Three categories of facts are in the purview of natural science: the physical reality, the brain, and the mind. This book examines whether the mental order corresponds to the cerebral cortex and seeks to map cognitive networks onto cortical networks. Before undertaking this endeavor, it seems useful to briefly review, with a historical perspective, the epistemology of cognitive networks in the cerebral cortex. Three general fields of neuroscience are contributing significantly to our knowledge of the structure and functions of cortical networks, and thus to the applications of connectionism to cognitive neuroscience. They are the field of cortical axonal connectivity, electrophysiology, and neuroimaging. A priori, it seems that if we were able to visualize neuronal activity continuously in the entirety of an individual's cortex, we would be able to figure out the extent of cortical networks and how they work in cognition. To characterize the cognitive structure of a cortical network, the term “cognit”, a generic term for any representation of knowledge in the cerebral cortex, is used.
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