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Trends Neurosci. 1997 Dec;20(12):553-7.

The brain has a body: adaptive behavior emerges from interactions of nervous system, body and environment.

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Dept of Biology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-7080, USA.


Studies of mechanisms of adaptive behavior generally focus on neurons and circuits. But adaptive behavior also depends on interactions among the nervous system, body and environment: sensory preprocessing and motor post-processing filter inputs to and outputs from the nervous system; co-evolution and co-development of nervous system and periphery create matching and complementarity between them; body structure creates constraints and opportunities for neural control; and continuous feedback between nervous system, body and environment are essential for normal behavior. This broader view of adaptive behavior has been a major underpinning of ecological psychology and has influenced behavior-based robotics. Computational neuroethology, which jointly models neural control and periphery of animals, is a promising methodology for understanding adaptive behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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