Recent successes of systems biology clarified that biological functionality is multilevel. We point out that this fact makes it necessary to revise popular views about macromolecular functions and distinguish between local, physico-chemical and global, biological functions. Our analysis shows that physico-chemical functions are merely tools of biological functionality. This result sheds new light on the origin of cellular life, indicating that in evolutionary history, assignment of biological functions to cellular ingredients plays a crucial role. In this wider picture, (...) even if aggregation of chance mutations of replicator molecules and spontaneously self-assembled proteins led to the formation of a system identical with a living cell in all physical respects but devoid of biological functions, it would remain an inanimate physical system, a pseudo-cell or a zombie-cell but not a viable cell. In the origin of life scenarios, a fundamental circularity arises, since if cells are the minimal units of life, it is apparent that assignments of cellular functions require the presence of cells and vice versa. Resolution of this dilemma requires distinguishing between physico-chemical and biological symbols as well as between physico-chemical and biological information. Our analysis of the concepts of symbol, rule and code suggests that they all rely implicitly on biological laws or principles. We show that the problem is how to establish physico-chemically arbitrary rules assigning biological functions without the presence of living organisms. We propose a solution to that problem with the help of a generalized action principle and biological harnessing of quantum uncertainties. By our proposal, biology is an autonomous science having its own fundamental principle. The biological principle ought not to be regarded as an emergent phenomenon. It can guide chemical evolution towards the biological one, progressively assigning greater complexity and functionality to macromolecules and systems of macromolecules at all levels of organization. This solution explains some perplexing facts and posits a new context for thinking about the problems of the origin of life and mind. (shrink)
Methods developed in a previous paper are employed to define an exact correspondence between the states of a deterministic cellular automaton in 1+1 dimensions and those of a bosonic quantum field theory. The result may be used to argue that quantum field theories may be much closer related to deterministic automata than what is usually thought possible.
The objective of this paper is analyzing to which extent the multiverse hypothesis provides a real explanation of the peculiarities of the laws and constants in our universe. First we argue in favor of the thesis that all multiverses except Tegmark’s “mathematical multiverse” are too small to explain the fine tuning, so that they merely shift the problem up one level. But the “mathematical multiverse" is surely too large. To prove this assessment, we have performed a number of experiments with (...)cellular automata of complex behavior, which can be considered as universes in the mathematical multiverse. The analogy between what happens in some automata (in particular Conway’s “Game of Life") and the real world is very strong. But if the results of our experiments can be extrapolated to our universe, we should expect to inhabit—in the context of the multiverse—a world in which at least some of the laws and constants of nature should show a certain time dependence. Actually, the probability of our existence in a world such as ours would be mathematically equal to zero. In consequence, the results presented in this paper can be considered as an inkling that the hypothesis of the multiverse, whatever its type, does not offer an adequate explanation for the peculiarities of the physical laws in our world. (shrink)
As opposed to the dismissive attitude toward reductionism that is popular in current philosophy of mind, a “ruthless reductionism” is alive and thriving in “molecular and cellular cognition”—a field of research within cellular and molecular neuroscience, the current mainstream of the discipline. Basic experimental practices and emerging results from this field imply that two common assertions by philosophers and cognitive scientists are false: (1) that we do not know much about how the brain works, and (2) that lower-level (...) neuroscience cannot explain cognition and complex behavior directly. These experimental practices involve intervening directly with molecular components of sub-cellular and gene expression pathways in neurons and then measuring specific behaviors. These behaviors are tracked using tests that are widely accepted by experimental psychologists to study the psychological phenomenon at issue (e.g., memory, attention, and perception). Here I illustrate these practices and their importance for explanation and reduction in current mainstream neuroscience by describing recent work on social recognition memory in mammals. (shrink)
Cellular Automata (CA) based simulations are widely used in a great variety of domains, fromstatistical physics to social science. They allow for spectacular displays and numerical predictions. Are they forall that a revolutionary modeling tool, allowing for “direct simulation”, or for the simulation of “the phenomenon itself”? Or are they merely models "of a phenomenological nature rather than of a fundamental one”? How do they compareto other modeling techniques? In order to answer these questions, we present a systematic exploration (...) of CA’s various uses. (shrink)
Cellular automata (henceforth: CA) are discrete, abstract computational systems that have proved useful both as general models of complexity and as more specific representations of non-linear dynamics in a variety of scientific fields. Firstly, CA are (typically) spatially and temporally discrete: they are composed of a finite or denumerable set of homogeneous, simple units, the atoms or cells. At each time unit, the cells instantiate one of a finite set of states. They evolve in parallel at discrete time steps, (...) following state update functions or dynamical transition rules: the update of a cell state obtains by taking into account the states of cells in its local neighborhood (there are, therefore, no actions at a distance). Secondly, CA are abstract, as they can be specified in purely mathematical terms and implemented in physical structures. Thirdly, CA are computational systems: they can compute functions and solve algorithmic problems. Despite functioning in a different way from traditional, Turing machine-like devices, CA with suitable rules can emulate a universal Turing machine, and therefore compute, given Turing's Thesis, anything computable.... (shrink)
