Psyche (from the Greek. psychikos - mental) - special property reflection of reality (i.e. the formation of a subjective image of the objective world), inherent highly organized kinds of living beings.
The material basis of mind - brain, its higher nervous activity (see), which determines the peculiarity of behavior higher animals and man. Being a complex reflex in its structure the activity of the brain arising in the process of active interaction of the organism with the environment, the mind on the higher stages of development (in humans) is formed in the process of social conditions of life.
Psyche occurs only at a certain stage of the evolution of living nature. At the level of plant life interaction of the organism with the environment limited metabolism and the emergence of stimulation to the impacts involved in this exchange, and the terms involved in this exchange. At the level of animal life arise new forms of interaction of the organism and the environment: the body begins to respond not only to the agents directly involved in metabolism, but also the agents, who, being in themselves neutral, signal the emergence of life impacts (food, damaging conditions, etc.), acquiring thereby "signal".
Reflex responses to the stimuli coming from outside world, always correspond to the needs of the body or the well-known problem that stands before him. If the actions of the body are up to the task and the task is implemented, they will cease; if a motion or action do not meet this task, the brain receives signals of such nonconformity (signals "offset") and activity of the organism continues until we reach the agreed response to the original task. By such a "ring" of the processes carried out every reflex activity, including mental and behavior of organisms becomes similar to the functioning of self-regulating system.
The main forms of mental activity engaged in a reflection of the external environment and regulation of behaviour change in the process of evolution. In the early stages of phylogenesis the body, maintaining balance with the environment reacts only on individual properties affecting agents, and still does not reflect those complexes of properties that characterize the whole objects of the external world; reaction to acting irritation still is immediate. Behaviour change, the necessity of which is dictated by the changing environmental conditions, occur very slowly. Therefore, the orientation in the environment at this stage of evolution is very limited and plasticity of conduct is rudimentary and imperfect form. These characteristics is different behavior on stage Donnelley life and on the stage the most elementary (tela) nervous system.
A significant complication in the psyche is made with the emergence of specialized bodies, feelings, distant (auditory, visual) receptors and first of all with the formation of a Central hub (ganglion) - the nervous system. The emergence of the receiving devices, like the eye, and also creation of such complex entities as cutting the nerve ganglia, which are flocking excitation from many receptors, provide an opportunity to reflect not only the individual properties of stimuli, but whole complexes, provides perception of objects. The presence in front ganglia complex associative device allows first, then more complex forms of analysis and synthesis of the impacts of the environment, as well as the production and preservation of complex programs of conduct. Such programs of conduct developed in the process of evolution of species and genetic fixed, acquire at the top of invertebrates, especially insects, complex character and become the basis of inborn, instinctive", forms of regulation of behavior (see Instinct). The further complication of the psyche occurs with the formation of nerve structures front of the brain, which in vertebrates becomes the body carrying out the Central regulation of conduct (see brain). In the early stages of development vertebrates (fish, amphibians) forebrain consists of a relatively simple entities (Central, intermediate and ancient olfactory brain), which allow only a relatively simple form of mental activity. The leading role among these simple forms belongs innate species program behavior.
In the later stages of development with the transition to a ground-dwelling existence, requiring more subtle orientation in a changing environment and develop individually volatile behaviour, over these entities built on the cortex (see), which begins to take a leading role in the regulation of complex forms of mental activity. The cerebral cortex, powerfully developing in mammals, provides much more opportunities for complex analysis and synthesis of the environmental and snap the new temporary connections; thus, it allows you to develop and maintain complex program behavior. More ancient subcortex become a crust into the background and the higher vertebrates regulate only relatively simple types instinctive, or affective, behavioral. Animals possessing well-developed cerebral cortex, get a wide orientation in the conditions of external environment. Along with congenital programs species ("instinctive") behavior are formed complex program of individual behavior. These programs are easy to change when conditions change, environment and fixed in vivo emerging forms conditioned reflex activity or skill.
Significantly enriched and estimated activity of animals. It is separated from other types of conduct (food, defensive, sexual) and became an independent form of mental activity on the basis of which the higher vertebrates occur intellectual activity, host of the apes form a "visual, manual thinking" (I. P. Pavlov). The activities of the animal, regulated by the brain cortex and based on sophisticated forms of analysis and synthesis, gets targeted, selective, allowing not only to perform complex program, but comparing the results of step with the original intentions and to correct the mistakes.