monograph is dedicated to the European Union's Human Brain Project.
European Union is investing EUR 1.19 billion in the Human Brain Project
to research how the human brain works. The results so far have been
rather poor and the number of critics is growing. It cannot be due to
enthusiasm. The supporters expect huge advances in the treatment of
diseases, but also in the development of artificial intelligence, which
could exceed the human brain by orders of magnitude. So what is lacking?
Around 60,000 publications
on this subject appear annually. In view of the huge flood of
information, it obviously needs a person who is willing and able to not
only internalize this amount of facts, but to recognize a common thread
that runs through them and ultimately leads to the recognition of the
principles of action of the brain. In his opinion, the author has
solved this task and is offering the European Union's Human Brain
Project a self-contained vertebrate brain theory.
Now the Human Brain
Project is looking for a human brain theory, but we should keep in mind
that humans are undoubtedly vertebrates.
The theory developed here
includes the development of the central nervous system of vertebrates
in the course of evolution, starting with the simplest bilateria with a
rope nerve system. Furthermore, it includes the derivation of the
functioning of many substructures of the brain in relation to the
signal processing that takes place in them. One flaw of this theory is
that it is in German. This deficiency can be remedied by a translation
into the English language. Someone who puts together the hundreds of
thousands of facts of brain research into a puzzle has no memory
capacity left on his hard drive to master the spoken and written
The author has invested an
estimated 20,000 hours of work in this project, completely unselfishly
and without remuneration, and he is unwilling to take this theory to
the grave unpublished, especially since he has already started his
seventieth year. This monograph is quasi his scientific testament for
the European Union. After submitting the monograph, Springer-Verlag
initially agreed to print this work and thus make it available to the
general public. After completion of the economic calculations, however,
no printing was carried out. Nevertheless, Springer-Verlag and
especially Dr. Thanks to Stephanie Preuss for the effort involved.
Other publishers have also
canceled due to inefficiency.
Therefore, this monograph
is self-published. It is noticeable here that you can neither fall back
on a proofreading nor on talented graphic designers if you do not want
to completely ruin yourself financially. The reader is therefore asked
to be lenient.
To this day, the origin of
the vertebrate brain is in the dark. It is assumed that it developed
from the simplest nervous systems of the most elementary forms of life.
The process started over 700 million years ago. None of us have been
there, and yet there are witnesses to this development. Every neuron
nucleus, every nerve cord, every neuronal substructure in the
vertebrate brain bears witness to the gradual development of the
central nervous system of the vertebrates.
The almost unmanageable
amount of facts that have been gathered over the millennia about the
nervous system of the vertebrates, the brains of the mammals and the
human brain eludes a complex consideration just by its abundance. The
mere listing of the names of those who have made significant
contributions to the research of this subject is a specialty in itself.
Likewise, it seems impossible for the author to provide the primary
source for every fact, if science historians are concerned with this
The fact that scientists
in a wide range of fields have to deal with this issue is making it
difficult to elucidate the functioning of the central nervous system in
humans. For example, those processes in the cell membrane of nerve
cells that enable action potential require extensive knowledge in the
fields of organic chemistry and physics, even mathematical aspects have
to be taken into account. The structures of the human brain and those
of mammals and vertebrates are so complex that it takes many years to
know the most important of them.The tremendous complexity of the
connections between the different neuronal structures of the nervous
system complicates the recognition of a system that would be suspected.
To make matters worse, in neurology, which is a sub-area of medical
science, all substructures, all nerve tracts, almost everything has
been given Latin terms, which demand a lot from the non-neurologists.
The longing for an answer
to the origin of soul and spirit is unbroken. The mathematicians took
on this topic and created very abstract models to analyze the
development of intelligence in neural networks. The level of
abstraction reached is so great that you can still find objects in
neural networks that have similar properties to nerve cells, but you
are looking in vain for the substructures that are actually present in
the human brain, for example. No neural network has a central tegmental
tract or a pyramidal tract. Similar to the six-layer human cortex,
there are layered neural networks,but their stratification has
absolutely nothing in common with the neuronal layers of the brain. Of
course, these researchers have the right to develop completely abstract
artificial systems that produce intelligence. But others also have the
right to design models that are based on the structure and function of
the real brain, as is intended in this monograph.
