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June 1965

A Model of the Brain.

Arch Neurol. 1965;12(6):658-659. doi:10.1001/archneur.1965.00460300106017

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The nervous system of the octopus serves as a "wet" model of the brain in J. Z. Young's fascinating behavioral and anatomical formulation. He has chosen to use the descriptive terminology of communications science rather than expressing relationships between various components of the nervous system in terms of mathematical equations.

The concept of homeostasis by feedback from specialized receptors interacting with facilitatory and inhibitory circuits is directed toward the relationship of the organism with its environment rather than the more familiar concern with regulation of the internal milieu. Common ground for both concepts is found in their contribution to survival.

The evolutionary approach to understanding the role of natural selection in the design of the brain and to neural information processing leading to action or inaction is considered in these extensively revised William Withering lectures. The relative simplicity of the nervous system and behavioral repertoire of the cephalopod provides

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