Synergies: Atoms of Brain and Behavior

  • J. A. Scott Kelso
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 629)

1Using a Socratic method, the hypothesis is proposed that the fundamental units of the behavior of complex living things on multiple levels—all the way from cells to societies—are structural∼functional organizations called synergies. In the context of motor control, synergies arose because of the need to control, coordinate and exploit enormous numbers of degrees of freedom in complex systems. Synergies are the unique expression of two fundamental mechanisms heretofore conceived of as independent: self-organization and natural selection. Synergies offer a principled means to connect behavior, brains and genes and open up new possibilities for the design of machines.

What is a Synergy?

A synergy is a functional grouping of structural elements (molecules, genes, neurons, muscles, etc) which, together with their supporting metabolic networks, are temporarily constrained to act as a single coherent unit. Just as new states of matter arise when a group of atoms behaves as a single particle...


Natural Selection Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Living Thing Coordination Dynamic Neural Ensemble 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Complex Systems and Brain SciencesFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA

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