Signaling in the Brain: In Search of Functional Units

Philosophy of Science 81 (5):891-901 (2014)

Authors
Rosa Cao
Stanford University
Abstract
What are the functional units of the brain? If the function of the brain is to process information-carrying signals, then the functional units will be the senders and receivers of those signals. Neurons have been the default candidate, with action potentials as the signals. But there are alternatives: synapses fit the action potential picture more cleanly, and glial activities (e.g., in astrocytes) might also be characterized as signaling. Are synapses or nonneuronal cells better candidates to play the role of functional units? Will informational signaling still be the best model for brain function if we move beyond the neuron doctrine?
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DOI 10.1086/677688
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References found in this work BETA

A Teleosemantic Approach to Information in the Brain.Rosa Cao - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (1):49-71.

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Citations of this work BETA

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Marr, Mayr, and MR: What Functionalism Should Now Be About.M. Chirimuuta - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (3):403-418.
Signals That Make a Difference.Brett Calcott, Paul E. Griffiths & Arnaud Pocheville - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx022.

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