Jeff Hawkins, author of On Intelligence with Sandra Blakeslee, presented the Oppenheimer lecture in Los Alamos, NM, on July 27, 2009.
Some of the key points from Hawkins’ lecture:
- The relatively-large neocortex is the primary characteristic that makes humans unique from other species.
- Neurons, or nerve cells, form and structure spatial and temporal (sequenced, ordered) patterns that results in your sensory experiences. These experiences are based on your “model of the world” that your brain has created.
- Your brain: 1) discovers causes in the world; 2) infers from new or unfamiliar patterns; 3) predicts the future in terms of expectations; 4) creates or initiates motor behavior.
- The firing of neurons in all their complexity of connections and networks, structured in spatial and temporal patterns, represents the “currency” of the brain. Hawkins: “Your perception of the world is really a fabrication of your model of the world. You don’t really see light or sound. You perceive it because your model says this is the way the world is, and those patterns invoke the model.”
Posted with permission of the J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee.