J. A. Scott Kelso

J. A. Scott Kelso holds the Glenwood and Martha Creech Chair in Science at Florida Atlantic University and is Founder and Director of the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences.

  • The Complementary Nature

    The Complementary Nature

    J. A. Scott Kelso and David A. Engstrom

    Why do we divide our world into contraries? Why do we perceive and interpret so many of life's contraries as mutually exclusive, either/or dichotomies such as individual~collective, self~other, body~mind, nature~nurture, cooperation~competition? Throughout history, many have recognized that truth may well lie in between such polar opposites. In The Complementary Nature, Scott Kelso and David Engstrøm contend that ubiquitous contraries are complementary and propose a comprehensive, empirically based scientific theory of how the polarized world and the world in between can be reconciled. They nominate the tilde, or squiggle (~), as the symbolic punctuation for reconciled complementary pairs.

    Experiments show that the human brain is capable of displaying two apparently contradictory, mutually exclusive behaviors at the same time. Coordination dynamics—a mathematically expressed theory that reconciles the scientific language of "states" with the novel dynamical language of "tendencies"—attests to the complementary nature inherent in human brains and behavior. It may explain, Kelso and Engstrøm argue, why we (and nature) appear to partition things, events, and ideas into pairs. Kelso and Engstrøm's account is not just metaphorical; the reconciliations they describe are grounded in the principles and mathematical language of the theory of coordination dynamics. The Complementary Nature provides a clear-cut methodology for this evolving theory of brain and behavior that can also be applied to areas and developments outside the neurosciences, hence aiding reconciliations within and between disparate fields.

    • Hardcover $7.75 £5.99
    • Paperback $19.75 £15.99
  • Dynamic Patterns

    Dynamic Patterns

    The Self-Organization of Brain and Behavior

    J. A. Scott Kelso

    foreword by Hermann Haken For the past twenty years Scott Kelso's research has focused on extending the physical concepts of self- organization and the mathematical tools of nonlinear dynamics to understand how human beings (and human brains) perceive, intend, learn, control, and coordinate complex behaviors. In this book Kelso proposes a new, general framework within which to connect brain, mind, and behavior.Kelso's prescription for mental life breaks dramatically with the classical computational approach that is still the operative framework for many newer psychological and neurophysiological studies. His core thesis is that the creation and evolution of patterned behavior at all levels—from neurons to mind—is governed by the generic processes of self-organization. Both human brain and behavior are shown to exhibit features of pattern-forming dynamical systems, including multistability, abrupt phase transitions, crises, and intermittency.

    Dynamic Patterns brings together different aspects of this approach to the study of human behavior, using simple experimental examples and illustrations to convey essential concepts, strategies, and methods, with a minimum of mathematics.

    Kelso begins with a general account of dynamic pattern formation. He then takes up behavior, focusing initially on identifying pattern-forming instabilities in human sensorimotor coordination. Moving back and forth between theory and experiment, he establishes the notion that the same pattern-forming mechanisms apply regardless of the component parts involved (parts of the body, parts of the nervous system, parts of society) and the medium through which the parts are coupled. Finally, employing the latest techniques to observe spatiotemporal patterns of brain activity, Kelso shows that the human brain is fundamentally a pattern forming dynamical system, poised on the brink of instability. Self-organization thus underlies the cooperative action of neurons that produces human behavior in all its forms.

    • Hardcover $52.50 £45.00
    • Paperback $50.00 £40.00


  • Dynamic Coordination in the Brain

    Dynamic Coordination in the Brain

    From Neurons to Mind

    Christoph von der Malsburg, William A. Phillips, and Wolf Singer

    An examination of how widely distributed and specialized activities of the brain are flexibly and effectively coordinated.

    A fundamental shift is occurring in neuroscience and related disciplines. In the past, researchers focused on functional specialization of the brain, discovering complex processing strategies based on convergence and divergence in slowly adapting anatomical architectures. Yet for the brain to cope with ever-changing and unpredictable circumstances, it needs strategies with richer interactive short-term dynamics. Recent research has revealed ways in which the brain effectively coordinates widely distributed and specialized activities to meet the needs of the moment. This book explores these findings, examining the functions, mechanisms, and manifestations of distributed dynamical coordination in the brain and mind across different species and levels of organization. The book identifies three basic functions of dynamic coordination: contextual disambiguation, dynamic grouping, and dynamic routing. It considers the role of dynamic coordination in temporally structured activity and explores these issues at different levels, from synaptic and local circuit mechanisms to macroscopic system dynamics, emphasizing their importance for cognition, behavior, and psychopathology.

    Contributors Evan Balaban, György Buzsáki, Nicola S. Clayton, Maurizio Corbetta, Robert Desimone, Kamran Diba, Shimon Edelman, Andreas K. Engel, Yves Fregnac, Pascal Fries, Karl Friston, Ann Graybiel, Sten Grillner, Uri Grodzinski, John-Dylan Haynes, Laurent Itti, Erich D. Jarvis, Jon H. Kaas, J.A. Scott Kelso, Peter König, Nancy J. Kopell, Ilona Kovács, Andreas Kreiter, Anders Lansner, Gilles Laurent, Jörg Lücke, Mikael Lundqvist, Angus MacDonald, Kevan Martin, Mayank Mehta, Lucia Melloni, Earl K. Miller, Bita Moghaddam, Hannah Monyer, Edvard I. Moser, May-Britt Moser, Danko Nikolic, William A. Phillips, Gordon Pipa, Constantin Rothkopf, Terrence J. Sejnowski, Steven M. Silverstein, Wolf Singer, Catherine Tallon-Baudry, Roger D. Traub, Jochen Triesch, Peter Uhlhaas, Christoph von der Malsburg, Thomas Weisswange, Miles Whittington, Matthew Wilson

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99