Mens Sana Monographs
BRAIN, MIND AND CONSCIOUSNESS
Year
: 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 183--192

Recent advances in brain physiology and cognitive processing


Alfredo Pereira Jr1, Maria Alice Ornellas Pereira2, Fábio Augusto Furlan3 
1 Adjunct Professor on Philosophy of Science, Institute of Biosciences, State University of São Paulo (UNESP), Campus Rubião Jr., 18618-000, Botucatu-SP, Brazil
2 Adjunct Professor on Psychiatric Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, State University of São Paulo (UNESP), Botucatu-SP, Brazil
3 Professor of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Nursing, University of Marília, Marília-SP, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Alfredo Pereira Jr
Adjunct Professor on Philosophy of Science, Institute of Biosciences, State University of São Paulo (UNESP), Campus Rubião Jr., 18618-000, Botucatu-SP
Brazil

The discovery of participation of astrocytes as active elements in glutamatergic tripartite synapses (composed by functional units of two neurons and one astrocyte) has led to the construction of models of cognitive functioning in the human brain, focusing on associative learning, sensory integration, conscious processing and memory formation/retrieval. We have modelled human cognitive functions by means of an ensemble of functional units (tripartite synapses) connected by gap junctions that link distributed astrocytes, allowing the formation of intra- and intercellular calcium waves that putatively mediate large-scale cognitive information processing. The model contains a diagram of molecular mechanisms present in tripartite synapses and contributes to explain the physiological bases of cognitive functions. It can be potentially expanded to explain emotional functions and psychiatric phenomena.


How to cite this article:
Pereira Jr A, Pereira MO, Furlan FA. Recent advances in brain physiology and cognitive processing.Mens Sana Monogr 2011;9:183-192


How to cite this URL:
Pereira Jr A, Pereira MO, Furlan FA. Recent advances in brain physiology and cognitive processing. Mens Sana Monogr [serial online] 2011 [cited 2019 Oct 14 ];9:183-192
Available from: http://www.msmonographs.org/article.asp?issn=0973-1229;year=2011;volume=9;issue=1;spage=183;epage=192;aulast=Pereira;type=0