Monday, October 5, 2009

unraveling the brain

This hourlong lecture by Thomas M. Jessel is highly recommended for anyone interested in the workings of the brain and the importance of embodiment. He explains up to a molecular level the development of the nervous system and its interaction with an organism's morphology. One striking explanation is about how sheep can be born with one eye in the center of the head as a result of a lower concentration of sonic hedhehog signalling. Another is how the nervous system continuously grows through a growth cone at the tip of each axon, which gets stimulated or inhibited by its local environment and thus connects to muscles in highly intricate ways.

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