Comments on "neurons are not inert and static" and the neuropsychological origins of the reverberatory circuit in the cerebral cortex.
2. "Neurons are not inert and static; it is. . . precarious to compare working brain circuits with electronic circuits" said Lashley (in the words of Murre and Raffone). But then they add, "the appropriate model-dependent simplification of neuronal interactions and properties is sometimes necessary to understand how neurons interact with each other" (para. 8). Perhaps so. But only if you build into your model the significant properties of living, metabolizing neurons, properties that include varying excitability, and varying synaptic cleft; the properties of excitation and inhibition, and spatial and temporal summation at the synapse. I am not aware that such a model has ever been proposed. For this reason, I believe that Lashley would continue to take a dim view of neural circuit model building.
3. In comparing and contrasting the theoretical positions of Lashley and Hebb, Murre and Raffone neglect what I believe to be a basic difference between the two: Lashley's focus on innate neural mechanisms and Hebb's empiricistic position. For example, for Lashley, the reverberatory circuit or neural lattice, as he called it, is hard-wired in the cerebral cortex, but for Hebb the cell assembly is acquired through experience in the course of growing up. I believe this to be a basic and perhaps irreconcilable difference between these two titans of neuropsychological theory.
Beach, F. A., Hebb, D. O., Morgan, C. T. and Nissen, H. W. (1960) The Neuropsychology of Lashley. NY: McGraw-Hill.
Murre, Jaap & Raffone, Antonino (2000) Hebb and Lashley: Convergences and Divergences in the Light of Recent Neurophysiological Findings. PSYCOLOQUY 11(026) ftp://ftp.princeton.edu/pub/harnad/Psycoloquy/2000.volume.11/ psyc.00.11.026.lashley-hebb.13.murre http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/psyc-bin/newpsy?11.026
Orbach, Jack (1998) The Neuropsychological Theories of Lashley and Hebb. MD: University Press of America.
Orbach, J. (1999) Precis of: The Neuropsychological Theories of Lashley and Hebb. PSYCOLOQUY 10(029) ftp://ftp.princeton.edu/pub/harnad/Psycoloquy/1999.volume.10/ psyc.99.10.029.lashley-hebb.1.orbach http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/psyc-bin/newpsy?10.029