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Adam Zakheim's picture


By the end of Thursday's class, it was concluded that the nervous system is almost entirely composed of interneurons, which receive and promulgate signals in the neocortex. This suggests that lots of responses are generated from with in the nervous system and hence, these findings are consistent with Dickinson's argument. Moreover, this idea also supports the "modified box with in a box" model, since the brain must be highly organized in order to accommodate the signals from the 10^12 (x 99.99 %) number of neurons.As I continue to think about the “brain = behavior” argument, it becomes more apparent that the architecture of the brain is largely responsible for how we behave. Comparing the neural anatomy of several different animals demonstrated that different animals have different neural systems (although they share a similar pattern, i.e. spinal chord / medulla / midbrain / diencephalons / forebrain). This raised the question; do similar organisms have different brains? Since the architecture of the brain is dependent upon such a vast number of neurons, it would make sense that differences would frequently arise. But where and when do these difference occur.  If we are to assess this question, I believe it is essential to ascertain when brain development begins. The brain develops during gastrulation, but when do prenatal animals begin to actually think?


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