Walter Freeman:

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(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

The US neurobiologist Walter Freeman pioneered neurodynamics when, aiming to explain the meaning of an electroencephalogram, he introduced the concept of "mass action", the "force" that large populations of neurons in the cortex generate by synchronizing their firing of action potentials. This "force" is responsible for bursts of cortical activity that resembles the vortices of tornadoes and hurricanes. Freeman thought that these "bursts" corresponded with the formation of percepts. Freeman viewed these bursts of neural activity as the moments in time when the brain binds sensory inputs with memories. Cortical neurons belong to "sets" whose internal behavior can be modeled as made of three components. Linear dynamic equations can express two of them: the oscillation in time and the oscillation in space. Alas, when one adds the third component (the massive interconnections and feedback mechanisms of the neurons), the result is a system of nonlinear partial differential equations in time and space (Freeman thought that the "chaos" generated by these equations is precisely what makes consciousness possible).

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