CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE BRAIN:
Ralph D. Ellis, Ph.D.
Clark Atlanta University
Natika Newton, Ph.D.
New York Institute of Technology
MacKay, Donald. 1984. "Mind talk and brain talk". In Michael Gazzaniga (ed), Handbook of Cognitive Neuroscience. New York: Plenum Press, 293-318.
General discussion of the numerous problems in trying to correlate mental with physiological dimensions.
Mackie, John L. 1974. The Cement of the Universe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Suggests that, in defining the meaning of causation, it is only necessary to add to the necessary-and-sufficient stipulation some additional stipulation designed to insure the directionality of the causal relation. Mackie has explored some of the possible stipulations that might be added in order to convey the sense of directionality in the causal connection. He clearly shows problems with most possible stipulations that have been proposed to meet this problem (such as, for example, stipulating that the cause must precede the effect in time); his conclusion is that a present event may be "fixed" in a sense that can never apply to the corresponding future event for which it is necessary and sufficient. Mackie does not answer the objection that if the present event is fixed and is necessary and sufficient for a future event, then the future event by the same token becomes just as `fixed' as the present one. Nor does he explain how this concept defines the direction of causation when the cause is simultaneous with the effect.
MacLane, S. 1981. "Mathematical models: A sketch for the philosophy of mathematics." American Mathematical Monthly , Aug.-Sept., 462-72.
Specifically applies Lakoff's theory of `image schematic structures' (see Lakoff 1987) to the origins of the various mathematical structures:
The real nature of these structures does not lie in their often artificial construction from set theory, but in their relation to mathematical ideas or to basic human activities . . . mathematics is not the study of intangible Platonic worlds, but of tangible formal systems which have arisen from real human activities. (470)
The claim is that for any conceptual structure to be meaningful, one must grasp it in terms of structures that are already meaningful in one's own experience, and these will be sensorimotor structures. In particular, meaningful representations of abstract concepts are composed of kinesthetic images.
Macrides, Foteos, H.B. Eichenbaum, and W.B. Forbes. 1982. "Temporal relationship between sniffing and the limbic theta rhythm during odor discrimination reversal learning". Journal of Neuroscience 2: 1705.
Confirms Komisaruk (1977) in that hippocampal theta rhythms are necessary to synchornize sensory information, and that synchronization can be disrupted when circadian and ultradian rhythms are disturbed, especially in terms of desynchronization of the hypothalamus and the cerebral cotex, which can cause severe mental disturbances.
McClelland, J.L., Rumelhart, D. E., and the PDP Research Group 1986. Parallel Distributed Processing. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Report of research program in alternative computational architecture with parallel distributed processing.
Malcolm, Norman. 1967. "Explaining behavior". Philosophical Review 76: 97-104.
Defense of the `knowledge argument' on the grounds that mental states and states of consciousness are not `localizable' in the same way that physical states are. Thus we can know things about physical states that we do not know about mental ones and vice versa.
Mandler, Jean. 1992. "The foundations of conceptual thought in infancy". Cognitive Development 7: 273-285.
Presents a theory in which image-schemas are imposed on perceptual data, abstracting certain aspects of the spatial structure of objects and their movements and redescribing perceptual information into meanings, which form concepts (e.g., the concepts of animate vs. inanimate, agents, and containers are discussed as examples of image-schemas). Also proposes ways in which this process can ground inferential and analogical thought.
Marcel, A.J. 1988. "Phenomenal experience and functionalism." In Consciousness in Contemporary Science, Marcel, A.J. and Bisiach, E. (eds). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Margolis, Eric. 1994. "A reassessment of the shift from the classical theory of concepts to prototype theory". Cognition 51: 73-89.
Discusses the prototype theorists' claim that concepts often (or usually) fail to include precise decision rules for category membership . The important question for our purposes here is whether all concepts can be generated by means of blurring or leaving ambiguous some of the features of a mental image (such as `horse') so that the concept would consist of a thus-genericized mental image which would work as a `prototype' for that type of object or phenomenon. See also Barsalou 1987; Fodor and Pylyshyn 1988; Lakoff 1987.
Marks, Lawrence. 1978. The Unity of the Senses: Interrelations Among the Modalities. New York: Academic Press.
Study of cross-modal generalizations in perceptual experience.
Marr, D. 1976. "Early processing of visual information." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, 275, 483-524.
Holds that different cognitive tasks are accomplished by brain "modules," each determined by set of task-specific rules and cognitively isolated from other modules. Marr's computational account of cognitive activity provides the basic argument for modularity: "Any large computation should be split up and implemented as a collection of small sub-parts that are as nearly independent of one another as the overall task allows" (485).
Mayes, A.R. 1992. "Automatic memory processes in amnesia: How are they mediated?" In A.D. Milner and M.D. Rugg (eds). The Neuropsychology of Consciousness. London: Academic Press.
McHugh, D.E. and A.T. Bahill. 1985. "Learning to track predictable target waveforms without a time delay". Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 26: 932-937.
When a novel perceptual object is presented, subjects require a 1/3-second interval before which there is actual perceptual consciousness of the data, corresponding to activation of frontal and parietal brain areas; however, McHugh and Bahill find that when tracking an object which has already been presented, consciousness is contemporaneous with the actual physical stimulus behavior.
McNeil, D. 1992. Hand and Mind . Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Study of gestures, suggesting that gestures are computed by the same psychological structures as the speech they accompany, and that they express the same types of spatial relations whether they accompany abstract or concrete sentences (357).
McNeil, D. 1985. "So you think gestures are nonverbal?" Psychological Review 92, 3, 350-371.
Argues for similar neurophysiological substrates for gestures and for verbal functions.
McNeil, D. 1979. The Conceptual Basis of Language. Hillsdale, N.J.: Law-rence Erlbaum Associates.
Argues that sensorimotor ideas are vehicles for signs that refer by "semiotic extension" to nonsensorimotor objects.
Mele, A. 1992. Springs of Action . Oxford: Oxford University Press.
An action plan is the representational element in an intention. To be part of an intention, a plan must be combined with a motivational element. (Mele leaves the form of such representations open. In simple actions, they are sensorimotor images). Mele describes plans as follows:
In the limiting case, an agent's plan for acting is a simple representation of his performing a basic action of a certain type.