The theory presented here
begins with the primordial mucus, with the unicellular organisms, it
leads to the chord data via the multicellular organisms and the
segmented bilateria. This is the only way to understand how the central
nervous system gradually emerged. And a development that has spanned
many millions of years, if you want to convincingly understand it,
cannot be short and sweet. It will be extensive, go into detail, have
to show every important development step, because only then will there
be a self-contained chain of evidence that is convincing enough. So the
reader will be asked for some patience and perseverance. One or the
other will find that they first have to close gaps in their
knowledge,to understand the theoretical elements presented. Chapters 1
and 2 therefore recapitulate the current state of knowledge of the
vertebrate brain and especially the human brain. Only then does the
description of the vertebrate brain theory developed by the author
The theory presented here
may give the impression that the path of the nervous system from the
primitive bilaterium to Homo sapiens is somehow a logical and legal
sequence of individual development steps. But we should keep in mind
that at every stage of development there have been millions of
variations that have been different and the results of which have not
led to the path that vertebrates, mammals or even primates have
followed. With all the inherent logic, the development path shown here
ultimately came about by chance. In the derivation of the theory
presented here, the author managed to filter out the wealth of possible
development variants over many years,where on the one hand the neuronal
connection corresponded to the observed reality, on the other hand the
signal processing taking place there was seamlessly integrated into the
emerging overall system. In retrospect, many of the developed
functional variants turned out to be incorrect and were rejected,
corrected or modified. Countless folders with hypotheses and
collections of facts filled the author's basement and testify to the
efforts to work out a match between theory and practice.In retrospect,
many of the developed functional variants turned out to be incorrect
and were rejected, corrected or modified. Countless folders with
hypotheses and collections of facts filled the author's basement and
testify to the efforts to work out a match between theory and
practice.In retrospect, many of the developed functional variants
turned out to be incorrect and were rejected, corrected or modified.
Countless folders with hypotheses and collections of facts filled the
author's basement and testify to the efforts to work out a match
between theory and practice.
This monograph presents a
hypothesis about the history of the development of the central nervous
system in vertebrates. May others decide whether the evidence presented
in this work supports this theory adequately. This could possibly
promote a new perspective. The current overestimation of the synapses
in the brain, which are to be represented as comprehensively as
possible in mathematical models, neglects the real signaling pathways
in the vertebrate brain. Anyone who knows all the neurons and their
complete synaptic connections in a real human brain does not yet know
how it works. The approximately one millimeter large roundworm
Caenorhabditis elegans may serve as an example,whose 302 neurons and
about 5000 chemical synapses have been completely recognized without
their interaction being fully explained. So despite knowing the
complete structure, you don't know how his brain really works.
Anyone who thinks that the
source of intelligence is in the cortex cortex will have to rethink
their views. The human brain consists of innumerable substructures.
Every one of them is important. If a subsystem fails, this usually has
serious consequences. Doctors have written extensive specialist books
on what symptoms z. B. results in the failure of individual neuronal
structures. Examples include the thalamus, the reticular format, the
subthalamic nucleus, the striatum, the substantia nigra pars compacta,
the hippocampus, the amygdala, the hypothalamus, the cortex, the
cerebellum, but also the spinal cord and all sensory organs.All of
these substructures only play a subordinate role in the European
Union's Human Brain Project.
The Connectome project is
a much better help here, as it allows the real structures in the brain
to be recognized and studied. We should make more efforts to consider
the interaction of the individual parts in the formation of theories.
Only those who have broken down a pendulum clock, a gasoline engine or
the model of a steam engine into its individual parts can understand
its function. The same applies to the brain. Without a good knowledge
of the neuronal substructures of the vertebrate brains, their function
cannot be recognized.
At this point, we would
like to thank everyone who supported the author in his efforts.
thanks go to Ms. Almut Schüz from Tübingen and Mr.
Günther Palm from Ulm for the interest in this project, for
your support and funding. We would also like to thank Mr. Karl Zilles,
Mr. Richard Hahnloser and Mr. Ulrich Ramacher for their interest and
thanks go to Mr. Leo Gerbilsky from Kiel for kindly appraising a
previous version of this monograph on behalf of the Springer publishing
house, even if it did not ultimately go to press at the time.
thanks go to Elisabeth Dägling for the many years of interest
in the topic, the lively exchange of ideas and the editing of the
Many thanks to Mr. Gerhard
Roth, whose wonderful book “How unique is man? The long evolution of the
brains and mind ”was the key to thinking about the gradual
emergence of the recognized neural circuits of the vertebrate brains in
the course of evolution. We don't know too little,
we know too much. The wealth of facts
obscures the relationships to be recognized.
Andreas Heinrich Malczan