TOWARDS A THEORY OF THE RETICULAR FORMATION.
Scientific rept. no. 1,
MONTANA STATE UNIV BOZEMAN ELECTRONICS RESEARCH LAB
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Throughout the life of the vertebrates, the core of the central nervous system, sometimes called the reticular formation, has retained the power to commit the whole animal to one mode of behavior rather than another. Its anatomy, or wiring diagram, is fairly well known, but to date no theory of its circuit action has been proposed that could possibly account for its known performance. Its basic structure is that of a string of similar modules, wide but shallow in computation everywhere, and connected not merely from module to adjacent module, but by long jumpers between distant modules. Analysis of its circuit actions heretofore proposed in terms of finite automata or coupled nonlinear oscillators has failed. Probabilistic automata which handle regular events as proper modules are proposed and some novel stability theorems are given regarding them. The behavior of a connected chain of such modules is still under investigation. Author