In other cases, the agent's plan is a representation of his prospective A-ing and of the route to A-ing that he intends to take. (109)
Such a representation could not be a representation of intrinsically independent movements that happen to be performed together, like a representation the exercise patient might have of his ABCD exercises when he thinks of them as separate exercises whose sequence makes no difference to what he is doing. Action-guiding representations must represent means and goals as unified actions. On Mele's account of intention, the representation guides action when combined with motivation. It could not serve that function, when combined simply with motivation, unless the individual movements were represented the way, or a way, to achieve the goal. If they were represented simply as independent movements then there would be no basis for taking the representation as a guide for achieving that goal.
Mele, Alfred. 1993. "Motivated belief". Behavior and Philosophy 21: 19-27.
Expands the above theory to emphasize the motivated aspect of selective attention in determining beliefs.
Meltzoff, A. and Gopnik, A. 1993. "The role of imitation in understanding persons and developing theories of mind." In Understanding Other Minds: Perspectives from Autism, Baron-Cohen, S., Tager-Flusberg, H., and Cohen, D.(eds). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Classic argument for the "theory theory," according to which a representational model of the mind develops between the ages of three and six, and "supplants an earlier 'nonrepresentational' understanding of the mind" (335). In their view, only with the acquisition of the representational model is the concept of intentionality acquired; it is a "theoretical construct." Nevertheless, Meltzoff and Gopnik argue that the earlier, nonrepresentational understanding that an infant has of other persons is a precursor of the later representational understanding. Meltzoff and Gopnik argue that an infant perceives other persons as similar to itself:
Infants are launched on their career of interpersonal relations with the primary perceptual judgment: 'Here is something like me.' . .
We propose that infants' primordial 'like me' experiences are based on their understanding of bodily movement patterns and postures . Infants monitor their own bodily movements by the internal sense of proprioception, and can detect cross-modal equivalents between those movements-as-felt and the movements they see performed by others. (336; italics added)
The ability to detect similarity between self and other is expressed in imitation:
We suggest that for the youngest infants, persons are: 'entities that can be imitated and also who imitate me,' entities that pass the 'like me' test. Such a rule would be effective in sorting the world into people versus things, and could be operative in the opening weeks of life because the data show that infants imitate at birth. (337)
Thus there exists a
primitive supramodal body scheme that allows the infant to unify acts-as-seen and acts-as-felt into a common framework. . . We suggest that the supramodal body scheme revealed by early imitation provides the foundation of the development of the notion of persons and self-other equivalencies in infants... (342-3).
On this view, what is innate is not an imitative response reflex (although there may be an innate tendency or desire to imitate), but a framework within which various perceptions can be matched and treated as equivalent. The "reflex," one might say, is the identification of what is seen as a "bodily action" in terms of this framework. To be sure, the tendency to respond by imitating the action is innate, but the tokens of behavior are still intentional, not reflexive (like many life-sustaining behaviors such as eating). In imitating another's gesture the infant is simply trying to perform the gesture that it has represented in the way it represents its own (actual or possible) actions. Imitating the gestures of another is a response to an identification of the other as "like me," an identification constituted by the mapping of the perceived behavior of the other onto the infant's supramodal body scheme.
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1962. Phenomenology of Perception. Colin Smith (trans). New York: Humanities Press.
The phenomenological description of an act of imagination will look very different from a phenomenological description of the analogous perceptual act. Here Merleau-Ponty analyzes extensively the ways perception differs from imagination, from both phenomenological and neurological standpoints.
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1942-1963. The Structure of Behavior. A. Fischer (trans). Boston: Beacon; original French edition 1942.
Consciousness is a process, brain function is its substratum, and this does not necessarily mean that consciousness is caused by the actions of its substratum . In living organisms, the form of the process often determines what happens to the substratum rather than the other way around. The continuation of a process can include an almost infinite variation of combinations in the patterns of electrical and chemical change in all the neuronal circuits involved a complex pattern of changes which in essence is a behavior which can be triggered by a cue, much as a conditioned response can be triggered by a stimulus. To ask how we `remember' how to re-enact this complex pattern is like asking how someone with a nervous twitch `remembers' to twitch the muscle.
Metcalfe, Janet. 1993. "Novelty monitoring, metacognition, and control in a composite holographic associative recall model: Implications for Korsakoff amnesia". Psychological Review 100: 3-22.
Detailed empirical study of the neural basis for memory with emphasis on the way imagery is processed and works in the larger context of memory fnctions.
Metcalfe, Janet, and A.P. Shimamura. 1994. Metacognition: Knowing about Knowing. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Anthology of `feeling of knowing' and `feeling of confidence' studies. Emphasizs that the `feeling of knowing' can be present with a content not presently being entertained in consciousness; a `feeling of confidence' to this effect may of course be completely erroneous, just as it may be when the feeling of knowing is associated with contents presently being entertained. (For example, I can feel that I know which astronauts went to the moon, without actually thinking the names or remembering them at that moment.)
It is usually held that tip-of-the-tongue states, for example the well-known experiences of almost, but not quite, being able to remember a word are according to him not associated with any qualitative images (see Baars). However, Metcalfe and Shimamura point out that it is possible that partially-realized motor images of speech could underlie these states.
Miller, Lawrence. 1984. "Neuropsychological concepts of somatoform disorders". International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 14: 31-46.
Studies the role of the reticular activating system in perception and the role of the frontal-limbic connection in recognizing the meaning of a remembered image. See also Miller (1990); Gainotti et al (1993).
Miller, Lawrence. 1990. Inner Natures: Brain, Self and Personality. New York: Ballantine.
Good discussion of various correlations between neurophysiological and conscious processes. For example, EEG patterns, CT scans, etc. are correlated with the activity of listening to music which apparently involves very different brain areas for trained musicians more left-lateralized. Miller also shows that "Conscious appreciation of a particular sensory impression . . . depends not just on the sensory pathways conveying that sensation, but also on the participation of a separate collateral system, the reticular activating system . . . responsible for literally `directing attention' to incoming sensory information at different levels of processing. Damage to this system produces a curious dissociative condition where the sensory areas of the brain process the information normally (as shown, for example, by the EEG), but the person remains subjectively unaware of the stimulus; it simply doesn't `register' (173)." Another interesting discussion involves the point that, as Miller puts it, "There are very few people who think what they think they think." He shows that this is one reason why cognition came to be regarded as a fundamentally unconscious process. In folk-psychological terms, we are obviously `aware' of having solved the problem, but this awareness seems useless in understanding how the problem was solved. It was thus assumed that consciousness is an epiphenomenon which contributes nothing to the understanding of how cognition functions.
