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Journal Article

Complex functions of the brain


Kirschfeld,  K
Former Department Comparative Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Kirschfeld, K. (2004). Complex functions of the brain. Zoology, 104(3-4), 256-267. doi:10.1078/0944-2006-00031.

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Over the course of the last 50 years it has been possible to solve a number of basic problems in neurobiology. Interest is now turning more and more to problems concerning so-called “higherρ brain functions, including cognition. Examples from the visual system in primates are presented. First relatively elementary problems are illustrated, such as how long it takes to perceive an object or to respond to a stimulus or combinations of stimuli. Top-down modification of perception by expectation is demonstrated in an illusion of misdirected gaze. Interdisciplinary questions straddling the sciences and the humanities are also approached, such as which part of the brain mediates conscious perception. Finally, the problem of causality and freedom of will is addressed, taking into account the knowledge accumulated in the neurosciences during the last 5 decades.