Publication 5032

Cariani P. (2000) Regenerative process in life and mind. In: Chandler J. & Van de Vijver G. (eds.) Closure: Emergent organizations and their dynamics. New York Academy of Sciences, New York: 26–34.
The functional organization of the nervous system is discussed from the standpoint of organizational closure and regenerative process in order to draw parallels between life and mind. Living organization entails continual regeneration of material parts and functional relations (self-production). Similarly, dynamic stability of informational states in brains may entail coherent self-regenerating patterns of neural signals. If mind is the functional organization of the nervous system, then mental states can be seen as switchings between alternative sets of stable, self-regenerative neural signal productions. In networks of neurons, signaling resonances can be created through recurrent, reentrant neural circuits that are organized to implement a heterarchy of correlational operations. Neural representations are dynamically built-up through an interplay between externally-impressed, incoming sensory signals and internally-generated circulating signals to form pattern-resonances. Semiotic aspects of resonance states involve semantic sensori-motor linkages to and through the external environment and pragmatic linkages to evaluative mechanisms that implement internal goal states. It is hypothesized that coherent regenerative signaling may be an organizational requirement for a material system to support conscious awareness. In this view general anesthetics and seizures abolish awareness by temporarily disrupting the organizational coherence of regenerative neural signaling.
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