CLOSED LOOP; mollusc of opportunity

From Greg Williams (921216)

I plan to put the papers by Tom & Bill and by Rick in the next CLOSED LOOP,
together with the second (concluding) part of the thread begun in the last
issue. Rick, please send the latest version of your paper via e-mail. Tom,
Bill, and Rick, I'll try to send galleys to you for final checking ca. first
week in January.

Tom Bourbon (921215.0925 CST)

If I had the skills and techniques
to work at the single-cell level with Aplysia, the marine snail, I
would drop everything else and begin a crash program, starting with
behavioral studies to test whether the creature controls anything.
After demonstrating the obvious, I would begin a systematic
analysis of the control-system properties of the creature's
exquisitely mapped nervous system -- anatomically exquisite, I do
not trust most of the functional maps. They were created in S-R,
or I-O, research procedures. If anyone out there is interested in
a trip to Oslo, I believe I just handed you a ticket.

I don't think you need to do the neurophysiology yourself. What you need to do
is sort through the volumes (one big book, one small book, and many papers) on
APLYSIA neurophysiology and behavior studies, see what you can find relevant
to the creature-as-control-system (reinterpreting results in the light of
PCT), and then come up with concrete, detailed proposals regarding exactly
what crucial experiments are needed to be done by Kandel and the other
experienced workers in the field, given the (I predict) suggestive results
already in hand. Don't just claim that "they done it wrong" in vague
generalities. How, SPECIFICALLY, can they do better? Hand Kandel et al. the
ticket. (Actually, I think Kandel would get a Nobel any way.)

As ever,