Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Top-Down Approach to Brain Function?

Denyse O'Leary has a blog entry titled New theory of brain flexibility offers to explain rapid coping mechanisms, at her blog Mindful Hack. The subject of the blog entry is research related to brain function. Two things caught my interest in light of my recent post Top Down Causation: A Logical Foundation for Intelligent Design. Denyse mentions a dynamic collaboration between multiple brain locations which appears to be a constantly adaptive process. This looks very much like a top-down candidate for neurological functions.

Even more attention getting though is the possibility that more accurate predictions about brain behavior may result from what amounts to a top-down perspective. There are those who oppose the use of a top-down or a downward causation paradigm. They object that "real" causal patterns are a consequence of emergence- a bottoms up approach. Bottoms-up restrictions, particularly with regard to origin of life theories and gross anatomical functions, are an impediment to advancing science in my view.

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