Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Anthill of the Brain

A brain is like an anthill. Tiny neurons are the ants, performing their circumscribed tasks in a manner determined by the role they were born to serve. They look no farther than their nearest neighbors, they understand nothing of the larger structure that results from their persistent action. Although there are an enormous variety of tasks to perform, each neuron, like each ant, can do a limited number of tasks, each in a limited way. And yet complexity emerges, in an anthill as in a brain, in ways that cannot be predicted.

From "The Evolving Brain," Chaper 1

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