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Ghost in the Machine

Posted on 23 May 2012 by Jason Chan (Meds 2014)

The heart is a pump. If it fails, an artificial heart can pump in its place. The lungs are balloons. When breathing is insufficient, a ventilator can inflate them. Mechanical models provide simple ways to understand organs and organ systems. They are also the basis of interventions that can be used when organs stop working. Is there a model for the brain?

Neurons and the nervous system function with inputs, processing and outputs. Neurons connect with each other to form circuits. They generate electric currents through action potential propagation. Myelinated axons can be likened to insulated wires. With all these characteristics, the brain can be thought of as a computer. Continue Reading

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