Neurone and brain state compared to gene and internal state

The analogy between neurone activity and gene expression is therefore striking. Earlier in this chapter we compared the brain state with a cell's internal state. So it is tempting to infer that neurone activity is to brain state as gene expression is to internal state. However, this would be slightly misleading. In chapters 8 and 9 we discussed the significance of the time delay between gene expression and change of internal state. Neuronal activity affects brain state immediately and directly. Genes (DNA) are not part of the internal state, which depends on proteins. Neurones are part of the brain state, which depends on neurones and synapses. However, the comparison can still be made:-

Neuronal activity pattern

Brain state

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