Terra cognita: From functional neuroimaging to the map of the mind [Book Review]

Brain and Mind 1 (1):93-116 (2000)
For more than a century the paradigm inspiringcognitive neuroscience has been modular and localist.Contemporary research in functional brain imaginggenerally relies on methods favorable to localizingparticular functions in one or more specific brainregions. Meanwhile, connectionist cognitive scientistshave celebrated the computational powers ofdistributed processing, and pioneered methods forinterpreting distributed representations. This papertakes a connectionist approach to functionalneuroimaging. A tabulation of 35 PET (positronemission tomography) experiments strongly indicatesdistributed function for at least the ''medium sized''anatomical units, the cortical Brodmann areas. Moreimportant, when these PET experiments were interpretedas distributed representations, multidimensionalscaling revealed a ''brain activation space'' with asalient structure organized primarily by the sensorymodality of the stimulus, and secondarily by the typeof motor response. These results suggest that currentanalytical techniques in functional neuroimagingshould be augmented by distributed processinganalyses, and that these analyses may lead to manydiscoveries about the structure of ''inner space.''
Keywords Brain  Image  Metaphysics  Mind  Neurobiology  Science
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