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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely thought provoking-You need reference material probably!, 13 July 2010
By 
Richard Griffiths "SoulFireMage" (Bristol UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Rhythms of the Brain (Hardcover)
For laymen like me, have Wikipedia/other texts to hand. Why? Because, at least for me, stochastic, relaxation oscillators, Fourier transforms were quite a mystery and you need to have a vague notion to make sense of some early chapters.

However, the laymen that this book is aimed at are probably far more highly educated than me. That said, I'm near the end of this book and need to reread it again in the very near future.

In the weeks past when I read it, I find myself completely absorbed by the ideas that I DO understand from this text. The notion of oscillatory interaction creating an emergent property (memory, arousal, state change etc.) is a fascinating and compelling idea. This is a well-researched piece of work that I'm afraid I will have to re-review in a years' time, purely to get a complete understanding.

As an excellent conceptual text for computational neuroscience, this is brilliant and makes the idea of studying this realm appealing even though it's not the main idea of the book.

If you have a general notion of what the thalamus, cortex and brainstem do in general, that is sufficient to get the gist of his discussion here. The interaction of the various networks interacting and influencing each other is a vivid image. This lens if you like, can be used to view a wider field of humanity; for example, influence and persuasion, music and even rapport.

Music is rhythms and systemic melody-no matter what it is, if it has these properties, some people will enjoy it. Because it is likely to be mirroring and/or altering rhythms of oscillation in the brain.

Persuasive speeches have a rhythmic, entrancing quality, driving emotions and compelling our interest. Again, rhythm and melody, altering perhaps the statistical oscillations in our brains, changing our perspective and making it more likely that we swing towards the viewpoint of the speechmaker.

There are hundreds of interactions that can be re-examined in the light of Gyorgy's discussion here.

I would add that a brief read of Roger Levin's book Complexity (at least the first few chapters) adds a real fascinating harmony to these rhythms! He actually recommends the work here. The essence? Simple rules can lead to emergence of complex behaviour.

How about these simple rules? Inhibition, Excitation-That's all a neuron in essence "does". Spatial or temporal summation (how many impulses along a length of dendrite OR how many at one point in a given time span). Two rules of detection if you like. Add those simple rules together in clusters of neurons and you get functional oscillating units.
Can you see where this is going?

As serious mind food, this book is an absolute must have. You won't be reading it in one evening I don't think. It's a real dig in and digest book, yet one that's meant to be read thoroughly rather than as a reference.

Thanks Gyorgy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rhythms of the Brain - a tour de force, 18 Oct 2008
This review is from: Rhythms of the Brain (Hardcover)
Rhythms of the Brain
Professor Buzsáki has written an excellent, scholarly book on brain oscillations, his speciality. The work is dense but very readable and is all the better for being by a single author rather than an edited collection of review articles. Appropriately, the book is divided into 13 cycles rather than chapters and each cycle ends with a brief and useful summary. He combines ideas from the neurosciences with those from chaos theory and non-linear dynamics, pointing out in the introduction (p13) that "complexity can be formally defined as nonlinearity and from nonlinear equations, unexpected solutions emerge". Put simply complex behaviour of a dynamic system such as the brain cannot be predicted from the behaviour of individual neurones or small neuronal ensembles.

Professor Buzsáki promotes the view that the inside-our approach to neuroscience enhances our understanding of relatively unperturbed brain states because "self-generated behaviour and emergent large-scale oscillations tend to occur in the unperturbed brain". In the introductory cycle he argues that during exploration of the brain, experimental perturbation of network interactions and emergent functions will yield hints of causality. He then successfully adopts this approach for much of the rest of the book. In cycles 2 and 3 Professor Buzsáki discusses form and function, indicating that preferentially connected areas of the cortex form the basis of higher order cortical systems, e.g. for movement and/or vision. He points out that the diversity of cortical functions can only be achieved by inhibition and by complex networks of interneurones offering the basis for temporal coordination, often accomplished by oscillations. In Cycle 4 (Windows on the Brain), he outlines the currently available monitoring techniques most frequently used to investigate the oscillatory behaviour of neuronal networks, including EEG, positron emission tomography, optical imaging, recordings from single neurones, and high density recordings with silicon probes.

Professor Buzsáki's fundamental argument is that most of the brain's activity is generated from within and that external inputs cause only minor departures from its internal programme. Thus the brain "does not simply process information but also generates information", observable in the EEG as a blend of rhythms unable to phase-lock with each other because their mean frequencies are not integers. These oscillations are metastable and result from the physical architecture of neuronal networks (cycle 5). In cycle 6 he discusses synchronization by oscillation based on self-organized interactions among neurones, which he argues may be the source of cognitive function. Cycle 7 discusses the self-organized oscillatory rhythms connected with rest and sleep - the default pattern of the brain in the absence of environmental inputs. In cycle 8 the perturbation of various default patterns by experience is explored and it is shown that sensory representations in the brain acquire real-world metrics early in development by first acquiring information about the three-dimensional nature of the skeletal muscle system. Cycle 9 considers the "Gamma Buzz" in the waking, activated cortex through which neuronal assemblies organize themselves into "temporal packages" lasting 15-30 ms which may be involved in perceptual binding of object features. Buzsáki then goes on to show that perceptions and actions are brain-state dependent (cycle 10), which adds to his argument that a given environmental perturbation leads to modification of "a perpetually evolving network pattern in the brain's landscape". Cycle 11 talks of navigation in real and memory space and how the hippocampus is the search engine for the retrieval of archived information with theta oscillations related to episodic and semantic memory, path integration and "map-based"/landmark navigation. Further transient oscillations are used to transfer this information to the neocortex, when cortical assemblies are transiently entrained to the theta rhythm (cycle 12). The final cycle investigates the relationship between structural connectivity and global function.

It is difficult to do justice to Professor Buzsáki's tour de force in a short review. I can only recommend that those with an interest in the neuroscience should read and learn from it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Importance of Brain Waves, 23 Dec 2007
By 
S. G. Raggett (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rhythms of the Brain (Hardcover)
For the lay reader, Buzsaki presents a new view of the brain that concentrates on oscillations generated within the brain. This moves us on from the normal texbook emphasis on neurons and synapses. The oscillations are related to processes of self-organisation, and the amplifying or dampening of feedback loops. The book explains the balance achieved between the excitatory function of the pyramidal cells and the neurotransmitter glutamate and the inhibitory function of the interneurons and the neurotransmitter GABA. Sleep and circadian rhythms are also discussed.

The lack of much discussion of consciousness may come as a disappointment to some readers interested in this aspect of the mind, and is perhaps surprising given that many have viewed the 40Hz gamma oscillation as one of the clearest correlates of consciousness.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Rhythms of the Brain (Hardcover)
never enjoyed so much any book before on this subject.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for neuroscientist and not, 20 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Rhythms of the Brain (Paperback)
This is an excellent book, very easy to read, written by one of the best researcher in the neuroscience field. Suggested to everyone.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brain Waves, 17 May 2007
This review is from: Rhythms of the Brain (Hardcover)
Dr Buszaki has spent a lifetime studying the oscillations in the brain, and this book shows his love of the science, and depth of knowledge.

It's not for the faint hearted (I haven't finished reading it all yet) but is surprisingly readable for such a deep topic.
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Rhythms of the Brain
Rhythms of the Brain by Gyorgy Buzsaki (Paperback - 23 Jun 2011)
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