In this paper I explore the question of how artificial life might be used to get a handle on philosophical issues concerning the mind-body problem. I focus on questions concerning what the physical precursors were to the earliest evolved versions of intelligent life. I discuss how cellular automata might constitute an experimental platform for the exploration of such issues, since cellular automata offer a unified framework for the modeling of physical, biological, and psychological processes. I discuss what it (...) would take to implement in a cellular automaton the evolutionary emergence of cognition from non-cognitive artificial organisms. I review work on the artificial evolution of minimally cognitive organisms and discuss how such projects might be translated into cellular automata simulations. (shrink)
This paper is an introduction into the theory of cellular spaces. From the more general model of nets of abstract cells which are interpreted by finite automata, it is shown how the model of cellular spaces is achieved by specialization. Cellular spaces are extremely homogeneous in function and in geometry. The relation between local and global behavior is regarded as the main topic of the theory. After a formal definition of cellular spaces, it is shown that (...) not all functions of the configuration space are induced by cellular spaces. In addition, the Garden-of-Eden problem is discussed, and a simple self-reproduction property is explained. (shrink)
Lattice-gas cellular automaton (LGCA) and lattice Boltzmann (LB) models are promising models for studying emergent behaviour of transport and interaction processes in biological systems. In this chapter, we will emphasise the use of LGCA/LB models and the derivation and analysis of LGCA models ranging from the classical example dynamics of fluid flow to clotting phenomena in cerebral aneurysms and the invasion of tumour cells.
Mathematical models of tumour invasion appear as interesting tools for connecting the information extracted from medical imaging techniques and the large amount of data collected at the cellular and molecular levels. Most of the recent studies have used stochastic models of cell translocation for the comparison of computer simulations with histological solid tumour sections in order to discriminate and characterise expansive growth and active cell movements during host tissue invasion. This paper describes how a deterministic approach based on reaction-diffusion (...) models and their generalisation in the mechano-chemical framework developed in the study of biological morphogenesis can be an alternative for analysing tumour morphological patterns. We support these considerations by reviewing two studies. In the first example, successful comparison of simulated brain tumour growth with a time sequence of computerised tomography (CT) scans leads to a quantification of the clinical parameters describing the invasion process and the therapy. The second example considers minimal hypotheses relating cell motility and cell traction forces. Using this model, we can simulate the bifurcation from an homogeneous distribution of cells at the tumour surface toward a nonhomogeneous density pattern which could characterise a pre-invasive stage at the tumour-host tissue interface. (shrink)
Morphogenesis is a key process in developmental biology. An important issue is the understanding of the generation of shape and cellular organisation in tissues. Despite of their great diversity, morphogenetic processes share common features. This work is an attempt to describe this diversity using the same formalism based on a cellular description. Tissue is seen as a multi-cellular system whose behaviour is the result of all constitutive cells dynamics. Morphogenesis is then considered as a spatiotemporal organization of (...) cells activities. We show how this formalism relies on Reaction–Diffusion/Positional Information approach and how it permits to generalize its modelling possibilities. Three quite different applications for concrete morphogenetic processes are presented. The first one is a model for epithelial invagination, the second is a model of cellular differentiation by local cell–cell signalling. The last example is the secondary radial growth of conifer trees. From the mathematical point of view, different modelling tools are used according to the specificity of each process. (shrink)
This article is about the beginnings of tissue culture-the culture of living, reproducing cells of complex organisms outside the body. It argues that Ross Harrison's experiments in nerve culture between 1907 and 1910 should be viewed as part of a larger shift in early twentieth-century laboratory practice from in vivo to in vitro experimentation. Via a focus on the temporality of experiment-contrasting the live object of Harrison's investigation with the static object of histological representations-this article details the production of a (...) new and surprising form of life, cellular life in vitro. Tissue culture, developed from Harrison's experiments, was greeted with great surprise and disbelief, despite Harrison's protestations that he had merely juxtaposed extant techniques. An analysis of these initial reactions to tissue culture illuminates the extent to which cells living visibly outside of the body in glass broke with in vivo practices and assumptions of the hiddenness and interiority of certain processes of growth and change. (shrink)
A cellular automaton that is related to the "mosaic cycle concept" is considered. We explain why such automata sustain very often, but not always, n-periodic trajectories (n being the number of states of the automaton). Our work is a first step in the direction of a theory of these type of automata which might be useful in modeling mosaic successions.
