Darwin's evolution theory, brain oscillations, and complex brain function in a new "Cartesian view"

Int J Psychophysiol. 2009 Jan;71(1):2-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2008.07.018. Epub 2008 Jul 31.


Comparatively analyses of electrophysiological correlates across species during evolution, alpha activity during brain maturation, and alpha activity in complex cognitive processes are presented to illustrate a new multidimensional "Cartesian System" brain function. The main features are: (1) The growth of the alpha activity during evolution, increase of alpha during cognitive processes, and decrease of the alpha entropy during evolution provide an indicator for evolution of brain cognitive performance. (2) Human children younger than 3 years are unable to produce higher cognitive processes and do not show alpha activity till the age of 3 years. The mature brain can perform higher cognitive processes and demonstrates regular alpha activity. (3) Alpha activity also is significantly associated with highly complex cognitive processes, such as the recognition of facial expressions. The neural activity reflected by these brain oscillations can be considered as constituent "building blocks" for a great number of functions. An overarching statement on the alpha function is presented by extended analyzes with multiple dimensions that constitute a "Cartesian Hyperspace" as the basis for oscillatory function. Theoretical implications are considered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks / physiology*
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*