Miller, Robert. 1981. Meaning and Purpose in the Intact Brain. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Shows that the continual inhibition of a response does not necessarily lead to the eventual extinction of the response (p. 139).
Millikan, R. 1984. Language, Thought and Other Biological Categories. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Rejects what she calls 'meaning rationalism,' or the ability to be infallibly aware of one's thoughts in an unmediated way. She notes, however, that one could "admit that people are (sometimes) aware of the intentionality of their thoughts, just as they are sometimes aware of others looking at them or aware that it is raining" (91).
Millikan, R. 1989. "Biosemantics." Journal of Philosophy 86, 6, 281-197.
Further development of above approach.
Miner, A.C. and Reder, L.M. 1994. "A New look at feeling of knowing: Its metacognitive role in regulating question answering". In J. Metcalfe (ed), Metacognition. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1994.
See Metcalfe (1994).
Minsky, Marvin. 1986. The Society of the Mind. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Relates priority of function over substance directly to cognitive states: "Concerns about minds are really concerns with relationships between states and this has virtually nothing to do with the natures of the states themselves" (287).
Mitchell, D.E., R.D. Freeman, M. Millodot, and G. Haegerstrom. 1973. "Meridional amblyopia: Evidence for modification of the human visual system by early visual experience". Vision Research 13: 535.
Moray, Neville. 1970. Attention: Selective Processes in Vision and Hearing. New York: Academic Press.
Demonstrates a serious problem for the early selection theory by presenting subjects in dichotic listening tasks with a sentence like `Swan caught the ball, but her selection of music is strange' in one ear, simultaneously with `Ronstadt sings marvelously, and he ran for a touchdown' in the other ear. The subjects could not continue to maintain the focus of attention on the message to one ear, but switched the focus to the other ear according to the meaning of the sentence. The fact that meaning rather than sensory input determined the direction of attention was supposed to undermine the early selection hypothesis, since it was assumed that the meaning of information cannot be `processed' until the information is first perceived. Since we obviously do filter information, however, and are not conscious of the information which is filtered out, the late selection theory had to posit that the information must get processed on a non-conscious basis before we decide which (already-processed) information to attend to. But the price to be paid for this hypothesis is the difficulty of coming to terms with the fact that processing is tremendously more successful for information to which we do attend.
Morrison, Adrian. 1979. "Brain-stem regulation of behavior during sleep and wakefulness". In James Sprague and Alan Epstein (eds), Progress in Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology, Vol. 8. New York: Academic Press, 91-93.
Morrison, Adrian. 1983. "A window on the sleeping brain," Scientific American, 248: 94-103.
Natsoulas, Thomas. 1993. "What is wrong with appendage theory of consciousness". Philosophical Psychology 6: 137-154.
Conscious cognition is structured completely differently from unconscious cognition. We cannot simply regard consciousness as an `appendage' which has been superadded to processes which could also have occurred on an unconscious basis.
Natsopoulos, D., Katsarou, G., Bostantzopoulou, Z., Grouios, G., Mentenopoulos, G., and Logothetis, J. 1991. "Strategies in comprehension of relative clauses by parkinsonian patients." Cortex 27, 255-268.
Grammatical difficulties similar to those associated with aphasia, including the comprehension of relative clauses, have been found in patients with Parkinson's disease, primarily a motor disorder. This is further indication of the close relationship between motor and grammatical processing.
Nauta, Walle J. 1971. "The problem of the frontal lobe: A reinterpretation," Journal of Psychiatric Research 8: 167-187.
EEG patterns, CT scans and other measures of neural activity in various parts of the brain have now been extensively correlated with conscious acts such asintegration of sensory and memory mechanisms via frontal lobe activity.
Needleman, Jacob. 1968. Being in the World: Selected Papers of Ludwig Binswanger. New York: Harper & Row.
Theoretical basis for explaining psychiatric disorders as disorders in the way subjects categorize their experience, and the way this categorization determines the content of the experienced world.
Neely, J.H. 1977. "Semantic priming and retrieval from lexical memory: Roles of inhibitionless spreading activation and limited-category attention". Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 106: 226-254.
Empirical support for Bruner's (1961) thesis that conscious and non-conscious processing differe in that with the former type the imaginative act precedes the perceptual one as part of the arrousal and attentional mechanism.
Neisser, Ulric. 1967. Cognitive Psychology. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
Interesting discussion of the way imagery and consciousness interrelate in dreaming and waking consciousness. See also Neisser (1994).
Neisser, Ulric. 1976. Cognition and Reality. San Francisco: Freeman.
Elaboration of the ecological psychology theory further defended in Neisser (1994) - see below.
Neisser, Ulric. 1994. "Ecological Psychology". Lecture at Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology.
Evolutionary perspective on the self-maintaining nature of conscious processes. The fact that beings that enjoy sexual behavior are more likely to reproduce themselves is a statement about a process that characterizes our ecosystem, and there is a sense in which this process partly determines the behavior of any particular substratum elements which enter into it But this does not contradict the fact that the same behavior can be explained mechanistically. Which type of explanation we use depends on whether we are trying to understand one element's behavior in terms of a previously established understanding of another element's behavior, or whether we are trying to understand why the whole situation is patterned in such a way that any elements which enter into it will inevitably behave in certain ways. (See also Neisser 1967, 1976.)
Nemirow, L.E. 1995. "Understanding rules." Journal of Philosophy XCII, 1, 28-43.
Understanding in general is "knowing how to follow a rule." Knowing how to follow linguistic rules is distinct from simply knowing the rules knowing that a language is bound by certain rules, or having a linguistic theory for a particular natural language. In Searle's Chinese Room, the English speaker has a written set of rules which he follows, but having these rules available is not the same thing as having the ability to follow them in the requisite sense. For that, the rules must be internalized so that they "fuse" with the rest of one's representational system:
In the beginning, the student [of a language] knows the relevant linguistic rules, but cannot act in accordance with those rules without expressly invoking them a relatively slow and painstaking process. By the time she reaches the second stage, she has so mastered the rules that she knows how to follow them immediately without considering their formulation. She then "understands" the language, in the full sense of the term, precisely because she is no longer rule-bound. She has integrated language and concept. (41)
Language understanding on this view is acquired similarly to the way one acquires other tool-using skills such as bicycle riding. At the beginning one is consciously aware of the "rules" the sorts of things one must do with the tool in various situations and then the rules become internalized, fusing with the rest of one's abilities. At the end of the first stage the learner knows that use of the tool is controlled by certain rules; at the end of the second, the learner knows how to use the tool, and hence understands it.