Cellular mechanisms hypothesized to underlie sleep-dependent memory consolidation are expressed throughout the brain during sleep. Use of sleep deprivation to evaluate the functional importance of these mechanisms is confounded by degradation in waking performance resulting from impaired vigilance. There is a need for methods that will permit disruption of specific mechanisms during sleep only in the neuronal circuits most critically involved in learning. This should be accomplished without global sleep disruption and with preservation of the restorative aspects of sleep.
It is posited that the initiating event of amphibian regeneration of a limb, is retrodifferentiation* of what are to become the developing cells of the blastema. These cells reiterate a larval or premetamorphic ontogenic repertoire, induced by elevated levels of prolactin with adequate innervation. Subsequent redifferentiation of the blastema cells occurs, controlled by thyroxine and innervation.This temporal displacement of cellular morphologic characters in regeneration should be looked upon as a function of the ability to reiterate larval characters and subsequently (...) metamorphose. If correct, this would explain why amphibians which metamorphose only once, lose the ability to postmetamorphically regenerate. An exception to this,Xenopus laevis, an anuran which can epimorphically regenerate, to some extent, will be discussed.[/p]. (shrink)
We used computer simulations to study the possible role of the dispersion of cellular coupling, refractoriness or both, in the mechanisms underlying cardiac arrhythmias. Local ischemia was first assumed to induce cell to cell dispersion of the coupling resistance (Case 1), refractory period (Case 2), or both of them (Case 3). Our numerical experiments based on the van Capelle and Durrer model showed that vortices could not be induced by cell to cell variations. With cellular properties dispersed in (...) a patchy way within the ischemic zone, a single activation wave could give rise to abnormal activities. This demonstrates the stability of the wave front under small inhomogeneities. Probabilities of reentry, estimated for the three cases cited above showed that a severe alteration of the coupling resistance may be an important factor in the genesis of reentry. Moreover, use of isochronal maps revealed that vortices were both stable and sustained with an alteration of the coupling alone or combined with a reduction of the action potential duration. Conversely, simulations with reduction of the refractoriness alone, inducing only transient patterns, could exhibit functionally determined reentries. (shrink)
The controversy of neuroanatomy on the principal structure of the nervous systems, which took place at the end of the nineteenth century, is described. Two groups of scientists are identified: one that favoured the idea of a discrete cellular organization of the nervous tissue, and one that favoured a syncytial organization. These two interpretations arose from different histological techniques that produced conflicting pictures of the organization of the nervous tissue. In an experimental reexamination of the techniques used at the (...) end of the nineteenth century, the present study concerns the impact of these different histological procedures on the controversy about the principle nature of the nervous tissue. This controversy could not be resolved by neuroanatomy itself until the 1950s when electron microscopy was introduced into neurobiology. Thus, in a critical period of the conceptual development of neurosciences, neuroanatomy failed to establish a proper base for an interpretation of the functional morphology of nervous tissues. (shrink)
The target article on cellular mechanisms of long-term depression appears to have been well received by most authors of the relevant commentaries. This may be due to the fact that this review aimed to give a general account of the topic, rather than just describe previous work of the present author. The present response accordingly only raises questions of major interest for future research.
