50 Real Clever Words for Psychology Students


Number #4 - Cytoarchitectonics



The Greek rootwords κύτος  [kytos = "container, cell"] and ἀρχιτέκτων [architekton = "chief builder"] are here bundled together in English as cytoarchitectonics, the study of nerve cell organisation and circuitry

pronounce together as <site-oh-architect-onics>


Perhaps the greatest barrier to the proper understanding of the workings of the biological brain is that one third of the problem is macroscopic (can be seen by the naked eye), a second third is microscopic, and the remaining third is electrical and thus not directly visible at all. The study of macroscopic brain anatomy is the oldest of the three corresponding sciences, with some writings dating back to Ancient Egyptian treatises up to 5,000 years old [more on these]. The study of electrical activity in nerves dates back to the work of the Italian physiologist Luigi Galvani [Wikipedia biography] in the 1780s - see what he found. The breakthrough in the microscopic study of the brain was made by Santiago Ramon  y Cajal [Wikipedia biography] in the late 19th Century, and the definitive publication is by Korbinian Brodmann [Wikipedia biography] in 1909 [buy 2005 reprint], who discovered that although the neocortex always consisted of six layers of neurons the total and relative thickness of the layers varied between different macroscopic regions. His 1909 numbering scheme for what are nowadays known as Brodmann's Areas is still used - check out the most important ones here. In 1929 [buy 2009 reprint] Constantin von Economo [Wikipedia biography] developed Brodmann's scheme into a detailed cytoarchitectonic map - check out an example here.


There is still no major philosophical, psychological, or engineering agreement as to how neurons act together during biological neural computation. In the meantime, a thorough understanding of cytoarchitectonics is required by those working on machine brains, that is to say, in the sciences of robotics, AI, and AC [= artificial consciousness]. To see some typical employment opportunities simply browse <brain circuitry research assistant>.


To broaden your understanding of the word cytoarchitectonics, here are some of the many hundreds of links you might encounter once you start looking ...

·         Genetics of brain circuitry - check it out

·         Neurogenesis - check it out

·         Brain circuitry and anxiety - check it out

·         Brain circuitry and instinct - check it out

·         Brain circuitry and depression - check it out

·         Brain circuitry and creativity - check it out

·         Brain circuitry and machine learning - check it out

·         Brain circuitry and robotic autonomy - check it out


50 Real Clever Words for Psychology Students


This material was written and published in Wales by Derek J. Smith (Chartered Engineer). It forms part of the Smithsrisca multifile e-learning resource, and subject only to acknowledging Derek J. Smith's rights under international copyright law to be identified as author may be freely downloaded and printed off in single complete copies solely for the purposes of private study and/or review. Commercial exploitation rights are reserved. The remote hyperlinks have been selected for the academic appropriacy of their contents; they were free of offensive and litigious content when selected, and will be periodically checked to have remained so. Copyright © 2018, Derek J. Smith. [Homepage]