Commentary - Biology & Medicine Case Reports (2023) Volume 7, Issue 2
Exploring the Human Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience
Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Hébuterne Rasmussen
Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Colorado
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Aurora, Colorado, USA
Received: 01-Mar-2023, Manuscript No. AAJMHA-23- 93617; Editor assigned: 03-Mar-2023, Pre QC No. AAJMHA-23- 93617 (PQ); Reviewed: 17-Mar-2023, QC No. AAJMHA-23-93617; Revised: 21-Mar-2023, Manuscript No. AAJMHA-23- 93617(R); Published: 28-Mar-2023, DOI: 10.35841/aajmha-7.2.136
Citation: Rasmussen H. Exploring the human brain: An introduction to neuroscience. Biol Med Case Rep. 2023;7(2):136
Exploring the Human Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience" is a book or course that introduces readers or students to the field of neuroscience, which is the study of the nervous system and the brain. The book may cover topics such as the structure and function of the brain, the ways that neurons communicate with each other, and how the brain processes sensory information.
Pathogens, Immunology, Resistance.
The book may also delve into the different subfields of neuroscience, such as cognitive neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, and computational neuroscience. It may explore topics such as perception, attention, memory, language, emotion, and consciousness, and how they are represented in the brain . Additionally, Exploring the Human Brain may touch on some of the current areas of research in neuroscience, such as neuroplasticity, neurodevelopmental disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and the use of braincomputer interfaces. Overall, Exploring the Human Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience is a great resource for anyone interested in understanding the brain and the latest discoveries in neuroscience .
The past two decades have witnessed tremendous advances in noninvasive and postmortem neuroscientific techniques, advances that have made it possible, for the first time, to compare in detail the organization of the human brain to that of other primates. Studies comparing humans to chimpanzees and other great apes reveal that human brain evolution was not merely a matter of enlargement, but involved changes at all levels of organization that have been examined. These include the cellular and laminar organization of cortical areas; the higher order organization of the cortex, as reflected in the expansion of association cortex (in absolute terms, as well as relative to primary areas); the distribution of longdistance cortical connections; and hemispheric asymmetry. Additionally, genetic differences between humans and other primates have proven to be more extensive than previously thought, raising the possibility that human brain evolution involved significant modifications of neurophysiology and cerebral energy metabolism .
The purpose of this review was to integrate leading paradigms in psychology and neuroscience with a theory of the embodied, situated human brain, called the Hierarchically Mechanistic Mind (HMM). The HMM describes the brain as a complex adaptive system that functions to minimize the entropy of our sensory and physical states via action-perception cycles generated by hierarchical neural dynamics. First, we review the extant literature on the hierarchical structure of the brain. Next, we derive the HMM from a broader evolutionary systems theory that explains neural structure and function in terms of dynamic interactions across four nested levels of biological causation (i.e., adaptation, phylogeny, ontogeny, and mechanism). We then describe how the HMM aligns with a global brain theory in neuroscience called the free-energy principle, leveraging this theory to mathematically formulate neural dynamics across hierarchical spatiotemporal scales. We conclude by exploring the implications of the HMM for psychological inquiry .
Since the turn of the century, we have made remarkable progress in our understanding of the human brain. This has been facilitated in particular by improvements in neuroimaging, coupled with analytical tools gleaned from mathematical modeling. Concurrently, there has been a growing appreciation of the fact that in order to elucidate the fundamental relationships between neural dynamics, structure, and function—and the brain, cognition, and behavior—cognitive scientists need to bridge intra- and interdisciplinary divisions by exploring promising points of contact between different paradigms. In psychology in particular, a fragmentation into disparate fields of inquiry has long been recognized as an impediment to progress .
Our paper comprises four sections. After providing an empirically informed description of the structural (hierarchical) organization of the brain in the first section, we introduce an evolutionary systems theory that explains the origins of this hierarchical organization in terms of causal interactions between the broader evolutionary, developmental, and biopsychosocial processes that shape human phenotypes. In the third, we submit that the ensuing perspective of the embodied brain aligns with the Free-Energy Principle (FEP) in neuroscience. We leverage the FEP to supply a formal theory of the brain, which can be used to derive empirically tractable process theories of human neural dynamics. Briefly, the FEP describes the brain as an “inference machine” that optimizes the evidence for the statistical model of the world that it encodes or embodies, by minimizing an upper limit or bound on surprise (i.e., variational free-energy). These three sections of our treatment address complementary questions about the nature of the human brain: what is the organization of this system, how does it come to be, and why is it the way that it is? After bringing these themes together to precisely define the HMM, we conclude by exploring its implications for theorizing and research across the psychological sciences.
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