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Neurophysics - A 21st Century Science of the Mind
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Futurehealth Plenary Talk by Tom Collura Neurophysics is a label applied to an interdisciplinary pursuit of an integrated understanding of the brain and mind. It incorporates a great deal of ?old? science, but it is a new science for the future. This talk will describe the emerging concepts and paradigms, and provide a perspective for viewing the developments which may be expected during the next century. Key aspects include information theory (?high-information? physics), self-organizing systems, multidimensional field potentials, and the breakdown of classical causality.
For over 100 years, scientists studying any particular aspect of the brain or mind, when confronted with a particular question, might be prone to say "we'll leave that to the psychologists" or "we'll leave that to the philosophers" or "we'll leave that to the neurologists". It has been necessary to separate disciplines, to provide sufficient focus for progress to be made. We currently have highly developed areas including cognitive psychology, neurochemistry, cellular neurophysiology, clinical neurophysiology, and so on. It is now becoming possible as well as important to integrate various approaches into a consistent view that addresses broader questions. Neurophysics does not apply an arbitrary boundary to the method or structure of knowledge. It is a broad-based analysis of a set of particular questions, which share a common emphasis and perspective. Much as one can say "gravitation" is an area of study, or "astrophysics" is a discipline, neurophysics is itself a discipline. In the future, the neurophysicist will be recognized as a specialist and scholar, who understands and pursues knowledge of a particular area. It is not inconceivable that, for example, rather than calling a psychiatrist or neurologist into a trial for expert testimony, a neurophysicist will be called, to provide authoritative information regarding the individual's comprehensive physical/mental state.

Genetics used to be a group of collected studies that seemed unrelated, including studies of field genetics, experimental plant genetics, family genetics, molecular genetics, and so on. Studies ranged from basic biochemistry and biophysics all the way through population genetics, culture, society, and so on. A geneticist in the late 1960's was faced with a considerable range of studies, connected only by their shared focus on a set of questions. At this time, genetics is a highly focused and integrated field, encompassing all of the mentioned areas, but now including a highly precise molecular understanding, ability to discover and manipulate genes, and so on. It is currently a fully refined, integrated science. Neurophysics, however, is not.

Neurophysics considers consciousness and mental realm as a branch of physics, one that can be quantified and applied. It endeavors to apply knowledge from a full range of disciplines, from theoretical physics and chemistry, through behavior and conditioning, cultural anthropology, philosophy, and language. Through a comprensive approach to these areas, it is possible to create a consistent understanding that includes elements of science from virtually all areas, and interrelationships between them.

Neurophysics will bring increasing understanding to EEG phenomena including evoked potentials, binding rhythms, activation patterns, and so on. It will study these phenomena in conjunction with increasingly precise models of brain and mind function, to put them into perspective. Increasing ability to predict will ensue. Already, work by Sterman, by Thatcher, and by Gunkelman, have shed light on the an increasingly precise and clear overall view of EEG rhythms and patterns, and their functional significance. Recent results in hemispheric differences, asymmetries, and gamma binding, add to the overall understanding of the practical issues related to EEG interrelationships.


Author: tom collura

Dr. Collura has over 30 years experience as a biomedical engineer and neurophysiologist.  He has conducted clinical research and development and system design, in the areas of evoked potentials, microelectronics, human factors, EEG mapping for epilepsy surgery, and neurofeedback.  His graduate work focused on the real-time measurement of visual and auditory evoked potentials, and relationships with selective attention in a vigilance task.  He then spent 8 years with AT&T Bell Laboratories as a technical staff member and supervisor in the areas of integrated circuit technology, computer graphics, networking, and man/machine interfaces.  He then served from 1988 to 1996 on the Staff of the Department of Neurology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, where he conducted research and development in EEG mapping for epilepsy surgery, long-term EEG monitoring, and DC brain potentials.  As a consultant to industry, he has designed software and hardware for computerized tomography, automated radiometry, and automated imaging.  Since 1995, he has been founder and president of BrainMaster Technologies, Inc.  He has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, abstracts, and papers.  He has 2 patents and 3 patents pending, all in the areas of neurofeedback, electrode technology, and evoked potential methods and systems.  His current interests focus on research and development of automated neurofeedback systems, evoked potential neurofeedback, and low-cost quantitative EEG.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Ohio and Illinois, is a past board member of the International Society for Neuronal Regulation (ISNR), and is president-elect of the Neurofeedback Division of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).

Other Products by tom collura

1) Real-time synchronous gamma training made easy.
2) Coherence, Synchrony, and the Rest: Putting it all together with 2-channel training
3) Neurophysics of optimal and psi performance
4) Whole Brain and Couples/Group Training using EEG Connectivity
5) Brain, Mind, and Neurofeedback The Next 100 Years
6) Advanced BrainMaster Workshop

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