14 Pages

From Molecules to Mental States

WithMark F. Bear, Leon N. Cooper

The usefulness of a theoretical framework lies in its concreteness and in the precision with which questions can be formulated. The more precise the questions, the easier it is to compare theoretical consequences with experience. Models of distributed memory storage suggest that a cellular correlate of memory is experience-dependent changes in neuronal stimulus selectivity. Studies of the brain will give a more detailed understanding of the genetic, molecular, and cellular basis of various brain functions, including learning, memory storage, and information transfer. Theoretical structures have and will continue to provide illumination of the neurobiological basis for learning and memory storage. Most great theories are at best partially correct. A theory or a point of view is essential. Theory provides a framework within which questions become relevant. A satisfactory theory of mind not only allows but requires the introduction of mental entities constructed from the materials available.