“Decortication” does not distinguish between removing all cerebral cortex, including three-layered allocortex or just six-layered neocortex. Functional decortication, by spreading depression, reversibly suppresses only neocortex, leaving minimal intentionality. Removal of all forebrain structures except a hypothalamic “island” blocks all intentional behaviors, leaving only tropisms. To what extent do Merker's examples retain allocortex, and how might such residues affect his interpretations? (Published Online May 1 2007).
EEG evidence supports the view that each cerebral hemisphere maintains a scale-free network that generates and maintains a global state of chaos. By its own evolution, and under environmental impacts, this hemispheric chaos can rise to heights that may either escape containment and engender incontinent action or be constrained by predictive control and yield creative action of great power and beauty.
Tsuda offers advanced concepts to model brain functions, includ-ing “chaotic itinerancy,” “attractor ruins,” “singular-continuous nowhere-differentiable attractors,” “Cantor coding,” “multi-Milnor attractor systems,” and “dynamically generated noise.” References to physiological descriptions of attractor landscapes governing activity over cortical fields maintained by millions of action potentials may facilitate their application in future experimental designs and data analyses.
Thelen et al. have a strong case for linking behavior with mind through nonrepresentational dynamics. Their case linking mind with brain is less compelling. Modified avenues are proposed for further exploration: greater emphasis on the dynamics of perception; use of chaotic instead of deterministic dynamics with noise; and use of intentionality instead of motivation, taking advantage of its creative dynamics to model genesis of goal-directed behaviors.
A unifing theory of spatiotemporal brain dynamics should incorporate multiple spatial and temporal scales. Between the microscopic (local) and macroscopic (global) components proposed by Nunez, mesoscopic (intermediate-range) elements should be integral parts of models. The corresponding mathematical formalism requires tools of nonlinear dynamics and the use of aperiodic (chaotic) attractors. Some relations between local-mesoscopic and mesoscopic-global components are outlined.
In “Lifelines” Steven Rose constructs a case against neurogenetic determinism based on experimental data from biology and in favor of a significant degree of self determination. Two philosophical errors in the case favoring neurogenetic determinism are illustrated by Rose: category mistakes and an excessively narrow view of causality restricted to the linear form.
A distinction between the self and its superstructure, the ego, supports Mele's conclusions. The dynamics of the limbic system generates the self through behavior that is subject to societal observation. The rest of the brain contributes awareness that, by ingenious back-dating and rationalization, gives the ultimate in self-deception: the illusion of control of the self by its own derivative.