In this book, Mark Rowlands challenges the Cartesian view of the mind as a self-contained monadic entity, and offers in its place a radical externalist or environmentalist model of cognitive processes. Drawing on both evolutionary theory and a detailed examination of the processes involved in perception, memory, thought and language use, Rowlands argues that cognition is, in part, a process whereby creatures manipulate and exploit relevant objects in their environment. This innovative book provides a foundation for an unorthodox but (...) increasingly popular view of the nature of cognition. (shrink)
We argue that Machery provides no convincing evidence that prototypes and exemplars are typically used in distinct cognitive processes. This partially undermines the fourth tenet of the Heterogeneity Hypothesis and thus casts doubts on Machery’s way of splitting concepts into different kinds. Although Machery may be right that concepts split into different kinds, such kinds may be different from those countenanced by the Heterogeneity Hypothesis.
The core issue of our target article concerns how relational complexity should be assessed. We propose that assessments must be based on actual cognitive processes used in performing each step of a task. Complexity comparisons are important for the orderly interpretation of research findings. The links between relational complexity theory and several other formulations, as well as its implications for neural functioning, connectionist models, the roles of knowledge, and individual and developmental differences, are considered.
Stanovich & West analyze individual differences with respect to response output (e.g., participants' numerical estimates). They do not analyze the underlying cognitive processes that led to the outputs; they thereby probably misclassify some non-normative responses as normative. Using base rate neglect and overconfidence as examples, I demonstrate the advantages of analyzing cognitive processes further.
We discuss the role of synchrony of activationin higher-level cognitive processes. Inparticular, we analyze the question of whethersynchrony of activation provides a mechanismfor compositional representation in neuralsystems. We will argue that synchrony ofactivation does not provide a mechanism forcompositional representation in neural systems.At face value, one can identify a level ofcompositional representation in the models thatintroduce synchrony of activation for thispurpose. But behavior in these models isalways produced by means conjunctiverepresentations in the form of coincidencedetectors. Therefore, models that rely (...) onsynchrony of activation lack the systematicityand productivity of true compositional systems.As a result, they cannot distinguish betweentype and token representations, which resultsin misrepresentations of spatial relations andpropositions. Furthermore, higher-levelcognitive processes will likely integrateinformation from widely distributed areas inthe brain, which puts severe restrictions onthe underlying neural dynamics if synchrony ofactivation is to play a role in theseprocesses. We will briefly discuss theserestrictions in the case of feature binding invisual cognition. (shrink)
This research was carried out to explore some of the cognitive processes involved in scientific anomalies resolution. 40 subjects with a good neuropsychology expertise were asked to explain two (invented) anomalous neuropsychological cases. The subjects' efforts to give a meaningful structure to the data were recorded, and the resulting reasoning blocks were analysed to extract and compute the inferential (deductive, inductive and abductive) and analogical processes used. The processes were intercorrelated to experimentally verify the co-occurrence of different forms of (...) logical thinking. Statistical analysis point out the relevance of abductive inferences, the possible presence of an inferential-style switching process , the high number of external analogies used, the cognitive closeness manifested by expert reasoners. (shrink)
Many criticisms have been made of optimization theory (Laville, 1999a). These objections may be explained by the fact that human rationality is bounded – that decisions are constrained by cognitive limitations (Simon, 1982). In the present paper, I will show that if rationality is bounded, then we must study the processes of decision. My thesis is that cognitive limitations lead to procedural rationality. Although this assertion has already been sustained implicitly by Simon (1959) and explicitly by Mongin (1986), (...) it has not been argued in sufficient depth. (shrink)
