When the Mind Comes to Live Inside the Body: The Ontogeny of the Perceptual Control Clock

Sari Goldstein Ferber, Ronny Geva, Aron Weller

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

1 Scopus citations


In this editorial, we discuss the neurobiological processes underlying the early emergence of awareness that we term the “when” and “how” the mind comes to live inside the body. We describe an accumulative developmental process starting during embryonic life and continuing to fetal and postnatal development, of coupling of heart rate, body movements, and sleep states on the behavioral level with underlying mechanisms on the structural, functional, cellular, and molecular lev-els. A developmental perspective is proposed based on Perceptual Control Theory (PCT). This in-cludes a developing sequence of modules starting from early sensing of neural intensities to early manifestation of human mindful capacities. We also address pharmacological treatments adminis-tered to preterm infants, which may interfere with this development, and highlight the need to consider this potential “side effect” of current pharmaceuticals when developing novel phar-macogenomic treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Bentham Science Publishers.


  • Fetal development
  • brainstem
  • coupling
  • epigenomics
  • preterm infants
  • thalamus


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