Foreword by Hermann Haken
The human brain is the most complex system we know of. The study of behavior may serve as a window into understanding basic brain activities. While in contemporary neurophysiology and molecular biology, brain activity is traced back to the actions of its individual neurons and even to its molecules such as neurotransmitters, Scott Kelso's book promotes quite a different perspective, namely the study of the outcome of the cooperative behavior of many neurons and many other cells. This book fascinates me. I am delighted to see how beautifully it presents the results of a combination of experiments, ingeniously devised and performed by Scott Kelso, and the application of concepts of synergetics, an interdisciplinary field of research that I founded and developed.
Every page of the book provides us with delightful reading and opens new perspectives again and again. It also clearly elucidates historical developments. I mention as examples the presentation of early work by A. S. F. Leyton and C. S. Sherrington on the great variability of brain activities, or of the prophetic words by Aharon Katchalsky and co-authors on brain activity in terms of waves, oscillation, and sudden transitions.
I am sure that this book will not only find a broad and highly interested readership, but will also become a landmark in the field of behavioral sciences and brain research, possibly comparable to Schrodinger's famous book What is Life?
A new book by J.A.S. Kelso and David A. Engstrom