Newton, Natika. 1982. "Experience and imagery". Southern Journal of Philosophy 20: 475-487.
Emphasizes that the imaginable observations relevant to cognitive function need not be visual ones. We can kinaesthetically imagine what it would be like to make a physical measurement, or we can auditorily imagine obtaining ostensive reports from research subjects, or we can proprioceptively imagine what the rhythm of a certain form of logical inference would be.
Newton thus formulates `mental images' to include any conscious process in which we know (or think we know) what it would be like (or feel like) to do something which we are not presently doing either with our whole bodies or only with our brains. To entertain in consciousness what it would feel like to reach down and grab my left foot, for example, is to form a proprioceptive mental image of this action. The images involved are not merely perceptual images (for example, the touch sensations being received by the hand), but also images of what it is like to move my own body, to be pulled by gravity, etc.
Newton, Natika. 1989. "Visualizing is imagining seeing: a reply to White". Analysis 49: 77-81.
To imagine what it would be like to be president (to use the example discussed in Newton's article) does not necessarily entail having visual (or auditory or olfactory) images of the White House, or myself sitting in the president's office, or any other specific intentional object that could be used as the content of a `mental picture.' And to think the concept `president' is correspondingly different from forming the mental picture of any particular president's face, the White House, the president's office, etc. How, then, does imagery relate to abstractions? The answer to this question, (see also Newton's "Sensorimotor Theory of Cognition," 1993), is that to form an `imageless' concept (such as `president') is to put ourselves into a condition of neurophysiological preparedness to call up the various combinations of (visualizable, audibilizable, feelable, etc.) ostensive conditions needed to define the concept `president.' Normally, we do not enact such an ostensive explication of a concept unless we are asked `What do you mean by "president"?' But what we feel is that we could provide such an explication if needed.
Newton, Natika. 1991. "Consciousness, qualia, and reentrant signalling". Behavior and Philosophy 19: 21-41.
Uses extensive behavioral and neurophysiological data to defend a theory in which the apparent objectivity of the properties of objects which are really subjectively constructed (e.g., color) results from a reentrant signalling process, which causes the subject to experience already-processed data as if it were fresh, unprocessed data, so that the prior subjective processing is felt to be a property of the object experienced rather than a subjective mode of perception.
Newton, Natika. 1993. "The sensorimotor theory of cognition". Pragmatics and Cognition 1: 267-305.
Imagination, especially including sensorimotor imagery, is the basic building block of all consciousness. I. e., all contents of consciousness involve a subjunctive and imaginative element. They involve in one way or another imagining what would happen if something were other than the way it is. Understanding a perceptual content, for example, involves imagining the way our bodies might act in relation to that type of object.
Newton, N. 1988. "Machine understanding and the chinese room." Philosophical Psychology 1, 2, 207-215.
While language has developed a complexity such that we now say things that our ancestors could not have thought, comprehending these things still occurs at the level of sensorimotor activity, where our basic motives and goals are formed. Hence the presence of sensorimotor terminology at all levels of abstraction.
Newton, N. 1982. "Experience and imagery." Southern Journal of Philosophy 20, 4, 475-487.
Initial proposal for broadening the notion of imagery to include proprioceptive and sensorimotor imagery, so that discussions of the role of imagery in consciousness are not artifically confined purely to what can be said for imagery in the traditional `five senses.'
Newton, N. 1992. "Dennett on intrinsic intentionality." Analysis , 52, 1, 18-23.
Newton, N. 1989. "Error in action and belief." Philosophia 19, 4, 363-401.
Newton, N. 1986. "Acting and perceiving in body and mind." Philosophy Research Archives, vol. XI, 407-429.
Nigam, A., Hoffman, J.E., and Simons, R.F. 1992. "N400 to semantically anomolous pictures and words." Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 4,1, 15-22.
Nisbett, R. and Ross, L. 1980. Human Inference: Strategies and Shortcomings of Social Judgement. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentiss-Hall.
Errors in reasoning are explained as the result of two types of extra-logical methods: (1) the use in reasoning of certain "judgmental heuristics" nonlogical judgment strategies which are generally useful but which can lead to error; and (2) "knowledge structures" involving theories and schemas which organize general knowledge.
Nisbett, R. and Wilson, T. 1977. "Telling more than we can know." Psychological Review 84:231-259.
Noren, Stephen. 1979. "Anomalous monism, events and `the mental'". Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 40: 64-70.
Argues against psychophysical identity on the grounds that equivalent events should be similarly localizable, whereas the localizability of neurophysiological and mental events are different.
Norman, D. 1981. "Categorization of action slips." Psychological Review 88, 1-15.
Develops a theory of action in which "action sequences are controlled by sensorimotor knowledge structures, or schemas." Schemas are selected and activated by "a mechanism that requires that appropriate conditions be satisfied for the operation of a schema" (3). Many schemas may be active at a given time without being triggered ; a schema is triggered "by current processing activity whenever the situation matches its conditions sufficiently well" (4). Norman's account of the hierarchical structure of action schemas is similar to Brand's account of plans and subroutines:
[A schema is] an organized body of knowledge, including procedural knowledge that can direct the flow of control of motor activity. Each schema is assumed to cover only a limited range of knowledge or actions. As a result, any given action sequence must be specified by a rather large ensemble of schemas, organized in a hierarchical control structure. One schema may need to invoke other schemas, passing to them particular values that the variables of the schemas must assume for the particular actions to be performed. Information passes both down from the higher-order schemas to the lower ones and also back up from lower-order schemas to higher ones.
. . . The highest-level schema is called the parent schema, with the subschemas [Brand's subroutines] that are initiated by the parent schema for the control of component parts of the action sequence being called child schemas. (4)
Norman, D. and Shallice, T. 1986. "Attention to action." In Consciousness and Self-Regulation, vol. 4. New York: Plenum Press.
