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Scary Science: Schizophrenic Computers

Man has been trying to decipher the human mind and what causes certain issues. Mental illness has managed to elude us for some time and the way our brain functions under high levels of stress is still a mystery. Science however has begun to discover these things, and as the previous articles have shown we have ways of finding out some crazy things, with even more insane and almost unfathomable technologies.
Schizophrenia has been one of the most mysterious of all the mental illnesses and the light has finally been shed on this elusive mental illness. Scientists had created a computer that runs the same as a human brain known as the Neural Network. The Neural Network comes in two forms, the biological Neural Network (every living things brain chemistry) and Artificial Neural Networks (technologies version). The ANN is made up of artificial neurons and nodes to create the same effect as a human brain. This has helped scientists discover very interesting things about the human mind. They can take a rat or other animal’s brain and study it, then take their information to the ANN to find conclusive data.  Mostly ANN is used for decision making tools but science again has found a way to use it to learn more.
Dopamine is a chemical our brains naturally produce for many various reasons and scientists have discovered that increased levels of dopamine can cause Schizophrenia. With this knowledge under their belt they introduce a computers for of Dopamine into the ANN to see if schizophrenics are working with a lot more issues than previously thought.
What they have discovered is that the brain cannot forget and that is the first cause of Schizophrenia. People who are diagnosed with this illness always started out as normal, and even rather astute and very intelligent.  The dopamine that is produced allows them to think on a more grand level, creating connections to everything they see. The hypothesis is that because their brain sops forgetting things, Schizophrenic people begin to make connections that are real and are fake eventually becoming confused and unable to separate the fake from the real. All of their connections are seen to them as truth and from there it is a downward spiral. “Dopamine encodes the importance-the salience-of experience,” Uli Grasemann, a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Texas says. “When there’s too much dopamine, it leads to exaggerated salience, and the brain ends up learning from things that it shouldn’t be learning from.”
DISCERN was designed by Professor Risto Miikkulainen, and it is able to learn natural human languages.  To teach this program language they took various stories and scripts and recited it to DISCERN, teaching it language the same way a human would learn.
After introducing the stimuli to DISCERN they researchers asked it to recall memories and watched as it’s mental stability began to fall apart. DISCERN would go from jumbling up conversational skills and who it was, jumping back from first person to third and back again. “The information processing in neural networks tends to be like processing in the human brain. So we hoped that DISCERN would break down in similar ways, and it did.” Grasemann says.
ANN provides a lot more control over the neural networks unlike humans, and this could hopefully help clinical research.
Schizophrenia may not be officially figured out but we have come rather far in how mental stability can be lost. With this cutting edge technology we could figure out how to prevent and even cure these issues in people; providing a brighter future. Again, human ingenuity has prevailed and the future may be a bit brighter.