Nonlinear dynamics of the brain: emotion and cognition
M.I. Rabinovich a
M.K. Muezzinoglu b
a Federal Research Center Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Ulyanova 46, Nizhny Novgorod, 603000, Russian Federation
b University of California, 9500 Gilman Dr., San Diego, California, 92093-0402, USA
Experimental investigations of neural system functioning and brain activity are standardly based on the assumption that perceptions, emotions, and cognitive functions can be understood by analyzing steady-state neural processes and static tomographic snapshots. The new approaches discussed in this review are based on the analysis of transient processes and metastable states. Transient dynamics is characterized by two basic properties, structural stability and information sensitivity. The ideas and methods that we discuss provide an explanation for the occurrence of and successive transitions between metastable states observed in experiments, and offer new approaches to behavior analysis. Models of the emotional and cognitive functions of the brain are suggested. The mathematical object that represents the observed transient brain processes in the phase space of the model is a structurally stable heteroclinic channel. The possibility of using the suggested models to construct a quantitative theory of some emotional and cognitive functions is illustrated.