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The Brain from Inside Out$
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György Buzsáki

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190905385

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190905385.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 February 2021

Internalization of Experience

Internalization of Experience

Cognition from Action

Chapter:
(p.101) 5 Internalization of Experience
Source:
The Brain from Inside Out
Author(s):

György Buzsáki

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190905385.003.0005

This chapter describes how perceptual and navigation functions can become disengaged from their dependence on the external world. The key physiological mechanism that allows this “internalization” process is the corollary discharge system, which can interpret the activity of action circuits even in the absence of overt movement and sensory feedback from muscles. Within such an internalized world, brain networks can anticipate the consequences of imagined actions without the need to act them out. Instead the outcomes can be tested against previously acquired knowledge, which creates new knowledge entirely through self-organized brain activity. Neuronal circuits can perform both input-dependent and input-disengaged operations. Even simple brains of small animals have elements of internal operations (“cognition”). As the complexity of neural networks increases in larger brains, the share and efficacy of internalized computation also increases and can predict consequences of the brain’s actions over longer time scales and in more complex environments.

Keywords:   cognition, head direction sense, spatial navigation, episodic memory, semantic memory, disengagement, internalization of function, mirror neurons, place cells, grid cells

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