Cooperativity and Parallelism In Mathematical Models of Brain Function

June 24, 1998

Martin Beckerman

Cooperative processes, or algorithms, are procedures that generate large-scale, or global, effects through sequences of small-scale, or local, operations. Such procedures underlie life as we know it. They are encountered in a variety of physical and chemical systems, and are found in biological systems at all levels of organization. In a cooperative system, global computations are performed by many units operating in parallel. Cooperativity emerges in these systems through interactions among component units. Each unit generates a new state from its previous one by combining information available internally with signals received from neighboring units and from outside.

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