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Philosophy or Physics—Mind or Molecules

  • Herbert H. Jasper

Abstract

It is with particular pleasure that I take the opportunity to make a contribution to this symposium in honor of Frank Schmitt, for he is one of a small but distinguished group of neuroscientists who have had a considerable influence upon my own career over the past forty years. Frank (and his brother Otto) were among the few physical scientists in the early 1930s who were introducing more sophisticated techniques to analyze the structural properties of nerve membranes at the molecular level and to understand their electrical properties in terms of changes in impedance and specific ion flux. Little did I know at the time that Frank and I shared the same ultimate objectives, my path starting from philosophy and his from physics. These objectives have become abundantly manifest in the work of the Neurosciences Research Program, expressed by Frank in his introduction to The Neurosciences: Second Study Program as follows:
  • If the physical basis of brain function were better understood, substantial progress could be made in the alleviation of mental ills and in the search for an understanding of the nature of man as a cognitive individual. Concomitantly, new dimensions of mental capability would be available to solve the pressing survival problems facing man today and to open up unexpected opportunities of human accomplishment. . . .

Keywords

Biogenic Amine Study Program Conscious Experience Montreal Neurological Institute Alpha Rhythm 
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

© Birkhäuser Boston 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert H. Jasper

There are no affiliations available

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