How come Nova always spots this smart stuff?
Interesting, interesting. The key point here is the idea that ignoring information may be a vital part of neuroscience... and that may have important implications for Artificial Intelligence.
MIT neuroscientist, Guosong Liu, has found that human neurons compute in trinary, using signals that are the equivalents of -1, 0 and 1. By contrast, all computers compute in binary, using just 0 and 1. Because the units of trinary computation can in some cases be additive (e.g. 1 1=2) or can "cancel out" (e.g. -1 1 = 0), the human brain is able to ignore information during computation, says Liu, something which present computers cannot do. Liu believes the ability for trinary computations to cancel out in some cases will enable next-generation computers to ignore information, and this will fundamentally change computing as we know it.