Wood is a hygromorphic material, meaning it responds to changes in environmental humidity by changing its geometry. Its cellular biological structure swells during wetting and shrinks during drying. The origin of the moisture-induced deformation lies at the sub-cellular scale. The cell wall can be considered a composite material with stiff cellulose fibrils acting as reinforcement embedded in a hemicellulose/lignin matrix. The bulk of the cellulose fibrils, forming 50% of the cell wall, are oriented longitudinally, forming long-pitched helices. Both (...) components of cell wall matrix are displaying swelling. Moisture sorption and, to a lesser degree, swelling/shrinkage are known to be hysteretic. We quantify the affine strains during the swelling and shrinkage using high resolution images obtained by phase contrast synchrotron X-ray tomography of wood samples of different porosities. The reversibility of the swelling/shrinkage is found for samples with controlled moisture sorption history. The deformation is more hysteretic for high than for low density samples. Swelling/shrinkage due to ad/desorption of water vapour displays also a non-affine component. The reversibility of the swelling/shrinkage indicates that the material has a structural capacity to show a persistent cellular geometry for a given moisture state and a structural composition that allows for moisture-induced transitional states. A collection of qualitative observations of small subsets of cells during swelling/shrinkage is further studied by simulating the observed behaviour. An anisotropic swelling coefficient of the cell wall is found to emerge and its origin is linked to the anisotropy of the cellulose fibrils arrangement in cell wall layers. (shrink)
The majority of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) self-assemble in the form dimeric/oligomeric complexes along the plasma membrane. Due to the molecular interactions they participate, GPCRs can potentially provide the framework for discriminating a wide variety of intercellular signals, as based on some kind of combinatorial receptor codes. GPCRs can in fact transduce signals from the external milieu by modifying the activity of such intracellular proteins as adenylyl cyclases, phospholipases and ion channels via interactions with specific G-proteins. However, in spite of (...) the number of cell functions they can actually control, both GPCRs and their associated signal transduction pathways are extremely well conserved, for only a few alleles with null or minor functional alterations have so far been found. This would seem to suggest that, beside a mechanism for DNA repairing, there must be another level of quality control that may help maintaining GPCRs rather stable throughout evolution. We propose here receptor oligomerization to be a basic molecular mechanism controlling GPCRs redundancy in many different cell types, and the plasma membrane as the first hierarchical cell structure at which selective categorical sensing may occur. Categorical sensing can be seen as the cellular capacity for identifying and ordering complex patterns of mixed signals out of a contextual matrix, i.e., the recognition of meaningful patterns out of ubiquitous signals. In this context, redundancy and degeneracy may appear as the required feature to integrate the cell system into functional units of progressively higher hierarchical levels. (shrink)
The data on the cellular mechanism of LTD that is presented in four target articles is synthesized into a new model of Purkinje cell plasticity. This model attempts to address credit assignment problems that are crucial in learning systems. Intracellular signal transduction mechanisms may provide the mechanism for a 3-factor learning rule and a trace mechanism. The latter may permit delayed information about motor error to modify the prior synaptic events that caused the error. This model may help to (...) focus future cellular studies on issues that are particularly critical for a computationally viable concept of cerebellar plasticity, [CRÉPEL et al.; HOUK et al.; KANO; LINDEN; VINCENT]. (shrink)
Between 1975 and 1985 a series of experiments demonstrated that cancer, whatever its causative agent, is due to the activation, by modification or overexpression, of a family of genes highly conserved during evolution, called the cellular oncogenes. These genes participate in the control of cell division in every living cell. Their products belong to the regulatory network relaying external signals from the membranes towards the nucleus and allowing cells to adapt their division rate to the demand of the organism. (...) These discoveries constitute what may be called the 'oncogene paradigm'. Although the existence of cellular oncogenes, assumed in early models of oncogenesis, was demonstrated as early as 1976, we will show in this article that this discovery was not sufficient for the development of the new paradigm. We will describe its slow and complex formation between 1980 and 1985 followed by its rapid acceptance by the scientific community. (shrink)
To cope with the water deficit resulting from saline environment, plant cells accumulate three kinds of osmotica: salts, small organic solutes and hydrophillic, glycine-rich proteins. Salts such as NaCl are cheap and available but has ion toxicity in high concentrations. Small organic solutes are assistant osmotica, their main function is to protect cytoplasmic enzymes from ionic toxicity and maintain the integrity of cellular membranes. Hydrophillic, glycine-rich proteins are the most effective osmotica, they have some characteristics to avoid crystallization even (...) in high concentration, but because they are expensive they are not as commonly used as salts or organic solutes. In addition there is the question of whether the genetic information for growth in saline environment is present in all kinds of plants, both halophytes and nonhalophytes. (shrink)
First isolated in the fly and now characterised in vertebrates, the Slit proteins have emerged as pivotal components controlling the guidance of axonal growth cones and the directional migration of neuronal precursors. As well as extensive expression during development of the central nervous system (CNS), the Slit proteins exhibit a striking array of expression sites in non-neuronal tissues, including the urogenital system, limb primordia and developing eye. Zebrafish Slit has been shown to mediate mesodermal migration during gastrulation, while Drosophila slit (...) guides the migration of mesodermal cells during myogenesis. This suggests that the actions of these secreted molecules are not simply confined to the sphere of CNS development, but rather act in a more general fashion during development and throughout the lifetime of an organism. This review focuses on the non-neuronal activities of Slit proteins, highlighting a common role for the Slit family in cellular migration. (shrink)
This book is about the epistemologically different worlds (hyperverse) in relationship with the "I", the mind-body problem (Frith, Llinas), Bechtel's mechanisms, Clark's extended mind, Bickle's molecular and cellular cognition, Kauffman's life, quantum mechanics, gravity, hyperspace vs. hyperverse -/- .
