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Gerald Edelman

Gerald Edelman is a biologist who won a Nobel Prize for his work on the immune system, and is noted for his theory of mind, published in a trilogy of technical books, and in briefer form for a more general audience in Bright Air, Brilliant Fire. Topobiology contains a theory of how the original neuronal network of a newborn's brain is established during development of the embryo. Neural Darwinism contains a theory of memory that is built around the idea of plasticity in the neural network in response to the environment. The Remembered Present contains a theory of consciousness.

Edelman has asked whether we should attempt to construct models of functioning minds or models of brains which, through interactions with their surroundings, can develop minds? Edelman's answer is that we should make model brains and pay attention to how they interact with their environment. In contrast with philosopher Daniel Dennett, Edelman accepts the existence of qualia and incorporates them into his brain-based theory of mind.