Abstract: This chapter explores and reviews progress with the concepts of
plasticity, rigidity and causal history in brain research and related fields.
Extensive use is made of papers and books in neuroscience and related fields
(e.g. psychiatry, psychology, psychophysiology), as well as meeting
proceedings and special issues of leading journals. The goal of the chapter is
to show that the human brain is plastic and that it contains various feedback
loops that affect the ways we behave. Processes of circular causality (i.e.
upward and downward causation) govern our brain's functioning. What we
experience can alter the detailed neuronal structure of our brain and, in turn,
that changed neuronal structure can affect what we feel, believe or do in the
future. A deeper understanding of plasticity, rigidities and feedback systems
may provide a clearer picture of the causal and influence networks evolving
within the brain – and how they shape our state(s) of mind.