Molecules, systems, and behavior: Another view of memory consolidation

From its genesis in the 1960s, the focus of inquiry in neuroscience has been on the cellular and molecular processes underlying neural activity. In this pursuit neuroscience has been enormously successful. Like any successful scientific inquiry, initial successes have raised new questions that inspire ongoing research. While there is still much that is not known about the molecular processes in brains, a great deal of very important knowledge has been secured, especially in the last 50 years. It has also attracted the attention of a number of philosophers, some of whom have viewed it as evidence for a ruthlessly reductionistic program that will eventually explain how mental processes are performed in the brain in purely molecular terms. As neuroscience developed, however, there emerged a smaller group of researchers who focused on systems, behavioral, and cognitive neuroscience. These investigators have also made impressive advances in the last 50 years and they have been the focus of an even larger group of philosophers, who have appealed to systems level understanding of the brain as providing the appropriate point of connection to the information processing accounts advanced in psychology.
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