levels is what intrigued Roger Penrose.

It is in effect what I have already been discussing.
Brainless, neuronless, single-celled organisms displaying signs of memory and rudimentary decision-making.

But hopefully, this new perspective may reinforce my conceptualization.
Exciting times!!!