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The Biology of Thought - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128009000, 9780128011614

The Biology of Thought

1st Edition

A Neuronal Mechanism in the Generation of Thought - A New Molecular Model

Author: Krishnagopal Dharani
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128009000
eBook ISBN: 9780128011614
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st September 2014
Page Count: 248
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The question of "what is thought" has intrigued society for ages, yet it is still a puzzle how the human brain can produce a myriad of thoughts and can store seemingly endless memories. All we know is that sensations received from the outside world imprint some sort of molecular signatures in neurons – or perhaps synapses – for future retrieval. What are these molecular signatures, and how are they made? How are thoughts generated and stored in neurons? The Biology of Thought explores these issues and proposes a new molecular model that sheds light on the basis of human thought. Step-by-step it describes a new hypothesis for how thought is produced at the micro-level in the brain – right at the neuron.

Despite its many advances, the neurobiology field lacks a comprehensive explanation of the fundamental aspects of thought generation at the neuron level, and its relation to intelligence and memory. Derived from existing research in the field, this book attempts to lay biological foundations for this phenomenon through a novel mechanism termed the "Molecular-Grid Model" that may explain how biological electrochemical events occurring at the neuron interact to generate thoughts. The proposed molecular model is a testable hypothesis that hopes to change the way we understand critical brain function, and provides a starting point for major advances in this field that will be of interest to neuroscientists the world over.

Key Features

  • Written to provide a comprehensive coverage of the electro-chemical events that occur at the neuron and how they interact to generate thought
  • Provides physiology-based chapters (functional anatomy, neuron physiology, memory) and the molecular mechanisms that may shape thought
  • Contains a thorough description of the process by which neurons convert external stimuli to primary thoughts


Neuroscientists, researchers working in the field of neurobiology, neurologists and related specialists, psychologists and experimental neuroscientists

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
    • What is ‘The Biology of Thought’?
    • How is This Book Organized?
    • Authors’ Note: On the Uses of the Molecular-Grid Model
  • Sources and Acknowledgments
  • Part I: Basic Concepts in Neurobiology
    • Chapter 1. Functional Anatomy of the Brain
      • Overview
      • General Plan of the Nervous System
      • Structure of the Brain
      • Cerebral Cortex
      • Microscopic Anatomy of Cortex
      • Structural Types of Neurons
      • Diencephalon
      • Basal Ganglia
      • Brainstem
      • Cerebellum
      • Spinal Cord
      • Peripheral Nerves
    • Chapter 2. Physiology of the Neuron
      • Overview
      • General Plan of Nervous System
      • Mechanism of Neuronal Electrical Activity
      • Soma
      • Dendrites
      • Axon
      • Synapse
      • Signaling Activity of Neurons: A Summary
      • Neurotransmitters
      • Energetics
    • Chapter 3. Memory
      • Overview
      • How is Memory Initiated?
      • Formation of Memory
      • Mechanism of LTM Formation
      • Neuronal Basis of Memory
      • Factors Affecting Memory
      • Some Phenomena Related to the Brain
  • Part II: The Molecular-Grid Model
    • Chapter 4. Primary Thoughts and Ideas
      • Overview
      • Concept of Primary Thought
      • Primary Thought as a Fundamental Unit
      • Primary Thoughts and Memory
      • Sensory Experience is the Same Irrespective of Stimulus
      • We Can Only Sense What our Mind Knows
      • How Innovative is Human Thought?
      • Primary Thoughts are Inherited
    • Chapter 5. The Perceptual Neurons
      • Overview
      • Pathways of Perception
      • Perceptual Neurons
      • Simple Ideas and Complex Ideas
      • Locating Perceptual Neurons in the Cortex
    • Chapter 6. Dendrites and Primary Thoughts
      • Overview
      • General Outlines
      • Events at Synapses
      • Events at Axons
      • Events at Dendrites
      • Electrical Activity at Dendrites
      • Where in the Neuron?
      • The Final Conclusion
    • Chapter 7. Molecular-Grid Model
      • Overview
      • Cell Membrane
      • Lipid Rafts and Microdomains
      • Signal Transduction in Neurons
      • Anatomy of Molecular Grid
      • Mechanism of Generation of Primary Thoughts
      • Genetic Basis of Primary Thoughts
      • Molecular Grids as ‘Biological Transistors’
    • Chapter 8. Memory, Intelligence and Molecular Grid
      • Overview
      • Memory: A Review
      • Molecular Mechanism of Memory
      • Storage of Memory and Recall
      • Forgetfulness
      • Intelligence
      • Some Weird but Explainable Phenomena
  • Part III: The Evolution of Human Mind
    • Chapter 9. Mind and Consciousness
      • Overview
      • Evolution of the Human Mind
      • Evolution of the Central Executive
      • Volition, Memory and Central Executive
      • Will Versus Volition
      • The Wine-Glass Analogy!
    • Chapter 10. Metaphysics of Thought
      • Overview
      • The Problem of the Observed: The Enigma of the External World
      • The Problem of the Observer: The Paradox of the Human Mind
      • How is Thought Initiated?
      • Who am ‘I’?
  • Part IV: The Computer and the Brain
    • Chapter 11. Molecular Grids and Computers
      • Overview
      • The Essentials of a Computer
      • The Neuron as the Chip
      • Some Highlights in the Comparison
  • References
  • Glossary
  • Index


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© Academic Press 2015
1st September 2014
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:
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About the Author

Krishnagopal Dharani

Krishnagopal Dharani

Dr. Dharani graduated from Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh) in 1987, and did his Master of Surgery from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal (South Karnataka) in 1992. He completed his Senior Residency in Vascular Surgery from Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) and is presently working as a Senior Civil Servant in AP Medical Services. He is also a science promotional writer, and has written a locally published book titled “The Role of Cell Membrane in the Origin of Life”. His articles have been published in various Indian Science Journals such as ScienceIndia, Amity College of Biotechnology (Noida), local magazines and others. He can be contacted with queries at

Affiliations and Expertise

AP Medical Services, Adoni, India


"Our ways of thinking and understanding the brain and our lives as people, along with the progress of computer science are also affected by The Biology of Thought. This is science writing at its finest and most cerebral, and should not be missed." --Pacific Book Review

"An exhaustive look at the process behind the formation of thoughts and memories... One particular chapter, which goes deeper into the formation of memory traces and dendritic pleats, may be the most interesting section for general readers, as it discusses mental pathways that exist in utero and in newborns—which, he says, may explain artistic prodigies, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart... An engaging, in-depth, and accessible book on brain function." --Kirkus Reviews

Ratings and Reviews