Research on brain or cognitive/affective processes, culture, social interaction, and structural analysis are overlapping but often independent ways humans have attempted to understand the origins of their evolution, historical, and contemporary development. Each level seeks to employ its own theoretical concepts and methods for depicting human nature and categorizing objects and events in the world, and often relies on different sources of evidence to support theoretical claims. Each level makes reference to different temporal bandwidths (milliseconds, seconds, minutes, hours, days, (...) months, years, decades, and centuries) and focuses on different spatio-temporal activities and controlled and non-controlled stimulus conditions. Biological mechanisms and environmental pressures for survival simultaneously created a gradual intersection and enhancement of cognitive/affective skills, cultural practices, and changes in collaborative social interaction and communicative skills. The evolution of a given level of analysis is assumed to have been incremental and overlapping. These innovative and independent ways humans have learned to characterize their brain or cognitive/affective and social/economic/political life often depend on unexamined, representational re-descriptions or cognitive/affective and socio-cultural devices and forms of communication that facilitate the depiction of practices and beliefs we attribute to respondents or subjects and research colleagues. (shrink)
Two experiments investigated the factors that people consider when evaluating informal arguments in newspaper and magazine editorials. Experiment 1 showed that subjects were more likely to object to the truth of the premises and the conclusions of an argument than to the strength of the link between them. Experiment 1 also revealed two manipulations that helped subjects object to the link between premises and conclusions: rating how well the premises support the conclusions and rating the believability of the premises and (...) conclusions. Experiment 2 further demonstrated that subjects who identified the premises and conclusions of an argument were better at formulating objections to the link between premises and conclusions. Moreover, subjects in Experiment 2 were better and faster at formulating objections to the truth of the premises and conclusions than to the link between premises and conclusions. The results are discussed in terms of the constraints they pose for developing a cognitive theory of informal reasoning. (shrink)
Qualitative Complexity offers a critique of the humanist paradigm in contemporary social theory. Drawing from sources in sociology, philosophy, complexity theory, 'fuzzy logic', systems theory, cognitive science and evolutionary biology, the authors present a new series of interdisciplinary perspectives on the sociology of complex, self-organizing structures.
This paper tries to express a critical point of view on the computational turn in philosophy by looking at a specific field of study: philosophy of science. The paper starts by briefly discussing the main contributions that information and communication technologies have given to the rising of computational philosophy of science, and in particular to the cognitive modelling approach. The main question then arises, concerning how computational models can cope with the presence of tacit knowledge in science. Would it (...) be possible to develop new ways of handling this specific type of knowledge, in order to incorporate it in computational models of scientific thinking? Or should tacit knowledge lead us to other approaches in using computer sciences to model scientific cognition? These questions are addressed by making reference to a detailed case study of a recent innovation development in the field of biotechnology. (shrink)
It has been argued that dual process theories are not consistent with Oaksford and Chater’s probabilistic approach to human reasoning (Oaksford and Chater in Psychol Rev 101:608–631, 1994 , 2007 ; Oaksford et al. 2000 ), which has been characterised as a “single-level probabilistic treatment[s]” (Evans 2007 ). In this paper, it is argued that this characterisation conflates levels of computational explanation. The probabilistic approach is a computational level theory which is consistent with theories of general cognitive architecture that (...) invoke a WM system and an LTM system. That is, it is a single function dual process theory which is consistent with dual process theories like Evans’ ( 2007 ) that use probability logic (Adams 1998 ) as an account of analytic processes. This approach contrasts with dual process theories which propose an analytic system that respects standard binary truth functional logic (Heit and Rotello in J Exp Psychol Learn 36:805–812, 2010 ; Klauer et al. in J Exp Psychol Learn 36:298–323, 2010 ; Rips in Psychol Sci 12:29–134, 2001 , 2002 ; Stanovich in Behav Brain Sci 23:645–726, 2000 , 2011 ). The problems noted for this latter approach by both Evans Psychol Bull 128:978–996, ( 2002 , 2007 ) and Oaksford and Chater (Mind Lang 6:1–38, 1991 , 1998 , 2007 ) due to the defeasibility of everyday reasoning are rehearsed. Oaksford and Chater’s ( 2010 ) dual systems implementation of their probabilistic approach is then outlined and its implications discussed. In particular, the nature of cognitive decoupling operations are discussed and a Panglossian probabilistic position developed that can explain both modal and non-modal responses and correlations with IQ in reasoning tasks. It is concluded that a single function probabilistic approach is as compatible with the evidence supporting a dual systems theory. (shrink)
Dynamics is not enough for cognition, nor it is a substitute for information-processing aspects of brain behavior. Moreover, dynamics and computation are not at odds, but are quite compatible. They can be synthesized so that any dynamical system can be analyzed in terms of its intrinsic computational components.
