editore: Oxford University Press Inc
This book presents a unique synthesis of the current neuroscience of cognition by one of the world's authorities in the field. The guiding principle to this synthesis is the tenet that the entirety of our knowledge is encoded by relations, and thus by connections, in neuronal networks of our cerebral cortex. Cognitive networks develop by experience on a base of widely dispersed modular cell assemblies representing elementary sensations and movements. As they develop, cognitive networks organize themselves hierarchically by order of complexity or abstraction of their content. Because networks intersect profusely, sharing common nodes, a neuronal assembly anywhere in the cortex can be part of many networks, and therefore many items of knowledge. All cognitive functions consist of neural transactions within and between cognitive networks. After reviewing the neurobiology and architecture of cortical networks (also named cognits), the author undertakes a systematic study of cortical dynamics in each of the major cognitive functions - perception, memory, attention, language, and intelligence.
In this study, he makes use of a large body of evidence from a variety of methodologies, in the brain of the human as well as the nonhuman primate. The outcome of the interdisciplinary enterprise is the emergence of structural and dynamic order in the cerebral cortex that, though still sketchy and fragmentary, mirrors with remarkable fidelity the order of the human mind. The audience for this book consists of cognitive neuroscientists, neurophysiologists, neurobiologists, neuroimaging experts, neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, cognitive psychologists, and linguists. The book will also be of interest to students in all of these disciplines and could be used as text or as collateral reading in courses in systems neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, cognitive science, network modeling, physiological psychology, and linguistics.