If a thought or consciousness is located in the brain, what does it exactly mean? Is it located in the cells or between them? Or is it simply activity of the neurons? Moreover, if it is a property of the activity of neurons, do all neurons have such a property? If not, how then do the neurons which have “conscious” properties differ from other neurons? Do only certain kinds of neurons have mental activity?
from The Theory of the Organism-Environment System (1998)
Timo Järvilehto is a professor of psychology at the University of Oulu in Finland, focusing on brain research and psychophysiology, EEG problems, sensory physiology and psychophysics, registration of behavior and the activity of individual neurons, especially from the human peripheral nervous system. Järvilehto has published several works dealing with the principles of brain function, learning, and education.
Since 1990, Järvilehto has developed a new approach to the examination of psychological problems under the title “systemic psychology,” which is based on the theory of the organism-environment system and which aims to combine the central psychological trends that developed during the twentieth century (functionalism, behaviorism, psychoanalysis, cognitive science) into a unified and coherent psychological theory.
≈ 2.9 hours
In any functional sense, organism and environment are inseparable and form only one unitary system. The organism cannot exist without the environment, and the environment has descriptive properties only if it is connected to the organism. Separation of organism and environment cannot be the basis of any scientific explanation of human behavior. The theory leads to a reinterpretation of basic problems in many fields of inquiry and makes possible the definition of mental phenomena without their reduction either to neural or biological activity or to separate mental functions. According to the theory, mental activity is activity of the whole organism-environment system, and the traditional psychological concepts describe only different aspects of organization of this system.