Hierarchical Brain

An explanation of the human brain

First published 1st February 2024. This is version 1.5 published 2nd March 2024.
Three pages are not yet published: sleep, memory and an index.
Copyright © 2024 Email info@hierarchicalbrain.com

Warning - the conclusions of this website may be disturbing for some people without a stable mental disposition or with a religious conviction.

Structure of this website

The structure of this website is hierarchical, consisting of a home page, a short high-level abstract, a longer, more detailed introduction, and a full summary on one page, with more levels of detail available as you click on links and go to other pages further down the hierarchy. Each individual page also has a hierarchical structure, with a summary at the top and bulleted points at multiple levels that give more details at each lower level.

There is a secondary structure based on the seven levels of description that are in the table at the top of the summary page. This reflects my attempt to create a hierarchical structure that is a useful model of the workings of the human brain. The structure is very similar to the “Logical structure” table below, although this table includes a link to every lower-level page, and a lot more detail is given on the summary page.

Contents of this page
Logical structure - a table showing the structure of the pages that make up this website.
Hierarchical structure - details on the hierarchical structure of pages on this website.
Use of bulleted paragraphs - an explanation of how and why I use bulleted paragraphs.
Links on these pages - details about my use of links on these pages, including references.
References - references and footnotes.

Logical structure

Hierarchical structure

Use of bulleted paragraphs

Links on these pages

References For information on references, see structure of this website - references

  1. ^ Circular inference: mistaken belief, misplaced trust - Deneve and Jardri 2016
    doi: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2016.04.001 (download not available, although see GoogleScholar).
    Page 41, under the heading “In search of a neural mechanism”: “The brain is inherently hierarchical and progressively constructs increasingly more abstract interpretations of its environment.”
  2. ^ A Theory of How Columns in the Neocortex Enable Learning the Structure of the World - Hawkins, Ahmad and Cui 2017
    doi: 10.3389/fncir.2017.00081 downloadable here or see GoogleScholar.
    Page 12, under the heading “Hierarchy”: “The neocortex processes sensory input in a series of hierarchically arranged regions... A common assumption is that complete objects can only be recognized at a level in the hierarchy where cells respond to input over the entire sensory array.... the cortex learns multiple models of objects, both within a region and across hierarchical levels.”
  3. ^ Godel, Escher, Bach - Douglas Hofstadter Penguin Books UK 1979
    This fascinating book, despite its title, is mostly about the functioning of the brain, although it covers many other subjects as well.
    See chapter 10, page 285 onwards, under the subheading “Levels of Description”, for a general discussion on levels of description.
    Chapter 17, under the heading “Formal and Informal Systems” on Page 559:
    “The only way to understand such a complex system as a brain is by chunking it on higher and higher levels, and thereby losing some precision at each step.”
    Chapter 17, under the heading “Irrational and Rational Can Coexist on Different Levels”, bottom of page 575: “meaning can exist on two or more different levels of a symbol-handling system”, hence Hofstadter also refers to “levels of meaning”.

Page last uploaded Thu Feb 22 14:20:41 2024 MST