In quest of specific neurons of mind and mental disorder

Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 6 (1):34-38 (2013)
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The essay questions the role of neurons in the concept of mind. The mind is considered as an emerging but physical property of the brain: a mental brain configuration does exist. This configuration is relatively resistant to brain damage, coma, hypoxia and normal (electro)physiological brain states and is envisioned as a relatively stable (nearly anatomical) structure. Consistent with this idea is that, despite the lifetime turnover of their constituents (e.g. proteins and nucleotides) and morphological changes, brain neurons do not divide. Brain neurons are continuously modified, for example by lifetime experiences: genetic and epigenetic support for this thesis is provided. The presumed mental brain configuration guarantees lifetime storage of information, but does not imply that this information and memories remain unmodified during aging. In principle, neurons permanently affected by mental processes can be identified in vitro or in vivo, despite anticipated practical problems. This essay may help to scientifically legitimate complementary neurobiological ad psychotherapeutic approaches in psychiatry.


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