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Experientia. 1988 Dec 1;44(11-12):960-71.

From the head to the heart: some thoughts on similarities between brain function and morphogenesis, and on their significance for research methodology and biological theory.

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1
Department of Biology, Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania 19010.

Abstract

A broad review of the phenomena of morphogenesis and of brain function, and of the history of research in these two areas, suggests that there are quite striking similarities between the two sets of biological phenomena. Among other things, both reflect the interaction of internally complex components at several levels of organization, display variance as an essential characteristic, and incorporate information from the environment. It is argued that reductionist approaches are inadequate to deal with fundamental problems of either morphogenesis or brain function, and alternative foundations for research strategy and tactics are discussed. Attention is also given to the question of why morphogenesis and brain function are so similar, and it is suggested that this may reflect the existence of rules of information acquisition, transmission, and storage to which both are subject. Variance, it is argued, is an essential component of information acquisition processes, and hence of biological integrity, at all levels of organization.

PMID:
3058503
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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