The Psychophysiology of Consciousness

Hardcover | June 28, 2013

byEugene Sokolov

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This is the last major work of Eugene N. Sokolov, Professor of Psychophysiology at Moscow State University from 1950 to 2008. It summarizes the contributions of a lifetime on the neural mechanism of consciousness. Working at the intersection of psychology, neurophysiology and mathematics,Sokolov early introduced the concept of quantifiable "difference in neuronal activity" and "cognitive distance" as corresponding metrics in the physical and mental models of reality. He demonstrated the power of multidimensional vector mathematics to represent the neural computations that mediatebetween the brain's neural model and the mind's mental model of reality. Sokolov and colleagues showed a mathematical commonality among the neuronal mechanisms that mediate the perception of basic features of visual stimuli including color, brightness, line orientation and motion. This led to a general vector model linking perceptual and memory processes to adaptivemotor mechanisms. They extended the model to encompass broader, more complex functions, such as the perception of emotions in facial expressions, semantic differences in verbal stimuli and differential executive control mechanisms. Integrating evidence from human psychophysics, animalneurophysiology and vector mathematics they developed a unified model to characterize quantitatively many complex relations between objective and subjective aspects of reality.Sokolov's studies of neuronal mechanisms of mental phenomena led him to distinguish two categories of neurons: "consciousness neurons" directly associated with awareness of perceptual, emotional and cognitive events, and neurons that are necessary for, but not directly involved in, consciousprocesses. The book integrates his findings with major themes shaping twenty-first century understanding of the brain-mind relationship. It relates the findings both to work of other Russian investigators, such as Pavlov, Luria, and Rusinov, and to work of many Western researchers, including vonBekesy, Eccles, Edelman, Ehrenstein, Grossberg, John, Koch and Crick, Ledoux, Llinas, Milner, Penfield, Penrose, Posner, and Schrodinger.

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This is the last major work of Eugene N. Sokolov, Professor of Psychophysiology at Moscow State University from 1950 to 2008. It summarizes the contributions of a lifetime on the neural mechanism of consciousness. Working at the intersection of psychology, neurophysiology and mathematics,Sokolov early introduced the concept of quantifi...

Evgenii Sokolov is one of the most famous and decorated psychologists of the twentieth century. A professor at Moscow State University, he established the school's Department of Psychophysiology, which he chaired for more than thirty years. He pursued an exceedingly productive career of interdisciplinary research and teaching that ende...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:June 28, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199934355

ISBN - 13:9780199934355

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Table of Contents

E.N. Sokolov (1920-2008)PrefaceIntroductionPart 1. The spherical model of cognitive processing1. Vector encoding in perception1.1. The detector neuron1.2. The neuronal structure of color space1.3. Detectors of orientation and spatial frequency1.4. Detectors of orientation and direction of lines in motion1.5. Computation of perceptual differences: the perceptual evoked potential2. From detector map to maps of memory and semantic units2.1. The vector code in mismatch negativity2.2. Recognition memory: vector transformation in neural networks2.3. Association of memory traces based on time and similarity2.4. Correlation between percepts and semantics2.5. Computation of semantic differences in neural networks3. Vector encoding in response conditioning3.1. Synaptic mechanisms of the conditional response3.2. Corticofugal and centripetal modulation of detector maps3.3. Fluctuation of the pacemaker potential3.4. The pacemaker potential in receptors, detectors and command neuronsPart 2. The Neural Screen of Consciousness4. The modular organization of the brain4.1. The modular organization of cortical neurons4.2. Are all neurons associated with consciousness?4.3. Consciousness and sleep5. The mosaic nature of consciousness5.1. The concept of distributed consciousness5.2. Perception5.3. Memory and semantics5.4. Emotions5.5. Subjective mosaics6. Varieties of consciousness6.1. Global and focal changes of consciousness6.2. Special states of neurons in global and focal loss of consciousness6.3. Filling-in and assimilation6.4. Contrast6.5. Masking6.6. Supersensitivity7. The neurophysiology of consciousness7.1. Introspective and neuroconceptual models of consciousness7.2. Re-entry7.3. Consciousness and rhythmic brain activity7.4. The gamma-rhythm and consciousness7.5. Semantic evoked potentials7.6. Consciousness neurons7.7. Neurocomputation on dendrites7.8. The intracellular mechanism of consciousnessConclusion: the spherical model of consciousnessBibliography