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1995 (1)
1993 (1)
1Author    Hennig StieveRequires cookie*
 Title    Limits of Natural Science: Brain Research and Computers  
 Abstract    The criterion that pure natural science can only investigate objective phenomena which can be observed by independent observers sets certain limits to our scientific understanding of brain functions. The methods and the present state of brain research and of computer developm ent are described. The limitations o f brain research are discussed by comparing the properties of brains and computers. A t least for the time being we do not know of any natural scientific -i.e. physical or chemical -method which allows the objective measurement of consciousness, sensations, and emotions. V ie w s a n d R e v ie w s Foreword Epistemology (Erkenntnistheorie) of natural science is an area which seems to be neglected by many scientists and philosophers (Mohr, 1981). Scientific research is making such progress that most scientists pragmatically confine themselves to more promising tasks, applying science's strict methods. It is not popular among natural scientists to discuss the epistemic foundations of science and the possible limits of scientific understanding. On the other hand most philosophers also avoid this field, maybe because they do not find this area enough of a challenge or think it is too near the province of "mechanics". One field that goes beyond the limits of natural science is brain research. In recent years, scientific brain research has made significant progress, and so has com puter developm ent -possibly even more so. Both fields have intensely stimulated each other. A num ber of im portant questions of brain research was raised anew because of this. I would like to discuss the limitations of brain re­ search by comparing the properties of brains and computers. Are the observable capabilities of brains and computers fundamentally different? For about two years I have been discussing this subject with brain and com puter researchers, psychologists, and scholars of the humanities. These discussions produced some arguments and Reprint requests to Prof. Dr. H. Stieve. misunderstandings. This article is meant to further this interdisciplinary discussion. 
  Reference    Z. Naturforsch. 50c, 317 (1995); received N ovem ber 25 1994 
  Published    1995 
  Keywords    Epistemology, Consciousness, Language, Learning, Creativity 
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 TEI-XML for    default:Reihe_C/50/ZNC-1995-50c-0317.pdf 
 Identifier    ZNC-1995-50c-0317 
 Volume    50 
2Author    Nikolaus TrojeRequires cookie*
 Title    Spectral Categories in the Learning Behaviour of Blowflies  
 Abstract    Wavelength discrimination in the flower visiting blowfly Lucilia spec, was investigated in an attempt to elucidate the mechanisms underlying colour vision in this insect. The flies were sub­ jected to a classical conditioning procedure in which they had to discriminate between a re­ warded and an unrewarded monochrom atic light stimulus. The results reveal large wavelength ranges within which no discrimination occurs, between which, however, a very distinct dis­ crimination is found. The first range consists o f the UV region up to 400 nm (U V). The second range comprises wavelengths between 400 nm and 515 nm (B L U E) and the third range all wavelengths longer than 515 nm (YELLOW). A simple model consisting o f two colour oppo­ nent subsystems (R 7 p /R 8 p and R 7 y /R 8 y) can explain these results. Each o f the two subsys­ tems is assumed to evaluate only whether the sign o f the difference between the excitations o f R 7 and R 8 is positive or negative. For the whole system there are thus four possible condi­ tions: p +y +, p +y", p~y+, p "y~. Three o f them correspond to the experim entally obtained wave­ length ranges. The fourth condition (p+y~) might represent a still hypothetical PU R PLE cate­ gory in which the stimulus is made up o f both short and long wavelengths. 
  Reference    Z. Naturforsch. 48c, 96—104 (1993); received January 7 1993 
  Published    1993 
  Keywords    Blowfly, W avelength Discrimination, Colour Categories, Learning, Photoreceptors 
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 TEI-XML for    default:Reihe_C/48/ZNC-1993-48c-0096.pdf 
 Identifier    ZNC-1993-48c-0096 
 Volume    48