A general model of cortical function: concluding considerations
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.
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