Online ISSN 2653-4983
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Volume 2 Issue 2 (July 2023)
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Resonating with the World: Thinking Critically about Brain Criticality
Gerry Leisman 1,2
1 Movement and Cognition Laboratory, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
2 University of the Medical Sciences of Havana, Havana, Cuba
We have long considered how it is that billions of neurons can unite to be able to construct a physiologically based machine that can outperform many of the most advanced computers. The brain has a significant computational capacity that we have previously noted has storage possibilities that are close to infinite . Recently, we have found evidence to support the notion that the brain can tune itself to the level where it can be excitable without chaos in a fashion akin to a phase transition. Our nervous systems tend toward a homeostasis between rest and chaos. The situation between quiescence and chaos is the point at which there is an optimization of information processing This then leads us to the notion of criticality.
Criticality is a state found in complex systems on the cusp of a phase transition between randomness and order. In this type of system there exists a singular enhancement of information-processing capacities, in which we might even think that the brain itself may be critical. We are beginning to find associations and linkages between computation, criticality and cognitive processes. By understanding the notion of criticality, we can gain a more fundamental understanding of the nature of cognition and neural computation. We know that when neurons functionally combine with others, they seek a critical set point and regime. Criticality is mediated by inhibitory neurons whose function appears to be the regulation of larger networks of the brain.
Transcription of Fos family genes in nucleus accumbens: signaling pathways
and time courses of mRNA and protein levels
Henry C. Tuckwell
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Adelaide,
Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
An important new chapter in Neuroscience began in the 1980s when it was demonstrated that the induction of cFos occurred in response to the stimulation of acetylcholine receptors in neuron-like cells. Transcription of cfos commenced within minutes and involved an influx of extracellular Ca2+ through voltage-sensitive calcium channels. Neuronal activity in many neuron types and brain regions led to the induction of many genes on various time scales. The first to be activated were immediate early genes (IEGs), including the Fos family cfos, fosB, fra1, fra2, and several isoforms. A short form of fosB called ΔFosB resisted degradation and was thought to play a role in inducing changes in addiction-related neurons. The protein products of many IEGs act as transcription factors important in neurons of the central nervous system for their roles in neuronal plasticity, exemplified by learning and memory, addiction and several neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression. This article describes experimental data and the biochemical processes underlying the pathways that lead to such transcription as a prelude to modeling.
Backpropagation and repetitive discharge of sodium spikes in sparsely excitable dendrites
Nicolangelo L. Iannella1,* and Roman R. Poznanski2
1 The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences University of Oslo, Oslo 0316 Norway
2 Integrative Neuroscience Group, Melbourne Australia 3145
We consider an extension to the previously formulated mathematical model of sparsely excitable dendrites with clusters of transiently activating, TTX-sensitive Na+ channels of low density, discretely distributed as point sources of transmembrane current along a continuous (non-segmented) passive cable structure. Each cluster or hot-spot, corresponding to a mesoscopic level description of Na+ ion channels, included known cumulative inactivation kinetics observed at the microscopic level. In such a reduced third-order system, the ‘recovery’ variable is an electrogenic sodium-pump and/or a Na+-Ca2+ exchanger imbedded in the passive membrane, and a high leakage conductance stabilizes the system. A nonlinear cable equation was solved to reproduce
Infoautopoiesis and Consciousness
Jaime F. Cárdenas-García
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Maryland – Baltimore County
1000 Hilltop Circle Baltimore, MD 21250, USA
The process of infoautopoiesis (info = information; auto = self; poiesis = production), a self-referential, sensory commensurable, recursive and interactive homeorhetic feedback process immanent to Bateson’s difference which makes a difference. Infoautopoiesis as a sensation information-action-sensation... process is at the center of resolving the fundamental problem of information, engaging all humans in their efforts to satisfy their physiological (internal/external) and relational needs, elucidating how they interact with their environment and how these interactions are constitutive of information generation, information exchange, information relations and life.