According to our theory, the brain is a series of connected little boxes. We have now learned that these boxes are neurons, and specificly, we have learned that these neurons functiuon by using concentration gradients to send an electrical charge. The gradients are complex and how they work needs to be throughly understood in order to understand brain function. Spending a week on them is definitly worth it. Trying to understand the brain without understanding neurons would be like trying to do calculus without being able to add. Now that we can understand how these neurons work, we can begin to look at how they work and interact together and how this relates to behavior.
All of the studies done on grashoppers, crickets and cats have been looking at which neurons fire when, and how these stimulations relate to movement. These animals are what have been studied the most becuase simpler animals have less neurons and are more easy to understand. Additionally, movement is much more easy to study than thought. But interesting studies have been done on brain function in humans. PET scans were done on two sets of people. Those who tested high on standardized test an those who didn't. The test were done while the people were taking the exams and it was found that people who had high scores had specific pathways in the brain that light up when answering a question. People who scored low used their entire brain, and if they did use a pathway, they used a completely different pathway from the other people. So behavior can be related to the pathways that the neurons use, and now that we understand how each individual neuron works, we should better be able to understand these pathways.
Good argument, and good extension. Yes, seeing how single cells participate in easily visible behaviors, like movement, pave the way for making sense of the relation between broader patterns of neuronal activity and less easily observed behaviors, like thinking. And, in both cases, knowing the underlying physiology is important in properly interpreting the observations. PET scans give a good overall picture, but not a fine-grain enough picture to know whether people are or are not using SOME "pathway". It may simply be more obvious in some cases than others (because activity is grossly more localized). PG