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KLI Brown Bag
AIM (Activation, Input-Output Gating, and Modulation): a three-dimensional State Space Model of the Brain-Mind
Allan HOBSON (Harvard Medical School)
2008-02-04 13:15 - 2008-02-04 13:15
KLI for Evolution and Cognition Research, Altenberg, Austria
Organized by KLI

Topic description:
Using concepts and data from neurobiological studies of sleep it is possible to construct a state space that differentiates waking and sleep and then orders them elliptically in keeping with the Volterra-Lotka equations first applied by us in our reciprocal interaction schema in l975. The new model allows us to ask questions about other conditons (such as lucid dreaming) and other zones of the state space. An important question is whether to focus on the further mathematization of AIM or simply to use it as a heuristic tool for generating new concepts and experiments. My own inclination is toward the heuristic course but I hope that some of you may find it mathematically tempting.


Biographical note:
J. Allan Hobson is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. He obtained an AB from Wesleyan University in 1955, followed by his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1959. Between 1959 and 1960 he served his internship in medicine at Bellevue Hospital, New York and from 1960 to 1961 and 1964 to 1966, he was a resident in Psychiatry at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston. During the academic year 1963-1964, Dr. Hobson was Special Fellow of the National Institute of Mental Health, Department of Physiology at the University of Lyon, France. His academic and hospital appointments include: Senior Psychiatrist, Massachusetts Mental Health Center (MMHC), Boston, 1965-67, Director of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology, 1967 to present (HMS), Lecturer in Psychiatry, Brown University, Providence, RI, 1972-74, Professor of Psychiatry, 1978 to present (HMS), and Director of Behavioral Science Teaching Program, 1980-86 (HMS). Professor Hobson has held many visiting appointments. His many honors and awards include admission to the Boylston Medical Society and the Benjamin Rush Gold Medal for Best Scientific Exhibit, American Psychiatrist Association, 1978. He was the recipient of the 1998 Distinguished Scientist Award of the Sleep Research Society. In addition to numerous committee assignments at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Hobson has participated in numerous national and regional medical committees, and served on the editorial boards of many medical journals. He has held many consulting appointments including Consultant in Psychiatry for the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission since 1965. His major research interests are the neurophysiological basis of the mind and behavior; sleep and dreaming; and the history of neurology and psychiatry. He has contributed numerous articles to scientific journals and chapters to medical textbooks, and is the author or co-author of many books and monographs, including The Dreaming Brain, published by Basic Books in 1988 and Sleep, published by the Scientific American Library in 1989. Dr. Hobson’s most recent work has focused on the cognitive features and benefits of sleep. The results and concepts of this new work are reported in The Chemistry of Conscious States (Little Brown, 1994) and Consciousness (Scientific American Library, 1998), Dreaming as Delirium (The MIT Press, 1999), The Dream Drugstore (MIT Press, 2001), Out of Its Mind: Psychiatry in Crisis ( Perseus Books, 2001), Dreaming: An Introduction to Sleep Science (Oxford, 2002), 13 Dreams Freud Never Had (Pi Press, 2005). and Angels to Neurones (Mattioli 2005). Of particular relevance to this project is his role as creator, director and producer of Dreamstage: An Experimental Portrait of the Dreaming Brain, which was shown at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts in May, 1977, toured nationally from 1980-1982, and in Bordeaux, France 1984. Dr. Hobson has advised science museums with the Society for Neuroscience and was especially influential in the design and funding of The Human Brain Exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Science in 1986.