Chapter 6: The Brain: neurology

VI. The Brain: neurology and neurophysiology

  1. the neuron (reiterate the far-from-equilibrium chemical nature of nerve cell)
  2. neurotranmitters
    1. mostly glutamate (+) and GABA (-) in the neocortex
    2. dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, etc. in midbrain
  3. a nucleus of neurons
  4. major sulci and gyri
  5. gross anatomy:
    1. brain stem
    2. midbrain structures
    3. cortical structures
  6. Electrical activity of the nervous system: how does a structure that is 80% water (Asimov 1994) maintain physical coherence? (Constantly reiterate that the fractal structure of the brain is the result of the chaotic far-from-equilibrium dynamics that correlate exactly with the mind.)
  7. circuits of nuclei (esp. reentrant circuits- Hebbian learning & Edelman's TNGS)-- "A standing wave of electricity in the head,
    mediated by chemicals."
  8. Feedback between various levels moving at different
    speeds (aphasic reentry, how chaos might enter into
    the brain)
  9. lower parts: homeostasis
  10. middle parts: input/output correlation ("organs
    of succession"), hedonic centers (both genetic
    and learned)
  11. higher parts: concepts, perceptions, self/nonself
    distinction ("Vision is located at the back of the head
    . . . , hearing at the side, and touch at the top.
    Just in front of the somatosensroty region (touch)
    lie the areas that control the voluntary motor output-
    that is, the willed instructions to the muscles. The
    exact functions of the frontal regions are less certain.
    They probably deal with planning, especially long-term
    planning, and other high-level cognitive tasks. A
    small region in the frontal region (the frontal eye
    fields) seems to be involved in voluntary eye movements."-
    Crick (1994) p. 87.)