Representations of actions, when sufficiently activated and not inhibited, can trigger motor programs resulting in motor behavior. Language activity is a subspecialty of the motor system, with unique syntactic structures, which shares the central representational system for semantic and planning purposes.
Nute, D. (ed) 1991. Defeasible Reasoning: special issue of Minds and Machines, 1, 4.
Research program in alternative computational architecture parallel distributed processing (see McLelland and Rumelhart 1986) as well as in the extension of traditional inference procedures with non-monotonic or defeasible reasoning models (Nute 1991). These efforts, however, have not yet produced a new paradigm within which difficulties with the traditional model can be resolved.
O'Brien, L. F. 1995. "Evans on self-identification", NOUS 29:2, 232-247.
O'Nuallain, Sean, Paul McKevitt, and Eoghan MacAogain (eds). 1996. Two Sciences of Mind. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
The papers collected in this volume explore the idea that cognitive science can be freed to become a fully-fledged experimental epistemology by the creation of a science of consciousness encompassing also subjectivity.
Olds, James. 1977. Drives and Reinforcement: Behavioral Studies of Hypothalamic Functions. New York: Raven.
There can be no consciousness unless the basal ganglia interact in certain specific patterns with the cortex.
Ornstein, Robert and Richard Thompson. 1984. The Amazing Brain. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Images, concepts and abstractions require parietal activation (see esp. pp. 41-60). See also Miller 1990: 78ff.
Orsucci, Franco. 1998. The Complex Matters of the Mind. London: World Scientific Publishing Ltd.
This book focuses on the successes and difficulties of nonlinear studies,
particularly in the areas of Mind Sciences. It attempts to answer the
following questions: is an interdisciplinary contamination of complexity
studies in different disciplines useful ? Does this contamination
originate in a transdisciplinary toolbox of methods and models which is
worth calling Nonlinear Science ? What are the relations between the
metaphoric approach and the mathematics approach in natural sciences and
humanities ? Complexity in the Life Sciences represents a fundamental
workbench for these kinds of problems. The fascinating challenge in these
areas is represented by studies on mind functioning.
Paivio, Allan 1986. Mental Representations: A Dual Coding Approach. New York: Oxford University Press.
If a visual image is first confined to activity in the front and middle parts of the parietal lobe, and then spreads to activate the posterior parietal lobe and the secondary projection area of the occipital lobe, the image does not change its basic character or appearance due to this additional neural activity, but only becomes more `vivid'. Thus images are paradigm examples of mental contents which seem to lack any one-to-one correspondence between isolable elements in the image and isolable elements in the neurophysiological processes that subserve the image.
Pandya, D. and Yeterian, E. 1985. "Architecture and connections of cortical connection areas." In Principles of Behavioral Neurology, Mesulam, M-M. (ed), 3-61. Philadelphia: Davis Co.
Psychological studies indicate that motor plans are formed in advance of the activation of motor sequences, and are used to activate and monitor them. Brain structures thought to subserve motor planning are located primarily in the frontal lobes. Neuroscientific work indicates a central role for the supplementary motor area (SMA), a region in the dorsal-medial part of the frontal cortex adjacent to the primary motor cortex. Pandya and Yeterian show that this area has many reciprocal connections with the posterior parietal area, a region involved in somatosensory perception and bodily orientation with respect to the external environment.
Pardo, J.V, P.J. Pardo, K.W. Janer, and M.E. Raichle. 1990. "The anterior cingulate cortex mediates processing selection in the stroop attentional conflict paradigm". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 87: 256-259.
Subjects in perceptual experiments who are instructed to imagine an object before it appears on a screen, or to continue looking for the object while other objects are being flashed intermittently; the object being imagined or looked for is in fact perceived more readily . (See also Logan 1980; Legrenzi et al 1993; Rhodes and Tremewan 1993; Lavy and van den Hout 1994; Corbetta 1990.)
Pardo, J., Pardo, P., Janer, K., and Raichle, M. 1990. "The anterior cingulate cortex mediates processing selection in the stroop attentional conflict paradigm." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 87, 256-259.
During the Stroop color naming test, for example, subjects name the colors of visually presented words, which are color names either congruent or incongruent with the presented color. Naming the correct color when the word is an incongruent color name makes great attentional demands on subjects, indicating that attention can select among visually-presented aspects, and that a further level of representation is unnecessary.
Penrose, R. 1989. The Emporer's New Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The qualitative properties of sensed objects, their colors, sounds, smells as subjectively experienced by the perceiver, seem to Penrose impossible to reduce to brain mechanisms that human minds can comprehend (see also Chalmers, 1995).
Perry, J. 1979. "The problem of the essential indexical." Nous 13: 3-21.
Points out that the content of indexicals is notoriously inexpressible by means of linguistic concepts .When, for example, I know that I am the person who has been tracking dirt on the floor, there is no way to specify verbally what it is that I know. A description will not serve, since for any description it would be possible for me to understand it and yet not know that I am the one described.
Petersen, S.E., P.T. Fox, M.I. Posner, M. Mintum, and M.E. Raichle. 1989. "Positron emission tomographic studies of the processing of single words". Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 1: 153-170.
EEG patterns, CT scans correlated with word recognition. PET scans show that both the anterior cingulate and the supplementary motor area are involved in attention to language.
Petersen, S.E., P.T. Fox, A.Z. Snyder, and M.E. Raichle. 1990. "Activation of extrastriate and frontal cortical areas by visual words and word like stimuli". Science 249: 1041-1044.
