The Central Nervous System: Principles, Theories and Models of Structure, Development and Functioning
On the basis of systematic characteristics, the principles of structure, development, and functioning of the nervous system are established. These principles serve as starting point for the design of theories and models. Empirical and experimental tests and evaluations of theories and models complement existing knowledge. This, in turn, enables us to develop new principles or modify them in such a way that we come to have new models or new versions of the old ones. Due to this obvious interactivity, it seems reasonable to discuss the principles of structure and functioning of the central nervous system in the same chapter with the theories and models that refer to them. The four principles that are discussed in this chapter are hierarchical organization, parallel processing, plasticity, and lateralization of functions.