23 Pages

Unity and Diversity in the Human Brain: Evidence from Injury

WithMarcel Kinsbourne

This chapter shows that the way functions are organized in the Human brain corresponds in principle to how the cerebral nerve net is organized neuroanatomically. It offers some suggestions as to how this organ, which is both integrated and differentiated, might work. The recursive organization of the "cognitive profile" finds its counterpart in the recursive organization of the cortical neuronal network. The cortex is conceptualized as a recursive network or "net of nets," constructs that are vividly realized in cerebral organization: The global network is composed of separate parallel cortical "trends". Anatomical minutiae apart, the implication for brain organization is that trends are composed of individual sequentially connected processing units called stages. The injured brain operates on a skimpier neuronal and cognitive base, with fewer differentiated activity patterns available. Many case studies contribute to a mapping of cognitive functions on the brain via evidence about the localization of the causative lesions.