Donald Olding Hebb (1904-1985)
Donald Hebb made a major contribution to the brain-related understanding of memories and consciousness. He became known for the statement of “Fire together wire together.” Thus he showed how brain organization depends upon brain plasticity an ever-changing synaptic connectivity shaping brain computations to achieve the multilevel brain functioning of the human brain. His description of connectivity-changes among neurons was used in AI (Artificial Intelligence) to create intelligent machines which simulate brain structure and function. His formulations go beyond the synapse to describe neuronal cell-ensembles thus positioned to explain whole-brain organizations. These ideas about plasticity of whole-brain organizations are fundamental requisites for explaining mental-disorders as brain-disorders. In effect the spectrum of psychiatric phenomology can be mapped onto disturbances of plasticity of different time-scales.
The disturbances to the fast millisecond-range “Cognizance Plasticity” disturb conscious integration with symptoms of psychosis and schizophrenia. Disturbances to Reactive Plasticity, the reactive stabilization of neural networks in the face of environmental perturbations, result in the emergent phenomenology of anxious sensations and anxiety symptoms. The disturbances to slower Adaptive Plasticity that optimizes internal representations and reduces predictive error will result in mood disorders. De-optimized brain with free energy increases results in the emergent property of depression and vice versa. Optimization dynamics is mood elevating i.e., possible manic symptoms. Finally, altered internal representations of psychosocial occurrences due to “immature” biased Default-Mode Retesting brain network organization result in personality-related distortions. These lead to ineffective, biased social interactions and an emergent property of personality disorders.
These plasticity formulation for mapping mental disorders are used to translate psychiatric phenomenology into brain related plasticity-disturbance diagnostics. this is achieved using “Brain Profiler“ at http://www.brainprofiler.com