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TheScientificWorldJOURNAL
Volume 8 (2008), Pages 621-642
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2008.7
Research Article

Human Development XII: A Theory for the Structure and Function of the Human Brain

1Quality of Life Research Center, Classensgade 11C, 1 sal, DK-2100 Copenhagen O, Denmark
2Research Clinic for Holistic Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
3Nordic School of Holistic Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
4Scandinavian Foundation for Holistic Medicine, Sandvika, Norway
5Interuniversity College, Graz, Austria
6Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Ariel University Center, Samaria, Ariel, Israel
7National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Jerusalem, Israel
8Office of the Medical Director, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel
9Kentucky Children's Hospital, University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA

Received 5 February 2007; Revised 28 March 2008; Accepted 9 April 2008

Academic Editor: Hatim A. Omar

Copyright © 2008 SȖren Ventegodt et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The human brain is probably the most complicated single structure in the biological universe. The cerebral cortex that is traditionally connected with consciousness is extremely complex. The brain contains approximately 1,000,000 km of nerve fibers, indicating its enormous complexity and which makes it difficult for scientists to reveal the function of the brain. In this paper, we propose a new model for brain functions, i.e., information-guided self-organization of neural patterns, where information is provided from the abstract wholeness of the biophysical system of an organism (often called the true self, or the “soul””). We present a number of arguments in favor of this model that provide self-conscious control over the thought process or cognition. Our arguments arise from analyzing experimental data from different research fields: histology, anatomy, electroencephalography (EEG), cerebral blood flow, neuropsychology, evolutionary studies, and mathematics. We criticize the popular network theories as the consequence of a simplistic, mechanical interpretation of reality (philosophical materialism) applied to the brain. We demonstrate how viewing brain functions as information-guided self-organization of neural patterns can explain the structure of conscious mentation; we seem to have a dual hierarchical representation in the cerebral cortex: one for sensation-perception and one for will-action. The model explains many of our unique mental abilities to think, memorize, associate, discriminate, and make abstractions. The presented model of the conscious brain also seems to be able to explain the function of the simpler brains, such as those of insects and hydra.