Starting from the observation of the relationships of the biological system with its environments and of the genetically determined neuronal properties of plasticity and rhythmicity, it is possible to propose a new hypothesis about the functional role and organization of the visceral nervous system based on the physical model of the Dissipative Structure by I. Prigogine. The similarily between the visceral nervous system function and this model is supported by the following observations: (1) The visceral nervous system is a complex system, composed of many interacting units, which works away from thermodynamic equilibrium; (2) the functional organization of the nervous system is strongly dependent on internal and external environmental stimuli; (3) it is characterized by the presence of rhythms and periodic behaviors and (4) the internal order of the system is maintained in the continuous interplay between function, structure and fluctuations. On the basis of the present hypothesis, a few general principles can be formulated: (1) the higher brain centers, the fluid matrix and the external world, are the visceral nervous system natural environments; (2) with which it is plastically interfaced as a thermodynamic dissipative structure; (3) its main functional role is to regulate, distribute and maintain ordered exchanges of matter, energy and information between these environments. The present is a general interpretation of the operations of the visceral nervous system as a whole. In the frame of this interpretation the hypotheses so far formulated, including the homeostatic theory, can be viewed as the description of discrete and complementary aspects of the visceral nervous system functions.

The visceral nervous system and its environments / G. Recordati. - In: JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY. - ISSN 0022-5193. - 214:2(2002), pp. 293-304.

The visceral nervous system and its environments

G. Recordati
Primo
2002

Abstract

Starting from the observation of the relationships of the biological system with its environments and of the genetically determined neuronal properties of plasticity and rhythmicity, it is possible to propose a new hypothesis about the functional role and organization of the visceral nervous system based on the physical model of the Dissipative Structure by I. Prigogine. The similarily between the visceral nervous system function and this model is supported by the following observations: (1) The visceral nervous system is a complex system, composed of many interacting units, which works away from thermodynamic equilibrium; (2) the functional organization of the nervous system is strongly dependent on internal and external environmental stimuli; (3) it is characterized by the presence of rhythms and periodic behaviors and (4) the internal order of the system is maintained in the continuous interplay between function, structure and fluctuations. On the basis of the present hypothesis, a few general principles can be formulated: (1) the higher brain centers, the fluid matrix and the external world, are the visceral nervous system natural environments; (2) with which it is plastically interfaced as a thermodynamic dissipative structure; (3) its main functional role is to regulate, distribute and maintain ordered exchanges of matter, energy and information between these environments. The present is a general interpretation of the operations of the visceral nervous system as a whole. In the frame of this interpretation the hypotheses so far formulated, including the homeostatic theory, can be viewed as the description of discrete and complementary aspects of the visceral nervous system functions.
Complex systems ; Dissipative Structure ; Non-equilibrium thermodynamics ; matter, energy and information ; homeostatic theory ; function, structure and fluctuations
Settore MED/09 - Medicina Interna
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/22396
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