Abstract Details

The Mirror Model  Sandro Guerra (Aventura, FL )   P1

The relationship between consciousness and the mirror model is not immediately evident, but the implications of this hypothesis can significantly change our understanding of this phenomenon. The mirror model is a thesis in developmental biology that synthesizes the complexity of life into an elemental equivalence principle or mirror effect. This principle can be explained as a phenomenon similar to an equation. An equation is a statement with 2 parts divided by an equal sign. These 2 parts may look different at first glance, but they are 2 expressions of the same principle. The mirror model proposes that something similar happens in complex life forms. It states that the body, like an equation, consists of 2 fundamental parts - the head and the body - and all the structures in the head are iterated onto the body. At first, this idea may not make sense because the head does not look like the rest of the body. Furthermore, the brain is made out of nerve tissue, and the organs inside the torso consist of a completely different set of tissues. If this model is correct, then the endoderm would follow the same principles to create the guts that it follows to create the brain, producing what I call a mirror effect. I am not implying this happens simultaneously. These structures do not develop at the same rate, but I believe they do follow a similar morphogenic principle. Similarly, the structures that develop from the mesoderm should also follow this mirror effect, but in this case, it is the mesoderm mirroring itself. Therefore, the structures of mesodermal origin in the head would have counterparts of mesodermal origin in the body. Mutations such as TSN, BOR, antennapedia, and Kallmann syndrome; the presence of erectile tissue in the nose; and other anomalies and functional connections support this proposition. I believe this alleged mirror effect is directly related to the emergence of consciousness. We have over 100 million neurons in the digestive tract, yet, when we study cognitive function, we tend to focus exclusively on the brain, dismissing the fundamental component of the nervous system. The mirror model explains cognitive function using a guitar analogy. To play a guitar, we manipulate 2 sides of the instrument, forming chords with 1 hand while strumming the strings with the other. I believe that like the music from a guitar, consciousness is not a product of the brain but of the interaction and coordination of the neurons in the brain and the neurons in the rest of the body, especially the neurons in the digestive tract. The association between cognitive and digestive dysfunctions has been found in dementia, autism, Parkinson's, colorectal cancer, and tetraplegia. These associations are a significant evidence on behalf of this hypothesis. Experiments and observations will be proposed. For a second opinion, you may contact Dr. Gerald Pollack at ghp@ivsci.org.