The Author argues for a non-semantic theory of intentionality, i.e. a theory of intentional reference rooted in the perceptive world. Specifically, the paper concerns two aspects of the original theory of intentionality: the structure of intentional objects as appearance (an unfolding spatio-temporal structure endowed with a direction), and the cognitive processes involved in a psychic act at the primary level of cognition. Examples are given from the experimental psychology of vision, with a particular emphasis on the relation between phenomenal (...) space and colour appearances. (shrink)
Real-time cognition is continuous in time and contiguous in mental state space. This temporal continuity implies that the majority of mental life is spent in states that are partially consistent with multiple representations. The state-space contiguity implies that different cognitive processes interact in ways that make them quite non-modular. As the evidence for such information-permeability expands to include not just neural subsystems but also the entire brain and even the entire organism, this radical interactionism leads one to hypothesize that (...) mental activity, and perhaps consciousness itself, is something that emerges amid the interface between one's body and one's environment. We portray mental activity as a continuous trajectory through a brain-body-environment state space, where close visitations with labelled attractors may constitute reportable self- consciousness and traversals through unlabeled regions may constitute unutterable immediate conscious awareness. (shrink)
Spatio-temporal neuro-dynamics is a quickly developing field of brain research and Tsuda's work is a significant contribution toward establishing theoretical foundations in this area. It is conceivable that the fragmented attractor landscapes and dynamical memory patterns identified earlier in various K-sets are biologically plausible manifestations of attractor ruins, chaotic itinerancy, and Cantor encoding as applied to sensory information processing.
William James described the stream of thought as having two components: (1) a nucleus of highly conscious, often perceptual material; and (2) a fringe of dimly felt contextual information that controls the entry of information into the nucleus and guides the progression of internally directed thought. Here I examine the neural and cognitive correlates of this phenomenology. A survey of the cognitive neuroscience literature suggests that the nucleus corresponds to a dynamic global buffer formed by interactions between different (...) regions of the brain, while the fringe corresponds to a set of mechanisms in the frontal and medial temporal lobes that control the contents of this global buffer. A consequence of this account is that there might be conscious imagistic representations that are not part of the nucleus. I argue that phenomenology can be linked to psychology and neuroscience and a meaningful way that illuminates both. (shrink)
Two aspects of consciousness are first considered: consciousness as awareness (phenomenological meaning) and consciousness as strategic control (functional meaning). As to awareness, three types can be distinguished: first, awareness as the phenomenal experiences of objects and events; second, awareness as meta-awareness, i.e., the awareness of mental life itself; third, awareness as self-awareness, i.e., the awareness of being oneself. While phenomenal experience and self-awareness are usually present during dreaming (even if many modifications are possible), meta-awareness is usually absent (apart from some (...) particular experiences of self-reflectiveness) with the major exception of lucid dreaming. Consciousness as strategic control may also be present in dreams. The functioning of consciousness is then analyzed, following a cognitive model of dream production. In such a model, the dream is supposed to be the product of the interaction of three components: (a) the bottom-up activation of mnemonic elements coming from LTM systems, (b) interpretative and elaborative top-down processes, and (c) monitoring of phenomenal experience. A feedback circulation is activated among the components, where the top-down interpretative organization and the conscious monitoring of the oneiric scene elicitates other mnemonic contents, according to the requirements of the dream plot. This dream productive activity is submitted to unconscious and conscious processes. (shrink)
Are we the robots? This question surfaces often in current psychological re- search, as various kinds of robot parts-automatic actions, mental mechanisms, even neural circuits-keep appearing in our explanations of human behavior. Automatic processes seem responsible for a wide range of the things we do, a fact that may leave us feeling, if not fully robotic, at least a bit nonhuman. The complement of the automatic process in contemporary psychology, of course, is the controlled process (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968; Bargh, (...) 1984; Posner & Snyder, 1975; Shiffrin & Schnieder, 1977), and it is in theories of controlled processes that vestiges of our humanity reappear. Controlled processes are viewed as conscious, effortful, and intentional. and as drawing on more sources of information than automatic processes. With this power of conscious will, controlled processes seem to bring the civilized quality back to psychological explanation that automatic processes leave out. Yet by reintroducing this touch of humanity, the notion of a controlled process also brings us within glimpsing range of a fatal theoretical error-the idea that there is a controller. (shrink)
