Biomolecular Information, Brain Activity and Cognitive Functions.


Molecular neurobiology has provided an explanation of mechanisms supporting mental functions as learning, memory, emotion and consciousness. However, an explanatory gap remains between two levels of description: molecular mechanisms determining cellular and tissue functions, and cognitive functions. In this paper we review molecular and cellular mechanisms that determine brain activity, and then hypothetize about their relation with cognition and consciousness. The brain is conceived of as a dynamic system that exchanges information with the whole body and the environment. Three explanatory hypotheses are presented, stating that: a) brain tissue function is coordinated by macromolecules controlling the movements of ions, b) structured (amplitude, frequency and phase-modulated) local field potentials generated by organized ionic movement embody cognitive information patterns, and c) conscious episodes are constructed by a large-scale mechanism that uses oscillatory synchrony to integrate local field patterns.

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