Unlocking the Brain: Volume 1: Coding

ISBN : 9780199826988

Georg Northoff
416 ページ
189 x 260 mm

Neuroscience has made considerable progress in figuring out how the brain works. We know much about the molecular-genetic and biochemical underpinnings of sensory and motor functions, and recent neuroimaging work has opened the door to investigating the neural underpinnings of higher-order cognitive functions, such as memory, attention, and even free will. In these types of investigations, researchers apply specific stimuli to induce neural activity in the brain and look for the function in question. However, there may be more to the brain and its neuronal states than the changes in activity we induce by applying particular external stimuli. In Volume 1 of Unlocking the Brain, Georg Northoff presents his argument for how the brain must code the relationship between its resting state activity and stimulus-induced activity in order to enable and predispose mental states and consciousness. By presupposing such a basic sense of neural code, the author ventures into different territories and fields of current neuroscience, including a comprehensive exploration of the features of resting state activity as distinguishable from and stimulus-induced activity; sparse coding and predictive coding; and spatial and temporal features of the resting state itself. This yields a unique and novel picture of the brain, and will have a major and lasting impact on neuroscientists working in neuroscience, psychiatry, and related fields.


List of Figures
Introduction to Volume I
Part I: Coding Extrinsic Stimuli: From the Environment to the Brain
Chapter 1: Sparse Coding and Natural Statistics
Chapter 2: Sparse Coding and Neural Inhibition
Chapter 3: Sparse Coding on a Regional Level
Part II: Coding Intrinsic Activity: From the Brain to the Brain
Chapter 4: Spatial Structure of Intrinsic Activity
Chapter 5: Temporal Structure of Intrinsic Activity
Chapter 6: Sparse Coding of Intrinsic Activity
Part III: Coding Intrinsic Predictions: From the Brain to Anticipation
Chapter 7: Predictive Coding and Difference-Based Coding
Chapter 8: Predictive Coding and Social and Vegetative Statistics
Chapter 9: Predictive Coding and the Brain's Intrinsic Activity
Part IV: Coding Extrinsic Activity: From the Brain to the Environment
Chapter 10: Stimulus-Stimulus Interaction and Neural Coding
Chapter 11: Rest-Stimulus Interaction and Difference-Based Coding
Chapter 12: Rest-Stimulus Interaction and GABA
Epilogue: A Quick Guide to the Brain
Appendix: Theoretical Reflections
Appendix I: Neuro-Empirical Remark: Resting State Activity versus Stimulus-Induced Activity and the Continuity Hypothesis
Appendix II: Neuro-Theoretical Remark: Localizationism versus Holism
Appendix III: Neuro-Conceptual Remar: Concept of "
Appendix IV: Neuro-Epistemological Remark: Brain versus Observer


Georg Northoff holds a rare combination of academic titles: two PhDs and an MD respectively in neuroscience, philosophy, and psychiatry. Northoff is currently the Director of the Research Unit for Mind, Brain imaging and Neuroethics, Canada Research Chair, and EJLB-Michael Smith Chair for Neuroscience and Mental Health at the Institute of Mental Health Research, University of Ottawa.