This book precis describes the motives behind my recent attempt to bring to bear “ruthlessly reductive” results from cellular and molecular neuroscience onto issues in the philosophy of mind. Since readers of this journal will probably be most interested in results addressing features of conscious experience, I highlight these most prominently. My main challenge is that philosophers (even scientifically-inspired ones) are missing the nature and scope of reductionism in contemporary neuroscience by focusing exclusively on higher-level cognitive neuroscience, and ignoring (...) the discipline's cell-physiological and molecular-biological core. (shrink)
The neuroanatomical substrates controlling and regulating sleeping and waking, and thus consciousness, are located in the brain stem. Most crucial for bringing the brain into a state conducive for consciousness and information processing is the mesencephalic part of the brain stem. This part controls the state of waking, which is generally associated with a high degree of consciousness. Wakefulness is accompanied by a low-amplitude, high-frequency electroencephalogram, due to the fact that thalamocortical neurons fire in a state of tonic depolarization. Information (...) can easily pass the low-level threshold of these neurons, leading to a high transfer ratio. The complexity of the electroencephalogram during conscious waking is high, as expressed in a high correlation dimension. Accordingly, the level of information processing is high. Spindles, and alpha waves in humans, mark the transition from wakefulness to sleep. These phenomena are related to drowsiness, associated with a reduction in consciousness. Drowsiness occurs when cells undergo moderate hyperpolarizations. Increased inhibitions result in a reduction of afferent information, with a lowered transfer ratio. Information processing subsides, which is also expressed in a diminished correlation dimension. Consciousness is further decreased at the onset of slow wave sleep. This sleep is controlled by the medullar reticular formation and is characterized by a high-voltage, low-frequency electroencephalogram. Slow wave sleep becomes manifest when neurons undergo a further hyperpolarization. Inhibitory activities are so strong that the transfer ratio further drops, as does the correlation dimension. Thus, sensory information is largely blocked and information processing is on a low level. Finally, rapid eye movement sleep is regulated by the pontine reticular formation and is associated with a ''wake-like'' electroencephalographic pattern. Just as during wakefulness, this is the expression of a depolarization of thalamocortical neurons. The transfer ratio of rapid eye movement sleep has not yet been determined, but seems to vary. Evidence exists that this type of sleep, associated with dreaming, with some kind of perception and consciousness, is involved in processing of ''internal'' information. In line with this, rapid eye movement sleep has higher correlation dimensions than slow-wave sleep and sometimes even higher than wakefulness. It is assumed that the ''near-the-threshold'' depolarized state of neurons in the thalamus and cerebral cortex is a necessary condition for perceptual processes and consciousness, such as occurs during waking and in an altered form during rapid eye movement sleep. (shrink)
Contemporary scientific research and public policy are not in agreement over what should be done to address the dangers that result from the drop in driving performance that occurs as a driver talks on a cellular phone. One response to this threat to traffic safety has been the banning in a number of countries and some states in the USA of handheld cell phone use while driving. However, research shows that the use of hands-free phones (such as headsets and (...) dashboard-mounted speakers) also accompanies a drop, leading some to recommend regulation of both kinds of mobile phones. In what follows, I draw out the accounts of the driving impairment associated with phone use implicit in research and policy and develop an alternative account grounded in philosophical considerations. Building on work in a school of thought called postphenomenology, I review and expand concepts useful for articulating human bodily and perceptual relations to technology. By applying these ideas to the case of driving while talking on the phone, I offer an account of the drop in driving performance which focuses on the embodied relationships users develop with the car and the phone, and I consider implications for research and policy. (shrink)
