Scientific Understanding of Consciousness
Consciousness as an Emergent Property of Thalamocortical Activity

Three Topological Networks in Brain

The brain's neural network can be considered in terms of three topological networks, closely interworking together: (1) the thalamocortical system, which mediates the dynamic core of consciousness, (2) the parallel unidirectional pathways through the basal ganglia, cerebellum, hippocampus and (3) the network of diffusely projecting modulatory neurons emanating from the brain stem.

 Edelman and Damasio describe similar organizational concepts:

At the brainís higher levels of anatomical order, it is possible to distinguish important principles of organization. Three major topological arrangements in the brain appear to be essential to understanding the brainís global functioning. (Edelman; Universe of Consciousness, 42)

 Massively recurrent circuit arrangements, feedforward and feedback loops; some of the loops are purely chemical. (Damasio; Descartís Error, 122)

 The human brain is the most complexly organized structure in the universe.† (Ramachandran, A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness, 2)

 

 

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