2005 Volume 50 Issue 3 Pages 83-91
"Ko-ko-ro", meaning 'mind', is a complex higher order function of the human brain. The two distinct activities of mind that are best understood are the ability to recognize oneself, i.e., self-awareness, and the ability to read another mind. These two functions form the fundamental basis of humanity, thereby allowing us to conform and live in harmony within a given family, community, or society. The mind is formed under certain conditions within neural systems in the human brain, and potentially in some other primate brains. This activity is built upon the harmonic orchestration of various sub-components of mind formation, e.g., perception, sensing, cognition, learning and memory, emotion, consciousness, thoughts, desire, beliefs, and willingness. The current understanding of the mechanism of mind is limited, but growing evidence suggests that molecular, cellular, genetic, psychological, cognitive, and system neurobiological methods could help to further our knowledge of the mind. In this review, I will overview current understanding of the components of mind, particularly from a molecular neurobiological perspective, with anticipation that mapping the mind anatomically in molecular terms may ultimately be possible in the human brain.