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Description - Dynamic Patterns by J. A. Scott Kelso

For the past 20 years Scott Kelso's research has focused on extending the physical concepts of self-organization and the mathematical tools of non-linear dynamics to understand how human beings (and human brains) perceive, intend, learn, control and co-ordinate complex behaviours. In this book Kelso proposes a general framework within which to connect brain, mind and behaviour. Kelso's prescription for mental life breaks with the classical computational approach that is still the operative framework for many newer psychological and neurophysiological studies. His core thesis is that the creation and evolution of patterned behaviour at all levels - from neurons to mind - is governed by the generic processes of self-organization. Both human brain and behaviour are shown to exhibit features of pattern-forming dynamical systems, including multistability, abrupt phase transitions, crises and intermittency. This work brings together different aspects of this approach to the study of human behaviour, using simple experimental examples and illustrations to convey essential concepts, strategies and methods, with a minimum of mathematics. Commencing with a general account of dynamic pattern formation, the text then takes up behaviour, focusing initially on identifying pattern-forming instabilities in human sensorimotor co-ordination. Moving back and forth between theory and experiment, it establishes the notion that the same pattern-forming mechanisms apply regardless of the component parts involved (parts of the body, parts of the nervous system, parts of society) and the medium through which the parts are coupled. Finally, employing the latest techniques to observe spatiotemporal patterns of brain activity, Kelso shows that the human brain is fundamentally a pattern forming dynamical system, poised on the brink of instability. Self-organization thus underlies the co-operative action of neurons that produces human behaviour in all its forms.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780262611312
ISBN-10: 0262611317
Format: Paperback
(254mm x 178mm x 25mm)
Pages: 334
Imprint: Bradford Books
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 22-Jan-1997
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - J. A. Scott Kelso

J. A. Scott Kelso holds the Glenwood and Martha Creech Chair in Science at Florida Atlantic University and is Founder and Director of the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences.

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