By Gerald Edelman, Giulio Tononi
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Additional resources for A Universe Of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination
The cortex and the thalamus are traditionally subdivided into a large number of areas that have different functions. This functional segregation is seen at many different spatial scales. For example, the back of the thalamocortical system is roughly devoted to perception, while the front is devoted to action and planning. Most of these cortical areas are assembled as maps: Neighboring neurons from one area connect with neighboring neurons in another. Different cerebral cortical areas and their associated thalamic nuclei are also specialized; some areas deal with visual stimuli, for instance, while others deal with acoustic stimuli and still others with tactile stimuli.
No one has made an exact count of different types of neurons in the brain, but a crude estimate of fifty would not be excessive. 2). 1 GROSS ANATOMY OF THE BRAIN. The figure shows: (1) the cerebral cortical mantle connected to the thalamus (the white oval in the middle), together constituting the thalamocortical system; (2) the three great cortical appendages (basal ganglia, cerebellum, and hippocampus); and (3) the brain stem, the oldest part of the brain, which contains the source of several diffusely projecting value systems.
Exploring the philosophical implications of these assumptions in any depth would lead us into territories of ontology and epistemology that would distract us from our main task—a scientific explanation of consciousness and its properties. We therefore forgo the discussion of several interesting corollaries, which we consider only at the end of the book. Here, we simply mention useful points that will help us keep in mind the proper order of things. These points follow from our three methodological assumptions and, as we shall see, are important in understanding the special problems that must be addressed by a scientific analysis of consciousness.
A Universe Of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination by Gerald Edelman, Giulio Tononi