Awareness refers to many higher brain functions There are so man

Awareness refers to many higher brain functions. There are so many different, things that we can be conscious of (aware

of), and we do not always have words for these categories of consciousness. We do have words for dysfunctions of specific aspects of consciousness, such as blindness, prosopagnosia, and phantom limbs, which are problems of awareness in relation to perception of physical realities. Alexithymia involves both perception and consciousness, in the sense that it is concerned with recognizing our emotions and those of others. The capacity to construct, a representation of a person’s mental world is called the “theory of mind,” and dysfunctions of this higher brain function are observed, for instance, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical in autism. An important Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical question is

how to define higher brain functions: should they be defined in behavioral terms, in physiological terms, or at the level of neuronal circuits? To illustrate this question with schizophrenia, should the disorder of thought be now approached by measuring changes in neurophysiologies parameters, or should it be described in terms of the filtering capability of corticothalamocortical loops, or in terms of neuroanatomical or biochemical changes? Other issues are the definition and the taxonomy of higher brain functions. The case of the emotions is illustrative of these issues. How many basic emotions are there? How can one classify Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical the many composite (or secondary) emotions? In our text below, we mention the behavioral and psychological level of higher brain functions, and we discuss some quite basic functions Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical (eg, memory), as well as composite (small molecule derived or secondary) functions (eg, empathy, social dominance, bonding). Proposals

concerning diagnosis We propose that symptoms should not be merely described and classified clinically, but also analyzed in terms Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical of potentially modified higher brain functions. This proposal can be illustrated by the following case of a 50year-old man suffering from an obsessive -compulsive disorder with predominant ruminations. If he hears a song on the radio in the morning, Carfilzomib he can have this music in his mind for the whole day, and, if the text of the song has emotional connotations, he feels compelled to increase what he calls his “corrections,” that is, to keep large numbers in his head from becoming even larger, by carrying out mental subtraction. He takes forever to close the door of his apartment, but can go out without checking when his friend closes the door. How could these symptoms be analyzed in terms of higher brain functions? First, it seems that, auditory messages, when they are presented in a song, are kept, in the phonological loops of his working memory. The second observation is that emotionally charged information induces or aggravates the symptoms, a well-known phenomenon in several neurological disorders.

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