Posted by: thoughtflashes | April 2, 2010

How We Think | How People Think | How Humans Think

I was reading an interesting autobiography of Nicola Tesla, one of the greatest inventors / electrical engineers in history at the following web page: http://robinchew.com/library/96jul/teslaautobio.html

In his autobiography, Tesla noted that we think or act according to the senses that we perceive from the external world.  For example, he found that if he just saw something, he would later actually think about what he had just saw.  Therefore, he found that it seems that human action and thinking are to some extent, if not largely, influenced or controlled by external stimuli.

More recently, Jeff Hawkins, founder of Palm, came to similar conclusions on how the neocortex, the new brain that differentiates mammals from lower organisms such as reptiles, works.  Hawkins realized that the neocortex first must learn and take in a large amount of information before it could function well and make predictions about how the world works.   The following is the first part of his lecture on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oozFn2d45tg

Hawkins has also formed a company, Numenta, to apply his discoveries on how the brain works to create a platform for various computing applications: http://www.numenta.com/ . The platform is currently free to download and develop.

One other important aspect of how we think through the neocortex is the integration between the left side of our brain, or the rational thinking part, with the right side of our brain, or the creativity part.  These two parts of our brain help humans innovate, create original ideas, and analyze the world in which we live.  Finally, our emotions as part of our subconscious mind feed us emotions so that we have feelings.

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