Circuits of Neocortex

Every thought, every idea, every memory, every decision, and every action we have and make, arises from the activity of neurons in our brains. The material results of some of this activity surround us: household objects, books, technology, art, and the societies in which we all live. Of all brain structures, the neocortex, which forms over 80% of the volume of the human brain is, arguably, the most critical to what makes us human. This is a paradox, because the basic local architecture of the neocortex in all mammals, from mouse to man, appears to be very similar and is determined by the laminar distribution of relatively few types of excitatory and inhibitory neurons organized according to common principles of connectivity. The physical basis of thought is so intriguing that my present research goal is to answer just two questions: 'what is neocortex?' and, ‘how does it do what it does’?


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