Knowing this new model of a nervous system composed of a box within a box, within a box..., makes it much easier for me to be comfortable with the assertion that the brain is behavior. The original model of a box representing the nervous system with stimuli and response characterized by arrows connected in a direct path from one leading to the other was too simplistic to account for the known complex nature of the brain.

The old model did not account for the many unpredictable behaviors to stimuli, such as we saw in the results of the cricket experiment which we discussed in class.

Thus with this new model of an infinite box within a box system, leading to what we will study as the smallest box, a single neuron, we see that there are then 10e12 boxes linked in an incomprehensibly large number of different ways to produce an equally vast number of behaviors. From this model, I can understand why no one behaves exactly a like, and where behavioral disorders may originate. This complex pathway of many interconnected boxes also frees me from the concern that the original statement limited us to a finite number of choices, (essay 1), but with the additional property of autonomy, I can agree more strongly with the original assertion of brain and behavior.

In addition, I think that the changing of the words stimulus and response to input and output still implies that one leads to the other always. Mathematically we can conceptualize how adding an input of certain numbers into an equation leads to a definite output or solution. However, I guess that we really won't ever know the 'equation' for our brain, thus there is still the necessary ambiguity in input and output.

Glad it helps (it does for me too, for many of the same reasons you mention). And yes, together with autonomy (which we need to talk about more), it gets one out of the uncomfortably constraining finite choice sense. Your concern about input/output is entirely appropriate (and quite sophisticated). In a very real sense (which we'll talk about more), information flow is not only from left to right (as we've drawn our box) but from right to left as well (so that what we have labelled as output is, in some interesting ways, an important component of input). On top of which, the "equation" for the brain is always changed by the use of the brain. So, I agree (and think we'll find) that thinking of the brain as a very complex but defined mathematical function mapping input to output isn't quite right. PG