In the spatialized Prisoner's Dilemma, players compete against their immediate neighbors and adopt a neighbor's strategy should it prove locally superior. Fields of strategies evolve in the manner of cellular automata (Nowak and May, 1993; Mar and St. Denis, 1993a,b; Grim 1995, 1996). Often a question arises as to what the eventual outcome of an initial spatial configuration of strategies will be: Will a single strategy prove triumphant in the sense of progressively conquering more and more territory without opposition, (...) or will an equilibrium of some small number of strategies emerge? Here it is shown, for finite configurations of Prisoner's Dilemma strategies embedded in a given infinite background, that such questions are formally undecidable: there is no algorithm or effective procedure which, given a specification of a finite configuration, will in all cases tell us whether that configuration will or will not result in progressive conquest by a single strategy when embedded in the given field. The proof introduces undecidability into decision theory in three steps: by (1) outlining a class of abstract machines with familiar undecidability results, by (2) modelling these machines within a particular family of cellular automata, carrying over undecidability results for these, and finally by (3) showing that spatial configurations of Prisoner's Dilemma strategies will take the form of such cellular automata. (shrink)
: Stem cell therapies should be available to people of all ethnicities. However, most cells used in the clinic will probably come from lines of cells stored in stem cell banks, which may end up benefiting the majority group most. The solution is to seek additional funding, earmarked for lines that will benefit minorities and offered as a public expression of apology for past discrimination.
Teleological variations of non-deterministic processes are defined. The immediate past of a system defines the state from which the ordinary (non-teleological) dynamical law governing the system derives different possible present states. For every possible present state, again a number of possible states for the next time step can be defined, and so on. After k time steps, a selection criterion is applied. The present state leading to the selected state after k time steps is taken to be the effective present (...) state. Hence, the present state of a system is defined by its past in the sense that the past determines the possible states that are to be considered, and by its future in the sense that the selection of a possible future state determines the effective present state. A system that obeys this type of teleological dynamics may have significantly better performance than its non-teleological counterpart. The basic reason is that evolutions that are less optimal for the present time step, but which lead to a higher optimality after k time steps, may be preferred. This abstract concept of teleology is implemented for two concrete systems. First, it is applied to a general method for function approximation and classification problems. The method at issue treats all problems handled by conventional connectionism, and is suited for information with inner structure also. Second, it is applied to a dynamics in which forms of maximal homogeneity have to be produced. The relevance of the latter dynamics for generative art is illustrated. The teleology is `deep' in the sense that it is situated at the cellular level, in contradistinction with the teleology that is usually met in cognitive contexts, and which refers to macroscopic processes such as making plans. It is conjectured that deep level teleology is useful for machines, even though the issue if natural systems use this teleology is left open. (shrink)
Fluid-phase endocytosis (pinocytosis) kinetics were studied inDictyostelium discoideum amoebae from the axenic strain Ax-2 that exhibits high rates of fluid-phase endocytosis when cultured in liquid nutrient media. Fluorescein-labelled dextran (FITC-dextran) was used as a marker in continuous uptake- and in pulse-chase exocytosis experiments. In the latter case, efflux of the marker was monitored on cells loaded for short periods of time and resuspended in marker-free medium. A multicompartmental model was developed which describes satisfactorily fluid-phase endocytosis kinetics. In particular, it accounts (...) correctly for the extended latency period before exocytosis in pulse-chase experiments and it suggests the existence of some sorts of maturation stages in the pathway. (shrink)
The human brain is a complex organ made up of neurons and several other cell types, and whose role is processing information for use in elicitation of behaviors. To accomplish this, the brain requires large amounts of energy, and this energy is obtained by the oxidation of glucose (Glc). However, the question of how the oxidation of Glc by individual neurons in brain results in their collective ability to rapidly generate feats of cognition that allow them to recognize the nature (...) of the universe in which they live and to communicate this information remains unclear. In this article, insights into this process are provided by first considering the brain’ s homeostatic “operating system” for supply of energy to stimulated neurons, and how this system defines the basic unit of brain “structure”. This is followed by consideration of the brain’s “two-cell” neuronal communication mechanism which defines the basic unit of brain “function”. Finally, an analysis of the nature of frequency-encoded “neuronal languages” that enable ensembles of neurons to translate energy derived from the oxidation of Glc into a collective “mind”, the aggregate of all brain processes including those involving perception, thought, insight, foresight, imagination and behavior. (shrink)