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Cortex CerebriPerformance, Structural and Functional Organisation of the Cortex$
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O. D. Creutzfeldt

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198523246

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198523246.001.0001

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A general model of cortical function: concluding considerations

A general model of cortical function: concluding considerations

Chapter:
(p.541) 10 A general model of cortical function: concluding considerations
Source:
Cortex Cerebri
Author(s):

O.D. Creutzfeldt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198523246.003.0010

The function of the cerebral cortex within the framework of a general brain model cannot be reduced to a simple formula. Any general consideration of cortical function necessarily depends on the concept of brain function itself. From a behavioural-ethological point of view the brain may be understood as being a control system that transforms into adequate behaviour, signals from the outside world as received through the sense organs, and data about the state of one's own body as monitored by enteroceptors and chemosensors. ‘Adequate’ in this model means that the needs of the organism are satisfied by taking into account the environmental and social conditions, so that the organism can survive in a given environment. The central nervous system could thus be considered as being an information processing control system and its individual elements and subsystems, including those of the cerebral cortex, are dealing with particular performances of the whole brain in the interest of survival of the individual and the species. In technical terms this control system could be considered as being a distributed system, where the various functions are represented and performed (or completed) by separate subsystems in parallel.

Keywords:   cortical function, cerebral cortex, sense organs, enteroceptors, chemosensors, control system

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