The Neurobiology of the Prefrontal Cortex: Anatomy, by Richard E. Passingham, Steven P. Wise

By Richard E. Passingham, Steven P. Wise

The prefrontal cortex makes up virtually a 3rd of the human mind, and it multiplied dramatically in the course of primate evolution.

The Neurobiology of the Prefrontal Cortex offers a brand new thought approximately its primary functionality. during this vital new e-book, the authors argue that primate-specific components of the prefrontal cortex developed to minimize blunders in foraging offerings, in order that our ancestors may well triumph over periodic meals shortages. This evolutionary improvement laid the basis for figuring out difficulties in our mind's eye, which ended in the starting place of insights that permit people to prevent mistakes totally, no less than at times.

In the booklet, the authors element which components of the prefrontal cortex advanced completely in primates, how its connections clarify why the prefrontal cortex on my own can practice its functionality, and why different components of the mind can't do what the prefrontal cortex does. in line with an research of its evolutionary background, the ebook makes use of proof from lesion, imaging, and cell-recording experiments to argue that the primate prefrontal cortex generates objectives from a present behavioural context and that it may possibly achieve this at the foundation of unmarried occasions. therefore, the prefrontal cortex makes use of the attentive keep an eye on of behaviour to enhance an older general-purpose studying approach, one who developed very early within the historical past of animals. This older procedure learns slowly and cumulatively over many reviews according to reinforcement. The authors argue new studying approach developed in primates at a selected time and position of their heritage, that it did so as to lessen the mistakes inherent within the older studying process, and that serious volatility of meals assets supplied the motive force for those developments.

Written by means of best mind scientists, the Neurobiology of the Prefrontal Cortex is a vital contribution to our knowing of the evolution and functioning of the human mind.

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Extra resources for The Neurobiology of the Prefrontal Cortex: Anatomy, Evolution, and the Origin of Insight (Oxford Psychology)

Sample text

Information’’ is often spoken about without due attention to delineating a sender-receiver pair. Without such a delineation, it is difficult to justify the application of the concept of a communication channel to a sensory system. Moreover, there is the important question of time delays (fig. 4). Singleuser communication theory in its basic form does not take time delays into account. 3 Because sensory organs are typically used by the animal nervous system in a closed loop feedback system, such delays are detrimental to system function, and it is not clear to what extent the system can afford error correcting codes interposed in the sensory communication channels.

How such seemingly disorderly motion arises out of orderly and deterministic laws of motion is now also well understood. If one knew all the forces impinging on the atom or molecule as a function of time, then one could apply purely deterministic laws of motion and figure out its trajectory; absent such knowledge, it is more convenient and parsimonious to model the dynamics of the particle as a random walk, a stochastic process with suitable properties. Use of stochastic process based modeling is ubiquitous in biology and will play a central role in this book.

The rapid variations could be in space or in time, and the averaging procedure relies on the law of large numbers. At the microscopic level, one has several replicas of some microscopic subsystem, such as atoms in a gas, with local interactions that are relatively homogeneous. The locality of the interactions permits the averaging procedure governed by the law of large numbers. The macroscopic degrees of freedom can be thought of as emerging from the averaging process from microscopic degrees of freedom, and are often referred to as emergent phenomena, although emergent descriptions would perhaps be a better phrase, keeping in mind the epistemological=ontological distinction.

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