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July 22, 1950

The Organization of Behavior: A Neuropsychological Theory

JAMA. 1950;143(12):1123. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910470083028

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The author has attempted to combine present day knowledge of physiology and psychology into a comprehensive theory of thought and emotion to explain the nature of consciousness in physicobiologic terms. The theory is based in considerable part on the variable effect and oftentimes apparent lack of effect which major brain operations have on intelligence and behavior. The concept of the author is that any frequently repeated particular stimulation leads to a slow development of a "cell-assembly" in the cortex and diencephalon and perhaps in the basal ganglions of the brain capable of acting briefly as a closed system which can deliver facilitation to other such systems and having, usually, a specific motor facilitation. A series of such events constitutes a "phase sequence" equivalent to thought process. The process described is considered essential to adult waking behavior. An alternate intrinsic organization is believed to occur during sleep and in infancy which

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