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Neurognosis is a technical term used in biogenetic structuralism to refer to the initial organization of the experiencing and cognizing brain[1][2][3].

All neurophysiological models comprising an individual’s cognized environment develop from these nascent models which exist as the initial, genetically determined neural structures already producing the experience of the fetus and infant. These nascent models are referred to as neurognostic structures, neurognostic models, or simply neurognosis.

When theorists wish to emphasize the neurognostic structures themselves, they may be referred to as structures (in the structuralist sense)or models. The neurognostic structures correspond somewhat to Carl Jung's archetypes[4]. Jung's reference to the essential unknowability of the archetypes-in-themselves also applies to neurognostic structures in biogenetic structural formulations.

Neurognosis may also refer to the functioning of these neural structures in producing either experience or some other activity unconscious to the individual. This usage is similar to Jung's reference to archetypal imagery, ideas, and activities that emerge into and are active in consciousness.

The distinction between neurognostic structures and neurognosis is simply one between structure and function -- for example, between the anatomy of the hand and grasping by that hand.


  1. Laughlin, Charles D. (1991) "Pre- and Perinatal Brain Development and Enculturation: A Biogenetic Structural Approach." Human Nature 2(3):171-213.
  2. >Laughlin, Charles D. and Eugene G. D'Aquili (1974) Biogenetic Structuralism. New York: Columbia University Press.
  3. >Laughlin, Charles D., John McManus and Eugene G. d'Aquili (1990) Brain, Symbol and Experience: Toward a Neurophenomenology of Consciousness. New York: Columbia University Press.
  4. >Laughlin, Charles D. (1996) "Archetypes, Neurognosis and the Quantum Sea." Journal of Scientific Exploration 10(3):375-400.

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