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Codes are for messages, not for neurons

  • Bjorn Merker (a1)


My commentary draws on extensive arguments against “coding in the brain” developed by my neuroscience mentor, the late Eugene Sachs, who summarized them as follows: “[T]he energy in the signal is the only code there is for information…. The code is the same for each cell, but each cell's location is different, and location is the only basis for significance” (p. 13).



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Merker, B. (2013b) The efference cascade, consciousness, and its self: Naturalizing the first person pivot of action control. Frontiers in Psychology 4:Article 501.
Pascual-Leone, A., Walsh, V. & Rothwell, J. (2000) Transcranial magnetic stimulation in cognitive neuroscience – Virtual lesion, chronometry, and functional connectivity. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 10:232–7.
Passingham, R. E., Stephan, K. E. & Kötter, R. (2002) The anatomical basis of functional localization in the cortex. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3:606–16.
Schmolesky, M. T., Wang, Y., Hanes, D. P., Thompson, K. G., Leutgeb, S., Schall, J. D. & Leventhal, A. G. (1998) Signal timing across the macaque visual system. Journal of Neurophysiology 79:3272–8.

Codes are for messages, not for neurons

  • Bjorn Merker (a1)


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