By Joaquin M. Fuster
This publication offers a special synthesis of the present neuroscience of cognition by way of one of many world's gurus within the box. The tenet to this synthesis is the guiding principle that the whole lot of our wisdom is encoded through family, and therefore via connections, in neuronal networks of our cerebral cortex. Cognitive networks improve by way of adventure on a base of extensively dispersed modular telephone assemblies representing user-friendly sensations and events. As they boost cognitive networks manage themselves hierarchically by means of order of complexity or abstraction in their content material. simply because networks intersect profusely, sharing commong nodes, a neuronal meeting wherever within the cortex may be a part of many networks, and hence many goods of information. All cognitive services include neural transactions inside and among cognitive networks. After reviewing the neurobiology and structure of cortical networks (also named cognits), the writer undertakes a scientific learn of cortical dynamics in all of the significant cognitive functions--perception, reminiscence, consciousness, language, and intelligence. during this research, he uses a wide physique of proof from various methodologies, within the mind of the human in addition to the nonhuman primate. the end result of his interdisciplinary activity is the emergence of a structural and dynamic order within the cerebral cortex that, although nonetheless sketchy and fragmentary, mirrors with notable constancy the order within the human brain.
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Extra resources for Cortex and Mind: Unifying Cognition
Diagrams of phylogenetic development of the cerebral cortex. A: Parasaggital sections of the brain in five classes of vertebrates; P, pallium, a generic evolutionary term for all cortex, paleocortex and neocortex. From Creutzfeldt (1993), after Edinger modified. B: Coronal sections of Necturus, a primitive amphibian, the box tortoise (Cistudo), the Virginia opossum (Didelphis), and the human. From Herrick (1956), modified. , 1988). Others propose that the neocortex derives from a structure deeper in the telencephalon, the dorsal ventricular ridge (Karten, 1969; Butler, 1994), though this has been disputed (Aboitiz, 1999).
Along the shafts of dendrites existing at birth, synaptic spines increase in number until some time between the third and twelfth months of postnatal life, when they reach their maximum (Purpura, 1975; Michel and Garey, 1984; Huttenlocher, 1990); then they undergo a gradual decrease into adult life. The significance and implications of the exuberant growth and attrition of neocortical elements are poorly understood. Undoubtedly these processes are to a large extent genetically determined, but there are indications that at certain times in postnatal life they are subject to a number of endogenous and exogenous factors that also contribute to their final outcome in the adult.
That expansion—about 1000-fold from mouse to man—is achieved by multiplication of the radial columnar units with relatively uniform cell numbers that, as we will see in the next section, constitute the basic elements of cortical ontogeny (Rakic, 1995). It is through the proliferation and apposition of those basic modules that new cortical areas are formed in the course of evolution (Northcutt and Kaas, 1995). Because the new areas develop out of simpler ones, they do not necessarily hold structural or functional homology from one species to another.
Cortex and Mind: Unifying Cognition by Joaquin M. Fuster