Piaget, Jean. 1928-1965. Judgment and Reasoning in the Child. Marjorie Warden (trans). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Children first operate predominantly with images, then the images become increasingly generic and refined until somehow they evolve into the relatively abstract, complex and precise concepts used by adults. The concept, Piaget emphasizes, results from a much more reflective process than the mere image (137ff). As we continue asking ourselves these kinds of questions, or even non-thetically worrying about them (usually beginning around age 8-10, according to Piaget 1928, Chapter III), we ultimately begin to realize that reliance on the merely associative resemblances of mental images (in the sense that they merely `remind us' of each other) is an inadequate way to experience and adapt to reality. It is inadequate because it continually leads us into errors and confusions which we feel must somehow be avoidable. The image of an `enemy,' for example, is for a young child the image of a bad, menacing, malicious person. This image includes not only sensory qualities (lowered eyebrows, frown, threatening posture, etc.), but also (as Newton stresses) proprioceptive ones (how the child imagines she would feel toward such a person). But Piaget shows that when questions arise does the bad, malicious person himself have enemies? And may some of these enemies not be good people? May I myself not be someone's enemy? then the child ends in confusion and antinomy (Piaget 1928: 131ff). At a certain stage, this confusion and antinomy motivate the child to question the image of the enemy, and to ask whether perhaps there are some `enemies' that require radical revisions of the image, and that the enemy of an enemy is as much an `enemy' as the original enemy that was imagined. In this same study, Piaget finds that reciprocity is the trouble that always befalls 8-10 year olds when they try to work with relational concepts. For example, Mary must be either to the left or to the right; she cannot be to the left of one person and at the same time to the right of another (107ff). The child's self-talk seems to reach the capability of ongoing dialogue around the age of 8-10, probably because that is when connections to the frontal lobe are complete enough to facilitate it (see esp. 142ff). Prior to that point, if the child's first answer to a question is inadequate, she does not rethink the answer, does not `reflect' on the thought process, but becomes distracted or merely fabricates a new answer with so little reference to the original one that she now claims to have known the new answer all along, and forgets that she ever believed something contradictory . Self-talk at this earlier stage consists only of isolated expressions, such as brief recriminations against oneself, rather than two-way, continuing dialogue. (See also Luria 1973: 319.)
Piaget, Jean, and Barbel Inhelder. 1969. The Early Growth of Logic in the Child, E.A. Lunzer and D. Papert (trans). New York: W.W. Norton.
Even the perceptual consciousness of an infant involves subjunctives, because it involves imagining what could be done with the object if the infant were to reach out, grasp it, throw it, beat on it, etc.
Piaget, J. 1954. The Construction of Reality in the Child. New York: Basic Books.
Holds that abstract thought is a development out of sensorimotor skills.
Pinker, S. 1994. The Language Instinct. New York: William Morrow and Company.
Argues forcefully against the linguistic determinism thesis the view that thinking is shaped by language.
Pinker, S. and Mehler, J. 1988. Connections and Symbols. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Computer model of language behavior, using neural nets that simulate language learning.
Place, U.T. 1956. "Is consciousness a brain process?" British Journal of Psychology 47: 44-50.
In this treatment of the notion of `mental events,' Place, an enthusiastic monist, argues that mind is a pattern of brain activity at least during the time when it is passing through the material in the brain because the behavior of the neural molecules is both necessary and sufficient for the existence of the mental event.
Place, U.T. 1993. "A radical behaviorist methodology for the empirical investigation of private events". Behavior and Philosophy 20: 25-35.
Continues to argue for a rigid rejection of phenomenological data, showing how prominent this rejection still is among neuroscientists.
Polanyi, M. 1958. Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Abstract symbol structures can be understood and used because they are recursive isomorphic with the sensorimotor structures with which humans are primordially familiar, in a sense described here by Polanyi: "We may say in general that by acquiring a skill, whether muscular or intellectual, we achieve an understanding which we cannot put into words and which is continuous with the inarticulate faculties of animals. What I understand in this manner has a meaning for me, and it has this meaning in itself, and not as a sign has a meaning when denoting an object. I have called this earlier on an existential meaning."
Poggio, Tomaso and Christof Koch. 1985. "Ill-posed problems in early vision from computational theory to analogue networks". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. B226: 303-323.
Attempts to show empirically that many cognitive processes most obviously mental imagery can be understood only if we adopt the following viewpoint by preference over the digital computer-inspired models of the past two decades: "Neurons are complex devices, very different from the single digital switches as portrayed by McCulloch and Pitts (1943) type of threshold neurons. It is especially difficult to imagine how networks of neurons may solve the equations involved in visual algorithms in a way similar to digital computers. We suggest an analogue model of computation in electrical or chemical networks for a large class of visual problems, that maps more easily with biologically plausible mechanisms (Poggio and Kotch 1985: 303)."
Popper, Karl and John Eccles. 1977. The Self and Its Brain. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Argues that the only alternatives to a metaphysical dualism (or what Popper and Eccles called `interactionism') are (i) causal epiphenomenalisms, which posit that consciousness is a byproduct of (and cannot itself cause) brain processes, and (ii) theories of strict psychophysical identity, which posit that `consciousness' does not mean anything other than `brain functioning.' In the view of recent philosophers of mind, this oversimplification of the theoretical options constitutes a false limitation of alternatives;
Posner, Michael I. 1990. "Hierarchical distributed networks in the neuropsychology of selective attention". In A. Caramazza (ed). Cognitive Neuropsychology and Neurolinguistics: Advances in Models of Cognitive Function and Impairment. New York: Plenum, 187-210.
There is a posterior `attentional' mechanism which involves no conscious awareness, whose purpose is simply to orient perceptual and cognitive processes toward a certain location in the phenomenal field, and to intensify processing of stimuli from that location. The posterior system is aroused to focus non-conscious `attention' in this way by means of signals from the thalamus, as noted earlier, prior to any frontal activation, and prior to any conscious awareness of the object. The role of the thalamus in the activation of an attention-direction process is also addressed.
Posner, Michael I. 1980. "Orienting of attention". Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 32: 3-25. See Posner and Rothbart (1992).
Posner, Michael I. and Mary K. Rothbart. 1992. "Attentional mechanisms and conscious experience". In A.D. Milner and M.D. Rugg (eds), The Neuropsychology of Consciousness. London: Academic Press.
Shows that the function of the focusing of attention via anterior activation (observed with PET scans) in part serves the function of enhancement of signals. They frame the relationship between completely conscious processes and the very analogous yet unconscious or semi-conscious processes in this way: "The degree of activation of [the anterior attentional network associated with conscious awareness] increases as indexed by PET with the number of targets presented in a semantic monitoring task and decreases with the amount of practice in the task. . . . Anterior cingulate activation was related to number of targets presented. The increase in activation with number of targets and reduction in such activation with practice corresponds to the common finding in cognitive studies that conscious attention is involved in target detection and is required to a greater degree early in practice (Fitts and Posner 1967). As practice proceeds, feelings of effort and continuous attention diminish, and details of performance drop out of subjective experience (98)." From the completely conscious processes of which we are fully aware, to the semi-conscious thinking we do as we `feel' our way through a heated argument or navigate while driving a car, to the completely non-conscious processes which are not even capable in principle of becoming conscious, there is no sharp dividing line, but a gradual continuum. For example, when we learn to read music, there is no definite point in time when we no longer need to `figure out' each note. The `figuring out' gradually gives way to a habitual response, and in this way becomes `sedimented.' They also report that "During vigilant states the posterior attention network can interact more efficiently with the object recognition system of the ventral occipital lobe (96)." This attentional process "increases the probability of being able to detect the relevant signal (97)." They also address the issue that "The use of subjective experience as evidence for a brain process related to consciousness has been criticized by many authors. . . . Nevertheless, if one defines consciousness in terms of awareness, it is necessary to show evidence that the anterior attention network is related to phenomenal reports in a systematic way (98)." Another important finding reported here is that the frontal lobe is elaborately connected with the midbrain (see Luria, for example), and the activation of the frontal lobe (as when we formulate a challenging question and try to answer it) in turn activates other areas of the cerebrum such as the parietal and temporal lobes; the way the frontal lobe accomplishes the truncating of image formations needed to shape a combination of related images into a concept operates at least in part by the chemical inhibition of the efferent responses corresponding to those images. Still another important point in this article is that the posterior focusing function, which sometimes can facilitate `learning without awareness' as in the studies just mentioned, is dissociable from the anterior focusing function orchestrated by the frontal-limbic system, which results in conscious attention to some intentional object (whether perceptual, imaginary or conceptual; The studies show with great detail, and in a variety of learning contexts, that the limitations to what can be computed in the absence of this conscious attention are quite drastic.
Posner, Michael I., and Petersen, S.E. 1990. "The attention system of the human brain". Annual Review of Neuroscience 13: 25-42.
The thalamus has a very primitive ability to discriminate what kinds of incoming information are emotionally important
Posner, M. I. and Dehaene, S. 1994. "Attentional networks." Trends in the Neurosciences 17, 2, 75-79.
Argues in support of an executive function in the frontal lobes:
. . . an executive is informed about the processes taking place within the organization. A system that would be related to our subjective experience of focal attention would clearly play this function for a subset of current (sensory) and stored (memory) information. There are reasons for relating anterior cingulate function to focal awareness of the target. The strongest reason is that the intensity of cingulate activity tends to increase with the number of targets in a set of stimuli and decreases with practice on any single stimulus set. (79)
Posner, M. and Rothbart, S. 1991. "Attentional mechanisms and conscious experience." In The Neuropsychology of Consciousness. Academic Press.
See Posner and Rothbart (1994).
Premack, David. 1988. "Minds with and without language". In L. Weiskrantz (ed). Thought Without Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 46-65.
Studies the comparative performance of humans and other animals on complex discrimination studies suggesting that the most sophisticated concepts (and the ones that most involve frontal lobe activity), are subjunctive conditionals. Investigating the mode of thinking in minds without grammar, he proposes that the intelligence of monkeys, apes and humans be represented by concentric circles, with humans possessing unique abilities, apes a subset of human abilities, and monkeys a subset of those of apes. His work with prelinguistic human children and with chimpanzees before and after language training shows that the unique abilities of humans are prefigured by those of apes.
Pribram, K. 1976. "Problems concerning the structure of consciousness." In Consciousness and the Brain, Globus,G., Maxwell, G., and Savodnik, I., (eds). New York: Plenum Press.
If I learn how to write in script by holding a pen and using my hand muscles, I can then write in the same script by holding a piece of chalk and using my arm muscles; the abstract motor program is transferred from one context to the other.
Pribram, Karl. 1980. "Mind, brain, and consciousness: the organization of competence and conduct". In Julian Davidson and Richard Davidson (eds), The Psychobiology of Consciousness. New York: Plenum Press, 47-64.
Lobotomized patients and animals with less extensive frontal cortex are less able to handle attention-directing and problem-solving skills. They are less able to focus attention, and to control how they focus it. They are not good with abstract concepts or with solving complex multiple-discrimination tasks. They are unable to voluntarily reconstruct images from memory (which involves imagining a non-present object in an active rather than passive way). And they do not plan well in light of possible future contingencies. (See also Luria 1980.) Rather than `feedback loops,' suggests that it might be more appropriate to use term `feedforward loops' we first look for something, and what we receive is largely selected in accordance with what we are looking for (consistently with Mele 1993; Rhodes et. al. 1993; Lavy et al 1994; Sedikedes 1992). I.e., we select what is important to focus our attention on for the emotional-motivational purposes of the organism, rather than passively receiving information to which we react.
Pribram, Karl. 1971. Languages of the Brain. New York: Prentice Hall.
Early version of the theory developed more extensively in Pribram et al (1974) and Pribram (1980).
Pribram, Karl, M. Nuwer, and R. Baron. 1974. "The holographic hypothesis of memory structure in brain function and perception". In R.C. Atkinson, D.H. Krantz, R.C. Luce and P. Suppes (eds), Contemporary Developments in Mathematical Psychology, vol. 2. New York: W.H. Freeman, 416-454.
Further elaboration of the `holographic' nature of imagistic neural function. See Pribram (1971, 1980).
Putnam, Hilary. 1993. "Functionalism". Paper presented at a meeting of the American Philosophical Association, December 28, 1993.
A pattern may be realizable in a variety of possible material instantiations and in the case of consciousness the pattern may even seek out, appropriate and reproduce the substratum elements needed to instantiate the pattern.
Putnam, H. 1988. Representation and Reality. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Putnam, H. 1960. "Minds and machines." In Dimensions of Mind, Hook, S. (ed). New York: Barnes and Noble.
Pylyshyn, Zenon. 1973. "What the mind's eye tells the mind's brain". Psychological Bulletin 80: 11-25.
Quine, Willard V.O. 1960. Word and Object. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
The fact that thinking is language-like means that thoughts, like words, have no determinate meanings (see also Davidson 1984).
Reason, J. 1984. "Lapses of attention in everyday life." In Varieties of Attention, Parasuraman, R. and Davies, D.R. (eds), 515-549. New York: Academic Press.
Reder, L.M. and Ritter, E.E. 1992. "What determines initial feeling of knowing? Familiarity with question terms, not with the answer". Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 9: 55-72.
Restak, Richard. 1984. The Brain. New York: Bantam.
Good summary of a variety of current findings about the relationships between consciousness and the brain. Reports that nervous impulse normally travels in the neighborhood of several hundred miles an hour (40) Shows that motor neurons mature earliest in ontogenesis (46-47), Contains extensive discussion of dreaming. During dreaming, efferent activity may simply cause corresponding afferent activity, whereas during wakefulness the afferent activity is constrained by reality (315-333) Points out that the eye is sensitive not to light or to dark, but to the contrast between them (50ff) a point whose philosophical significance was pursued by Merleau-Ponty 1942-1963).
Rhodes, Gillian and Tanya Tremewan. 1993. "The Simon then Garfunkel effect: Semantic priming, sensitivity, and the modularity of face recognition". Cognitive Psychology 25: 147-87.
Like Sedikedes (1992), this describes recent empirical studies confirming that in conscious processing the imaginative act precedes the perceptual one as part of the arousal and attentional mechanism (see Bruner 1961; Ausubel 1963; Neely 1977; Higgins and King 1981; Wyer and Srull 1981; Broadbent 1977; Logan 1986).
Richardson, John. 1991. "Imagery and the brain". In Cesare Cornoldi and Mark McDaniel (eds), Imagery and Cognition. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1-46.
Summarizes some recent studies which seem to suggest that there is a certain amount of occipital activity when we form imaginary visual images. This seems to occur especially with `vivid imagers,' and in some subjects the occipital activity seems to occur only some of the time.
Roffwarg, Howard, J.N. Muzzio, and W.C. Dement. 1966. "Ontogenetic development of the human sleep-dream cycle". Science 152: 604.
Roland, P.E. and Friberg, L. 1985. "Localization of cortical areas activated by thinking." Journal of Neurophysiology, 53, 5, 1219-1243.
The SMA, is equally active whether the subject is actually carrying out action plans or merely imagining them
Roland, P. E. and Gulyas, B. 1994. "Visual imagery and visual representation." Trends in the Neurosciences 17, 7, 281-287.
Imagining bodily sensations is imagining having them, through one's eyes or ears, or through feedback from the vocal system. When one does this, recent neuroscientific work suggests, one activates stored representations traces of past sensory events; all that is required for self-reference is a disposition to "have such thinking controlled by [such] information" (see Evans 1982: 216). That is, if such information were available, which it may not be, a subject would be disposed to accept it as germane to the thoughts we regard as manifesting self-consciousness. Self-reference is not independent of bodily information.
Rorty, Richard. 1966. "Mind-body identity, privacy, and categories". Review of Metaphysics 19: 24-54.
An earlier work suggesting that people should be taught to substitute descriptions of patterns of brain activity in place of descriptions involving the superfluous notion of `mental events.'
Rosch, Eleanor. 1975. "Cognitive representations of semantic categories". Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 104: 192-253.
Attempts to show that categories are represented by means of mental `prototypes' which operate by means of family resemblance rules (see Rosch et al 1976; Rosch 1981).
Rosch, Eleanor. 1981. "Prototype classification and logical classification: the two systems". In Ellin Scholnick (ed), New Trends in Conceptual Representation. Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum, 73-85.
Attempts to integrate prototype theory (see Rosch 1975; Rosch et al 1976) with logical thinking skills.
Rosch, Eleanor, C.B. Mervis, W.D. Gray, D.M. Johnson, and P. Boyes-Braem. 1976. "Basic objects in natural categories". Cognitive Psychology 8: 382-349.
Like Mark Johnson (1987), Rosch et al argue (as summarized in Varela et al 1991: 177) that "The basic level of categorization [is] the most inclusive level at which category members (1) are used or interacted with by similar motor actions, (2) have similar perceived shapes and can be imaged, (3) have identifiable humanly meaningful attributes, (4) are categorized by young children, and (5) have linguistic primacy in several senses." But Rosch also shows sensitivity to the need to remember that all these combinations and refinements of `generic images' can lead to the relatively precise concepts needed for adult thinking and problem solving only when the generic images are further questioned through motivated prefrontal activity and an extended self-talk process which later becomes truncated. Johnson and Rosch both postulate that logical thinking necessarily makes use of mental images because it is built up by means of complex combinations of images in various modalities and in various patterns.
Rovane, C. 1987. "The epistemology of first-person reference." The Journal of Philosophy 84, 3: 147-167.
Concerning first-person reference, she supports a Fregean account according to which we use 'I' as we use other referring terms: by means of individuating descriptive beliefs about the referent (Frege's sense), and not by means of some unmediated self-consciousness, a "direct awareness of the activity of thinking [which] includes a direct awareness of oneself thinking" (158). Special features of self-reference thought to set it apart, such as immunity from error through misidentification, exist, she argues, because "speakers have enough true beliefs about themselves in virtue of which they are quite clear about their identities even though they have some false beliefs about themselves as well. . . The kind of knowledge I mean here does not amount to some ineffable understanding that "I am me," but, rather, to genuinely descriptive knowledge about which thing in the world I am, knowledge about my past, my spatial location, my relations to others, etc." (154). Rovane argues that we refer to ourselves by the same mechanism that we use to refer to other things;
Runeson, Sverker. 1974. "Constant velocity -- not perceived as such". Psychological Research 37: 3-23.
When a novel stimulus is presented, about a third of a second is required for increased electrical activity to be transferred from the primary projection area of the relevant sensory modality in the cortex (which receives direct sensory information from the outer nervous system but does not yet result in conscious awareness of a visual object) to the parietal and prefrontal areas whose activation does result in a conscious visual, auditory or tactile image of the object . Yet the primary sensory area and the relevant parietal area are almost immediately contiguous with each other (see esp. p. 14). The question is thus raised: Why should a nervous impulse take a third of a second to travel only a few millimeters? (See also Aurell 1983, 1984, 1989; Srebro 1985: 233-246.)
Ryle, Gilbert. 1949. The Concept of Mind. New York: Barnes and Noble.
One can converse about abstract subjects like mathematics without evoking any sensorimotor experiences in connection with the mathematical terms, and still exhibit understanding of them. As Ryle says, 'Understanding is part of knowing how ' (54).
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