Origins: Brain and Self Organization

By Karl Pribram | Go to book overview
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Some abstract properties of the activity of the nervous system are stated for comparison with some physical ideas. The properties are:
1. cooperativity amongst many small elements, giving thresholds,
2. structure arising by repeated re-representation,
3. tendency to increase the number of types of cooperative states possible,
4. fluctuations dominate.

The unpredictability of interest is not thermal, but may be expressed by a non-thermal entropy, which is important far from equilibrium. The unpredictability may arise as the metabolism of the brain maintains a critical state with a certain type of topology.


Bak P and Chen K. Sci Am, Jan 1991: 26-33.

Bak P and Chen K. "Self-organised criticality". Scientific American, January 1991; 26-33.

Balescu, R. ( 1975) Equilibrium and Non-equilibrium Statistical Mechanics. Wiley- Interscience, New York.

Denny-Brown, D. ( 1962) The Basal Ganglia and their Relation to Disorders of Movement. Oxford University Press, London.

Game CJA ( 1979) "Non-equilibrium thermodynamics and the brain". Proc Aust Soc Biophys 3:15-20.

Jackson, J. H. ( 1932) Selected Writings of John Hughlings Jackson. Vols. I & II. Ed. James Taylor. Hodder and Stoughton, London.

Miller, S. and Scott, P. D. ( 1977) "The spinal locomotor generator". Exp. Brain Res.30, 387-403.


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