Mind Operational Semantics and Brain Operational Architectonics: A Putative Correspondence

Open Neuroimaging Journal 4:53-69 (2010)
Abstract
Despite allowing for the unprecedented visualization of brain functional activity, modern neurobio-logical techniques have not yet been able to provide satisfactory answers to important questions about the relationship between brain and mind. The aim of this paper is to show how two different but complementary approaches, Mind Operational Semantics (OS) and Brain Operational Architectonics (OA), can help bridge the gap between a specific kind of mental activity—the higher-order reflective thought or linguistic thought—and brain. The fundamental notion that allows the two different ap-proaches to be jointly used under a common framework is that of operation. According to OS, which is based on introspection and linguistic data, the meanings of words can be analyzed in terms of elemental mental operations (EOMC), amongst which those of attention play a key role. Linguistic thought is made possible by special kinds of elements, which OS calls “correlators”, which have the function of tying together the other elements of thought, which OS calls “correlata” (a "correlational network” that is, a sentence, is so formed). Therefore, OS conceives of linguistic thought as a hierarchy of operations of increasing complexity. Likewise, according to OA, which is based on the joint analysis of cognitive and electromagnetic data (EEG and MEG), every conscious phenomenon is brought to existence by the joint operations of many functional and transient neuronal assemblies in the brain. According to OA, the functioning of the brain is always operational (made up of operations), and its structure is characterized by a hierarchy of operations of increasing complexity: single neurons, single assemblies of neurons, syn-chronized neuronal assemblies or Operational Modules (OM), integrated or complex OMs. The authors put forward the hypothesis that the whole level of OS’s description (EOMC, correlators, and correlational networks) corresponds to the level of OMs (or set of them) of different complexity within OA’s theory: EOMC could correspond to simple OMs, correlators to complex OMs and the correlational network to a set of simple and complex OMs. Finally, a set of experiments is proposed to verify the putative correspondence between OS and OA and prove the existence of an integrated continuum between brain and mind
Keywords mental categories  consciousness  linguistic thought  language  attention  mental operations  EEG  functional synchrony  connectivity  metastability
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