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Brains as Engines of Association – An Operating Principle for Nervous Systems - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Brains as Engines of Association: An Operating Principle for Nervous Systems

Dale Purves


Brains as Engines of Association seeks an operating principle of the human brain and is divided into four parts. The first part (“What Nervous Systems Do for Animals”) is intended to set the stage for understanding the emergence of neural systems as promoting what all organisms must accomplish: survival and reproduction. The second part (“Neural Systems as Engines of Association”) lays out the general argument that biological sensing systems face a daunting problem: they cannot measure the parameters of the world in the way physical instruments can. As a result, nervous systems must make and u ... More

Keywords: brains, evolution, experience, behavior, vision, perception

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190880163
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190880163.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Dale Purves, author
Geller Professor of Neurobiology Emeritus, Duke University

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