Why study the dynamics of the brain? Although there are many compelling reasons, perhaps the most profound is that the dynamical pattern of electrical activity in neurons almost certainly forms the basic substrate of subjective, conscious awareness, as illustrated vividly by the phenomenon of absence seizures, where subtle alterations of these dynamical patterns lead to a transient and reversible loss of consciousness. Similar changes occur during sleep; the ''statics'' of the nervous system, namely the anatomy, are left the same, while the patterns of dynamics of the neural activity are altered, as is evident from alterations of the electroencephalogram (EEG). The key to unraveling the mysteries of subjective awareness in terms of underlying physical phenomena probably lies in a careful study of the dynamics of different parts of the brain on a fairly rapid timescale.
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Keywords: dynamics, dynamical pattern, electrical activity, sleep