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Concept of Dynamic Brain

Minoru Tsukada, Tamagawa University

Two Wheels rolling cooperatively in a Brain Exploring by 3D Flash (a plugin is required)

Our goal is to capture a dynamic view of the brain. The projected figure shows our point of view schematically. A bicycle has two wheels and will not move if they are not operated properly. We will consider what kinds of brain functions each wheel corresponds to.

To survive, humans have to adapt to their outer environments, and at the same time construct a model of this environment in their brains. Even without input from the environment, the human brain can use this model to test its various options before deciding an action that may be suitable for the situation. When there is a change in the environment, one's actions must change accordingly, and so this inner model is revised. Likewise, the right wheel in the figure represents a dynamic model which is changing from moment to moment.

The left wheel in the figure indicates the dynamics of reasoning behind the data processing in the brain. While also using the internal model of the environment, it is a component involved in deduction. When the brain plans specific actions, it builds several hypotheses and attempts to predict the future in those conditions. To verify these predictions, the body takes action in the physical world. If these actions do not fit, then a new hypothesis is formulated, new data are produced by reasoning, and the internal model is amended. This dynamic process repeats until the internal model fits the outer environment. These two wheels in our schematic are connected through memory and learning, but what kind of energy is necessary to fuel their movement? We propose that it is belief, desire, will, and emotion that provide the energy to move the wheels.

One dynamic brain or a group of dynamic brains attains intelligence by mutually interacting with the environment, and a breakthrough seems within reach by combining complex systems science, computational science, and mathematics. However, as yet undefined are the fundamental principles that underlie dynamic behaviors in irregularity produced by complex systems. Additionally, there is at present no satisfactory description of the mechanisms that produce new systems by mutual interaction among hetero-systems.

Judging from these developments, it would be a wise objective to open up and establish a new research field that deals with the mechanisms of creativity, by which new functions are created from preexisting stable and regular functions as a result of mutual interactions among hetero-systems. Here, we assume mutual interactions of two types, one operating through linguistic and non-linguistic signals in the communication between human individuals, and another in the electrical and chemical processes in neural connections between different functional modules inside the brains of humans and other animals. In these mutual interactions, it is thought that creativity can be explained as the emergence of new types of aspects or conditions of a system. Moreover, research fields like those of social systems and organizational innovation are bound to be included as applied fields soon. This is because adaptive behavior, found universally among living individual organisms, occurs also in social dynamics that determine individual group cohesion.

Questions to investigate in the present research field include human creativity, the emergence of autonomy and role sharing in communication, and the emergence of cooperative behavior. These things are important for future generations in the science of complex and nonlinear systems.