The general applicability of forward models in brain function has previously been recognized. Grush's contribution centers largely on broadening the extent and scope of forward models. However, in his effort to expand and generalize, important distinctions may have been overlooked. A better grounding in the underlying physiology would have helped to illuminate such valuable differences and similarities.
Sprinkled with humor, social psychology illuminates cognition in Wegner's beautifully written and cleverly crafted book. However, scantily exploiting such themes as psychopathology, development, and neural correlates of consciousness, Wegner's account does not fully project into cognitive neuroscience. Broaching the topic of self-regulation, we outline neurocognitive data supplementing the notion that voluntariness is perhaps more post hoc ascriptions than bona fide introspection.
Recent data indicate that under a specific posthypnotic suggestion to circumvent reading, highly suggestible subjects successfully eliminated the Stroop interference effect. The present study examined whether an optical explanation (e.g., visual blurring or looking away) could account for this finding. Using cyclopentolate hydrochloride eye drops to pharmacologically prevent visual accommodation in all subjects, behavioral Stroop data were collected from six highly hypnotizables and six less suggestibles using an optical setup that guaranteed either sharply (...) focused or blurred vision. The highly suggestibles performed the Stroop task when naturally vigilant, under posthypnotic suggestion not to read, and while visually blurred; the less suggestibles ran naturally vigilant, while looking away, and while visually blurred. Although visual accommodation was precluded for all subjects, posthypnotic suggestion effectively eliminated Stroop interference and was comparable to looking away in controls. These data strengthen the view that Stroop interference is neither robust nor inevitable and support the hypothesis that posthypnotic suggestion may exert a top-down influence on neural processing. (shrink)
Charmed by Corballis's presentation, we challenge the use of mirror neurons as a supporting platform for the gestural theory of language, the link between vocalization and cerebral specialization, and the relationship between gesture and language as two separate albeit coupled systems of communication. We revive an alternative explanation of lateralization of language and handedness.