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Feb14-11, 09:25 PM
PF Gold
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Quote Quote by apeiron
Qualia are like the whorls of turbulence that appear in a stream. Each whorl seems impressively like a distinct structure. But try to scoop the whorl out in a bucket and you soon find just how contextual that localised order was.
apeiron, you might be interested in this paper by Rabinovich that references experiments by Laurent and Friedrich:

Experimental observations in the olfactory
systems of locust (7) and zebrafish (8) support
such an alternative framework. Odors generate
distributed (in time and space), odor- and concentration-specific patterns of activity in principal neurons. Hence, odor representations can
be described as successions of states, or trajectories, that each correspond to one stimulus and
one concentration (9). Only when a stimulus is
sustained does its corresponding trajectory
reach a stable fixed-point attractor (10).
However, stable transients are observed
whether a stimulus is sustained or not—that is,
even when a stimulus is sufficiently short-lived
that no fixed-point attractor state is reached.
When the responses to several stimuli are compared, the distances between the trajectories
corresponding to each stimulus are greatest
during the transients, not between the fixed
points (10).
Rabinovich, M., Huerta, R., Laurent, G. (2008) Transient dynamics for neural processing. Science 321, 5885

References in paper
7. G. Laurent, H. Davidowitz, Science 265, 1872 (1994).
8. R. Friedrich, G. Laurent, Science 291, 889 (2001).