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I of the Vortex : From Neurons to Self - Rodolfo R. Llinas

I of the Vortex

From Neurons to Self

Paperback Published: 7th March 2002
ISBN: 9780262621632
Number Of Pages: 320
For Ages: 18+ years old

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In "I of the Vortex," Rodolfo Llinas, a founding father of modern brain science, presents an original view of the evolution and nature of mind. According to Llinas, the "mindness state" evolved to allow predictive interactions between mobile creatures and their environment. He illustrates the early evolution of mind through a primitive animal called the "sea squirt." The mobile larval form has a brainlike ganglion that receives sensory information about the surrounding environment. As an adult, the sea squirt attaches itself to a stationary object and then digests most of its own brain. This suggests that the nervous system evolved to allow active movement in animals. To move through the environment safely, a creature must anticipate the outcome of each movement on the basis of incoming sensory data. Thus the capacity to predict is most likely the ultimate brain function. One could even say that Self is the centralization of prediction. At the heart of Llinas's theory is the concept of oscillation. Many neurons possess electrical activity, manifested as oscillating variations in the minute voltages across the cell membrane. On the crests of these oscillations occur larger electrical events that are the basis for neuron-to-neuron communication. Like cicadas chirping in unison, a group of neurons oscillating in phase can resonate with a distant group of neurons. This simultaneity of neuronal activity is the neurobiological root of cognition. Although the internal state that we call the mind is guided by the senses, it is also generated by the oscillations within the brain. Thus, in a certain sense, one could say that reality is not all "out there," but is a kind of virtual reality.

Rodolfo Llinas...offers this compelling synthesis of neurology, from the function of the neuron to the workings of the mind.

-Science Books & Films
Anyone interested in new ways of thinking about organization of the brain would do well to give it a look.

-Ilya Farber, Nature * Reviews *
I of the Vortex is an exciting book, full of imagination, fit for the well-educated lay reader.

-Edgar Garcia-Rill, Forum * Reviews *
Rodolfo Llinas...offers this compelling synthesis of neurology, from the function of the neuron to the workings of the mind.

-Science Books & Films * Reviews *

Preface
Motor Primacy and the Organization of Neuronal Networks: Thinking as Internalized Movement
Setting Mind to Mind
Prediction is the Ultimate Function of the Brain
The Embedding of Universals through the Embedding of Motricity
Nerve Cells and Their Personalities
Lessons from the Evolution of the Eye
The I of the Vortex
Fixed Action Patterns: Automatic Brain Modules that Make Complex Movements
Emotions as FAPs
Of Learning and Memory
Qualia from a Neuronal Point of View
Language as the Child of
Abstract Thought
The Collective Mind?
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262621632
ISBN-10: 0262621630
Series: A Bradford Book
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 7th March 2002
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.51