Theoretical approaches to holistic biological features : patternformation, neural networks and the brain-mind relation

  • The topic of this article is the relation between bottom-up and top-down, reductionist and “holistic” approaches to the solution of basic biological problems. While there is no doubt that the laws of physics apply to all events in space and time, including the domains of life, understanding biology depends not only on elucidating the role of the molecules involved, but, to an increasing extent, on systems theoretical approaches in diverse fields of the life sciences. Examples discussed in this article are the generation of spatial patterns in development by the interplay of autocatalysis and lateral inhibition; the evolution of integrating capabilities of the human brain, such as cognition-based empathy; and both neurobiological and epistemological aspects of scientific theories of consciousness and the mind.

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Author:Alfred Gierer
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2006/11/01
Release Date:2006/11/01
Tag:brain mind; consciousness; holistic; pattern formation
Source:Journal of biosciences / Indian Academy of Sciences ; 3 (27), S. 195-205
Institutes:BBAW / Veröffentlichungen von Akademiemitgliedern
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie