There is considerable confusion surrounding the notion of consciousness. This confusion can be partially resolved by clarifying the referents of the word 'consciousness'. Doing so, however, reveals a more insidious problem, namely, the role played by personal beliefs in understanding consciousness. In particular, as revealed by a comprehensive survey, such beliefs range along a material- transcendent dimension, with the choice of notions of consciousness corresponding to materialist, conservatively transcendent, or extraordinarily transcendent positions. Further empirical research has revealed that those with (...) more transcendent beliefs tend to have a more rational and curious approach to the world than those with more materialist beliefs. And, indeed, transcendent beliefs are also associated with greater intelligence. Although the possibility of a developmental sequence from materialist to transcendent beliefs is suggested, given the nature of fundamental beliefs, it does not appear that reconciliation between them is possible. Thus, although the confusion surrounding the study of consciousness can be clarified, the situation giving rise to the confusion cannot be eliminated. (shrink)
Abstract An attempt is made to examine the main principles that underlay the ?Rhinean? school of parapsychology. Five such principles are discussed: (1) that psi can best be assessed using quantitative measures and forced?choice tests; (2) that psi is a function of the unconscious with the implication that objective performance alone is important, not the state of mind of the subject; (3) that psi ability is, to some degree, present in everyone; (4) that only those problems deserve attention for which (...) an unambiguous answer is attainable, with the implication that survival research should be shelved indefinitely and (5) that psi is non?physical. These five principles are then reviewed from our present vantage point and all are found to require qualification to a greater or lesser extent. Some critics, however, want to go further and allege that Rhine led psychical research into a blind alley and that the time has come to revert to the earlier investigative tradition. This, we contend, is defeatist, the more especially since the advent of computers has greatly extended the scope and power of the experimental approach. Despite its inherent difficulties, it remains the indispensable mainstay of our continuing efforts to make sense of the paranormal. (shrink)
In agreement with Blair, I favor the idea of dissociative patterns in cognitive performance, even more when it comes to development. However, such dissociations are present not only between fluid cognition and general intelligence, but also within fluid cognition itself. Heterogeneity of executive attention, even when indexed with a single paradigm, is further discussed in relation to anterior cingulate cortex. (Published Online April 5 2006).
Aggleton & Brown argue that the function of the hippocampus and perirhinal cortex can be dissociated along a spatial/nonspatial dimension. They further suggest that this division corresponds to a distinction between episodic and recognition memory. An analysis of the data, however, fails to support the underlying dissociation.
Quartz & Sejnowski's target article concentrates on the development of a number of neural parameters, especially neuronal processes, in the mammalian brain. Data on learning-related changes in spines and synapses in the developing avian brain are consistent with a constructivist interpretation. The issue of an integration of selectionist and constructivist views is discussed.
Contrary to Perruchet & Vinter's self-organizing consciousness (SOC) model, subliminal mere exposure (SME) research indicates that stimuli perceived without awareness produce robust effects. Moreover, SME effects are significantly stronger than mere exposure effects produced by clearly recognized stimuli. The SOC model must be revised to accommodate findings from studies that use affect-based outcome measures.
SHORT ABSTRACT: A number of accounts of the relationship between third-person mindreading and first-person metacognition are compared and evaluated. While three of these accounts endorse the existence of introspection for propositional attitudes, the fourth (defended here) claims that our knowledge of our own attitudes results from turning our mindreading capacities upon ourselves. The different types of theory are developed and evaluated, and multiple lines of evidence are reviewed, including evolutionary and comparative data, evidence of confabulation when self-attributing attitudes, phenomenological evidence (...) of “unsymbolized thinking”, data from schizophrenia, and data from autism. (shrink)
We have shown that FEF lesion-induced extinction could be compensated for by changing the relative temporal onsets of two targets presented on either side of the midline. Monkeys were trained to make saccades to either of two identical visual stimuli presented with various stimulus onset asynchronies (SOA). In intact animals the targets were chosen with equal probability when they appeared simultaneously. After unilateral FEF lesions an SOA of 67–116 msec had to be introduced, with the contralesional target appearing first, to (...) obtain equal probability choice. With a smaller target separation, averaging saccades occurred with highest frequency at similar SOAs. Our findings suggest that neglect may be attributable to more time being required in the damaged hemisphere for converting sensory information into motor responses. (shrink)
Some data concerning visual illusions are hardly compatible with the perception–action model, assuming that only the perception system is influenced by visual context. The planning–control dichotomy offers an alternative that better accounts for some controversy in experimental data. We tested the two models by submitting the patient I. G. to the induced Roelofs effect. The similitude of the results of I. G. and control subjects favoured Glover's model, which, however, presents a paradox that needs to be clarified.
Griffiths and Machery (2008) argue that innateness is a ?folk biological? notion, which, as such, has no useful reconstruction in contemporary biology. If this is so, not only is it wrong to identify the vernacular notion with the precise theoretical concept of canalization, but worse, it would appear that many of the putative scientific claims for particular competences and capacities being innate are simply misplaced. The present paper challenges the core substantive claim of Griffiths and Machery's position, namely, that innateness (...) understood on canalization lines as environment-independent development (somehow and to some degree) is a confused, outmoded notion. It will be contended that the modality-independence of language offers a prima facie case against Griffiths and Machery's general position. (shrink)
This paper discusses supportive neurological and social evidence for 'collective consciousness', here understood as a shared sense of being together with others in a single or unified experience. Mirror neurons in the premotor and posterior parietal cortices respond to the intentions as well as the actions of other individuals. There are also mirror neurons in the anterior insula and anterior cingulate cortices which have been implicated in empathy. Many authors have considered the likely role of such mirror systems in the (...) development of uniquely human aspects of sociality including language. Though not without criticism, Menant has made the case that mirror-neuron assisted exchanges aided the original advent of self-consciousness and intersubjectivity. Combining these ideas with social mirror theory it is not difficult to imagine the creation of similar dynamical patterns in the emotional and even cognitive neuronal activity of individuals in human groups, creating a feeling in which the participating members experience a unified sense of consciousness. Such instances pose a kind of 'binding problem' in which participating individuals exhibit a degree of 'entanglement'. (shrink)
I make three points about Searle’s philosophical work on consciousness and intentionality. First, I comment on Searle’s presentation and paper “The Problems of Consciousness.” I show that one of Searle’s philosophical claims about the relation between consciousness and intentionality appears to conflict with a demand he makes on acceptable empirical theories of the brain. Second, I argue that closer attention to the difference between conceptual connections and empirical connections corrects and improves Searle’s response to the so-called “Logical Connections” argument, the (...) argument that claims that mental states cannot be causes, since they are conceptually connected with actions. Third, I give a formulation of his Chinese Room argument that avoids some tempting responses. (shrink)
Abstract In this article, we investigate the merits of an enactive view of cognition for the contemporary debate about social cognition. If enactivism is to be a genuine alternative to classic cognitivism, it should be able to bridge the “cognitive gap”, i.e. provide us with a convincing account of those higher forms of cognition that have traditionally been the focus of its cognitivist opponents. We show that, when it comes to social cognition, current articulations of enactivism are—despite their celebrated successes (...) in explaining some cases of social interaction—not yet up to the task. This is because they (1) do not pay sufficient attention to the role of offline processing or “decoupling”, and (2) obscure the cognitive gap by overemphasizing the role of phenomenology. We argue that the main challenge for the enactive view will be to acknowledge the importance of both coupled (online) and decoupled (offline) processes for basic and advanced forms of (social) cognition. To meet this challenge, we articulate a dynamic embodied view of cognition. We illustrate the fruitfulness of this approach by recourse to recent findings on false belief understanding. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-23 DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9223-1 Authors Leon C. de Bruin, Department of Philosophy II, Ruhr-University Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany Lena Kästner, Department of Philosophy II, Ruhr-University Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Online ISSN 1572-8676 Print ISSN 1568-7759. (shrink)
The philosophical world is indebted to Alvin Goldman for a number of reasons, and among them, his defense of the relevance of cognitive science for philosophy of mind. In Simulating minds , Goldman discusses with great care and subtlety a wide variety of experimental results related to mindreading from cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology and developmental psychology. No philosopher has done more to display the resourcefulness of mental simulation. I am sympathetic with much of the general direction of Goldman’s (...) theory. I agree with him that mindreading is not a single system based on a single mechanism. And I admire his attempt to bring together the cognitive neuroscientific discovery of mirror system phenomena and the philosophical account of pretense within a unique theoretical framework of mental simulation. To do so, Goldman distinguishes two types of mindreading, respectively, based on low-level and high-level simulation. Yet, I wonder in what sense they are really two distinct processes. Here, I will confine myself largely to spelling out a series of points that take issue with the distinction between low-level and high-level mindreading. (shrink)
The International Union of Psychological Science ('Union') co-hosted, with the Chinese Psychological Society its 28th International Congress of Psychology ('Congress'). The first Congress was held with the World's Fair in Paris in 1889. In recent decades, they have been held every four years in different parts of the world. The Union has member organizations from 67 nations, representing one half million psychologists. Pretty scary stuff!
Stemming from Uexkull’s fundamental concepts of Umwelt and Innenwelt as developed in the biosemiotic approach of Ferreira 2010, 2011, the present work models mathematically the semiosis of cognition and proposes an artificial cognitive architecture to be deployed in a robotic structure.
What is the connection between mirror processes and mindreading? The paper begins with definitions of mindreading and of mirroring processes. It then advances four theses: (T1) mirroring processes in themselves do not constitute mindreading; (T2) some types of mindreading (“low-level” mindreading) are based on mirroring processes; (T3) not all types of mindreading are based on mirroring (“high-level” mindreading); and (T4) simulation-based mindreading includes but is broader than mirroring-based mindreading. Evidence for the causal role of mirroring in mindreading is drawn from (...) intention attribution, emotion attribution, and pain attribution. Arguments for the limits of mirroring-based mindreading are drawn from neuroanatomy, from the lesser liability to error of mirror-based mindreading, from the role of imagination in some types of mindreading, and from the restricted range of mental states involved in mirroring. “High-level” simulational mindreading is based on enactment imagination, perspective shifts, or self-projection, which are found in activities like prospection and memory as well as theory of mind. The role of cortical midline structures in executing these activities is examined. (shrink)
Ronan Reilly's connectionist simulation both strengthens and advances the theoretical model presented in my 1991 target article, “Language, Tools, and Brain: The Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Hierarchically Organized Sequential Behavior.” Reilly has tested the whole ontogenetic model with a single simulation study explicitly planned for this purpose. His methodology has established that the various components of the theoretical model imply and are compatible with one another. It has also indicated how learning can actualize a pre-established ontogenetic sequence of combining lingusitic (...) symbols and objects. His simulation suggests that the acquisition of linguistic speech may be facilitated by experience with object manipulation, but not vice versa. This hypothesis can and should be empirically tested through research on behavioral development in the two domains. Finally, Reilly has simulated brain architecture, as well as neural learning. His simulation therefore shows how the development of language and object manipulation can result from an interaction between preprogrammed neural architecture (analogous to network architecture) and experience (analogous to the network's training cycles). (shrink)
Can consciousness and the human mind be understood and explained in sheerly physical terms? Materialism is a philosophical/scientific theory, according to which the mind is completely physical. This theory has been around for literally thousands of years, but it was always stymied by its inability to explain how exactly mere matter could do the amazing things the mind can do. Beginning in the 1980s, however, a revolution began quietly boiling away in the neurosciences, yielding increasingly detailed theories about how the (...) brain might accomplish consciousness. Nevertheless, a fundamental obstacle remains. Contemporary research techniques seem to still have the scientific observer of the conscious state locked out of the sort of experience the subjects themselves are having. Science can observe, stimulate, and record events in the brain, but can it ever enter the most sacred citadel, the mind? Can it ever observe the most crucial properties of conscious states, the ones we are aware of? If it can't, this creates a problem. If conscious mental states lack a basic feature possessed by all other known physical states, i.e., the capability to be observed or experienced by many people, this give us reason to believe that they are not entirely physical. -/- In this intriguing book, William Hirstein argues that it is indeed possible for one person to directly experience the conscious states of another, by way of what he calls mindmelding. This would involve making just the right connections in two peoples' brains, which he describes in detail. He then follows up the many other consequences of the possibility that what appeared to be a wall of privacy can actually be breached. -/- Drawing on a range of research from neuroscience and psychology, and looking at executive functioning, mirror neuron work, as well as perceptual phenomena such as blind-sight and filling-in, this book presents a highly original new account of consciousness. (shrink)
The widespread use of brain imaging techniques encourages conceiving of neuroscience as the forthcoming “mindscience.” Perhaps surprisingly for many, this conclusion is still largely unwarranted. The present paper surveys various shortcomings of neuroscience as a putative “mindscience.” The analysis shows that the scope of mind (both cognitive and phenomenal) falls outside that of neuroscience. Of course, such a conclusion does not endorse any metaphysical or antiscientific stance as to the nature of the mind. Rather, it challenges a series of assumptions (...) that the undeniable success of neuroscience has fostered. In fact, physicalism is here taken as the only viable ontological framework – an assumption that does not imply that the central nervous system exhausts the physical domain. (shrink)
Recently, in cognitive science, the enactivist account of cognition has been gaining ground, due in part to studies of movement in conjunction with thought. The idea, as Noë (2009), has put it, that “cognition is not something happening inside us or to us, but it’s something we do, something we achieve,” is increasingly supported by research on joint attention, movement coordination, and gesture. Not surprisingly, therefore, enactivists have also begun to look at “movement specialists”—dancers—for both scientific and phenomenological accounts of (...) thinking with and through movement. In this paper, I argue that a serious exploration of dance and movement does not merely bolster the enactivist view, but rather, it suggests a radical enactivism, as envisaged by, e.g., Hutto (2011). To support this claim, I examine an account of “Thinking in Movement” provided by Maxine Sheets-Johnstone (1981, 2009) in order to highlight the ways in which intentional agency and meaning-making occur in improvisational dance. These processes, I further argue, closely mirror some of the key components of participatory sense making, as described by De Jaegher and Di Paolo (Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6(4):485–507, 2007). This is beneficial to my case, because it permits a discussion of “thought-full action” that does not depend upon standard cognitivist frameworks for explanation. By carefully focusing on how agency can help to separate mere “thrashing about” from meaningful movement, this paper aim to strengthen the position of radical enactivism from the unique perspective and dance and sense-making. (shrink)
The immune self is our reified way to describe the processes through which the immune system maintains the differentiated identity of the organism and itself. This is an interpretative process, and to study it in a scientifically constructive way we should merge a long hermeneutical tradition asking questions about the nature of interpretation, together with modern understanding of the immune system, emerging sensing technologies and advanced computational tools for analyzing the sensors' data.
Top-down feedback does not benefit speech recognition; on the contrary, it can hinder it. No experimental data imply that feedback loops are required for speech recognition. Feedback is accordingly unnecessary and spoken word recognition is modular. To defend this thesis, we analyse lexical involvement in phonemic decision making. TRACE (McClelland & Elman 1986), a model with feedback from the lexicon to prelexical processes, is unable to account for all the available data on phonemic decision making. The modular Race model (Cutler (...) & Norris 1979) is likewise challenged by some recent results, however. We therefore present a new modular model of phonemic decision making, the Merge model. In Merge, information flows from prelexical processes to the lexicon without feedback. Because phonemic decisions are based on the merging of prelexical and lexical information, Merge correctly predicts lexical involvement in phonemic decisions in both words and nonwords. Computer simulations show how Merge is able to account for the data through a process of competition between lexical hypotheses. We discuss the issue of feedback in other areas of language processing and conclude that modular models are particularly well suited to the problems and constraints of speech recognition. Key Words: computational modeling; feedback; lexical processing; modularity; phonemic decisions; reading; speech recognition; word recognition. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Preface -- Acknowledgements -- Notes on Contributors -- Introduction; Z.Radman -- The Mystery of the Background qua Background; H.L.Dreyfus -- PART I: ECHOING SEARLE'S AND DREYFUS' VIEWS ON THE BACKGROUND -- Ground-Level Intelligence:Action-Oriented Representation and the Dynamics of the Background; M.Cappuccio& M.Wheeler -- Exposing the Background: Deep and Local; D.D.Hutto -- The Background as Intentional, Conscious, and Nonconceptual; M.Schmitz -- Social Cognition, the Chinese Room, and the Robot Replies; S.Gallagher -- Contesting John's Searle' Social Ontology: (...) Institutions and Background; J.Margolis -- Music and the Background; D.Schmicking -- PART II: EXTENDED VIEWS ON THE BACKGROUND -- Implicit Precision; E.T.Gendlin -- Enkinaesthesia: The Essential Sensuous Background for Co-Agency; S.A.J.Stuart -- Steps Entailed in Foregrounding the Background: Taking the Challenge of Languaging Experience Seriously; M.Sheets-Johnstone -- The Body as Background: Pragmatism and Somasthetics; R.Shusterman -- The Background: A Tool of Potentiality; Z.Radman -- Embodied Technology as Implicit Knowledge of Modern Civilization; K.Mainzer -- Index. (shrink)