>Process to information

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The metaphor of the brain as an information processor, in this computer era we live in, is inevitable.

– The brain is like a computer. It processes information.

There are sufferings (migraine, fibromyalgia) characterized by chronic or repetitive pain in which no alterations that explain properly the symptoms are found. The sufferer is given diagnostic labels, obscure hypotheses about its origin and insufficient relief remedies.

Experts have just found molecular alterations that suggest that something wrong happens in the neural network and use the metaphor.

The brain processes information wrong. Turns banal stimuli into painful. Everything becomes pain.

If someone is interested in the information itself, in its quality, the experts say …

– There is not much information. We should organize sensitization campaigns, explain clearly the obscurities of the problem.

– I inform you: migraine, fibromyalgia… are diseases with a mysterious origin, they have no cure …

The sufferers feel relieved when they’re given a label, to later plunge into despair when they realize that the information condemns them to live in a body governed by a pathological brain, sick, making daily life a living hell.

– Your brain processes information wrong. It’s hyper-excitable, sensitive. Genes, emotions, stress… have made it that way.

The sufferers don’t ask about information. Neither do experts, of course. They are “the parents of the child”.

Perhaps some rambling mind could be skeptical about this.

– Couldn’t it be that the problem is in the information? I don’t know… Sorry, don’t misunderstand me… but couldn’t it be that the information is not… let’s say… good?

– Our information is scientific. From science, we know that we know nothing but we are identifying molecules that don’t measure up.

– It occurs to me that, well… thinking about computers… that brains have… viruses. A brain is like a computer, connected to a network in which information flows freely.

– Well… that happens in movies. In the real brain there are only molecules: serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, endorphins, endocannabinoids, glutamate, genes… of course, there are no chips or circuits. We are not robots.

– Should I confide then in your information as an expert?

– It is the best possible one.

Is the brain really the responsible one? Does it process badly the best possible information? Or maybe, this is just an idea… could it be that it processes excellently the worst possible information?

– Are you suggesting that we are the experts the problem? That we should be processed?

– It was just a hypothesis …

>Hazardness

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When someone is about to pick up a pot, one of the following can happen…:

1) took the pot and got burned

2) took the pot and moved the hand away quickly to avoid getting burned

3) moved the hand away quickly from the hot pot when the person was about to pick it up and someone said: “be careful, it burns!”

4) did not dare to pick up the pot because sometimes they burn

In situations 1 and 2, thermal harmfulness sensors of vigilant neurons (nociceptors) have identified such harmfulness and created pain and the reflex response of moving away.

In situation 1 the person got burned (necrosis). The pain lasts for a few days while the injury is being repaired. Its function is to protect the repair process.

In situation 2, the pain, the reflex response of moving away and the fact that the temperature of the pot wasn’t high enough have avoided the burn. The pain goes away after a few seconds. The skin is intact.

In situation 3, the information about the temperature of the pot at that moment causes the reflex response of moving away after the warning, avoiding pain and burning.

In situation 4, the pain and the burn have been avoided, but at the cost of not being able to pick up the pot.

In situations 1 and 2, the facts are the ones that count. The here-and-now of the temperature of the pot.

In situations 3 and 4, information is what counts. The temperature of the pot does not have to be high. What produces the action of moving away is what is said about the pot and what the recipient of this information considers as valid.

We must distinguish temperature receptors of the pot from the temperature information receivers of the pot.

The temperature receptor is in the membrane of vigilant neurons. The temperature information receivers are in the ears (“be careful, it burns!”).

The pain does not appear in situations 3 and 4. Instead, fear to picking up pots appears.

……………….

Let’s suppose that Southern Wind causes headaches.

Situation 1) There’s Southern Wind, intense. I was under a tree. The wind broke a branch that hit me in the head. I have a lump. It hurts. Southern wind caused me a headache. Valid conclusion.

Scenario 2) There’s Southern Wind. I was under a tree. The wind broke a branch that hit me in the head. Luckily it was small and not very high. I don’t have a lump. The pain was gone quickly. Southern wind caused me a headache. Valid conclusion.

Situation 3) There’s Southern Wind. I was under a tree and someone warned me that a branch was about to fall on my head. Thanks to that, I was able to dodge and I didn’t get a lump or get hurt. Southern Wind hasn’t given me a headache because I have been informed of the danger. Valid conclusion.

Situation 4) There’s Southern Wind. I have stayed at home. My head hurts. Southern Wind gives me headaches. Conclusion?  

Situation 5 My head hurts. There’s going to be Southern Wind. Indeed, the next day there was Southern Wind. Conclusion?