Information is carried along nerve fibres by electrical pulses generated by ionic transfer; it is digitally coded. Information transfer between nerve cells depends on the release of a chemical transmitter which acts on specific receptors on the second neurone. This is a non-digital, analogue process which is highly non-linear. It involves the summation of inputs from highly divergent sources. In sensory systems such as vision, extensive compression, feature extraction and other high-level processing occur before presentation to the cerebral cortex, where a massive expansion in distribution of information occurs. Huge numbers of neurones are involved in the central presentation of even simple sensory information. This is because the neural events are relatively slow, so that a massive parallel information flow and processing occurs. Learning and memory involve changes in synaptic efficiency and the development of new stable connective patterns. Memory and recall must involve a comparison of contemporary events with stored information, but cannot involve a one-on-one comparison because it can deal with extensive transformation of sensory information.
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