Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Previously Published Works bannerUC Berkeley

Chaotic neocortical dynamics.


The first step of the sensory systems is to construct the meaning of the information they receive from the senses. They do this by generating random noise and then filtering the noise with adaptive filters. We simulate the operation with the solutions of matrices of ordinary differential equations that predict bifurcations between point and limit cycle attractors. The second step is integration of the outputs from the several sensory systems into a multisensory percept (gestalt), which in the third step is consolidated and stored as knowledge. Simulation of the second step requires use of landscapes of non-convergentchaoticattractors. This is not deterministic chaos, which is much too brittle owing to the infinite sensitivity to initial conditions. It is a hybrid form we callstochastic chaos, which is stabilized by additive noise modeled on noise sources in the sensory systems. Thus bifurcation and chaos theory provides tools for succinct empirical models of cortical dynamics performing the most basic cognitive operations: generalization, abstraction, and categorization in constructing knowledge. The descriptions are in a form that is suitable for more advanced modeling using analog VLSI, neuropercolation from random graph theory, non-equilibrium dissipative thermodynamics, and macroscopic many-body physics. This review concludes with a summary of the applications of stochastic chaos in pattern classification and some prescriptions for neurobiologists on what to look for in large-scale anatomical formations. 

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View