There is converging evidence from developmental and cognitive psychology, as well as from neuroscience, to suggest that the self is both special and social, and that self-other interaction is the driving force behind self-development. We review experimental findings which demonstrate that human infants are motivated for social interactions and suggest that the development of an awareness of other minds is rooted in the implicit notion that others are like the self. We then marshal evidence from functional neuroimaging explorations of (...) the neurophysiological substrate of shared representations between the self and others, using various ecological paradigms such as mentally representing one's own actions versus others' actions, watching the actions executed by others, imitating the others' actions versus being imitated by others. We suggest that within this shared neural network the inferior parietal cortex and the prefrontal cortex in the right hemisphere play a special role in the essential ability to distinguish the self from others, and in the way the self represents the other. Interestingly, the right hemisphere develops its functions earlier than the left. (shrink)
This paper has two aims: (1) to point the way towards a novel alternative to cognitive theories of emotion, and (2) to delineate a number of different functions that the emotions play in cognition, functions that become visible from outside the framework of cognitive theories. First, I hold that the Higher Order Representational (HOR) theories of consciousness ? as generally formulated ? are inadequate insofar as they fail to account for selective attention. After posing this dilemma, I resolve (...) it in such a manner that the following thesis arises: the emotions play a key role in shaping selective attention. This thesis is in accord with A. Damasio?s (1994) noteworthy neuroscientific work on emotion. I then begin to formulate an alternative to cognitive theories of emotion, and I show how this new account has implications for the following issues: face recognition, two brain disorders (Capgras? and Fregoli syndrome), the frame problem in A. I., and the research program of affective computing. (shrink)
Human cognition and action are intentional and goal-directed, and explaining how they are controlled is one of the most important tasks of the cognitive sciences. After half a century of benign neglect this task is enjoying increased attention. Unfortunately, however, current theorizing about control in general, and the role of consciousness for/in control in particular, suffers from major conceptual flaws that lead to confusion regarding the following distinctions: (i) automatic and unintentional processes, (ii) exogenous control and disturbance (in a (...) control-theoretical sense) of endogenous control, (iii) conscious control and conscious access to control, and (iv) personal and systems levels of analysis and explanation. Only if these flaws are overcome will a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between consciousness and control emerge. (shrink)
In the latter part of this two-article sequence, the concept of emotion as reorganization of the organism-environment system is developed further in relation to consciousness, subjective experience and brain activity. It is argued that conscious emotions have their origin in reorganizational changes in primitive co-operative organizations, in which they get a more local character with the advent of personal consciousness and individuality, being expressed in conscious emotions. However, the conscious emotion is not confined to the individual only, but it gets (...) its content and the emotional quale in the social context, and in relation to the norms of the given culture. Emotion is fundamentally the process of ascription of meaning to the parts of the world which are relevant in the achievement of results of behavior. Although emotions may be studied as reorganizational processes in the organism-environment system with the help of physiological recordings and behavioral observations, it is argued — in contrast to the mainstream cognitive science — that emotions cannot be localized in the brain, although the brain is important in their generation as a part of the organism-environment system. It is suggested that the parts of the brain most closely related to emotional expression contain neurons subserving functional systems which are formed in early development, and which are therefore most intimately related to reorganizational processes in the organism-environment system. (shrink)
In this commentary, I focus on the difference between processes and representations and how this distinction relates to the question of what is controlled. Despite some views that task switching is a prototypical control process, the analysis concludes that task switching depends on the task goal representation and that control processes are there to prevent goal representations from disintegrating. Over time, these processes become obsolete, leaving behind a representation that automatically controls task performance. The distinction between processes and representations relates (...) to practice effects and automaticity and sheds light on what is meant by the phrase “automatic control.”. (shrink)
Presentation times of study words presented in the Deese/Roediger and McDermott (DRM) paradigm varied from 20 to 2000 ms per word in an attempt to replicate the false memory effect following extremely short presentations reported by . Both in a within-subjects design (Experiment 1) and in a between-subjects design (Experiment 2) subjects showed memory for studied words as well as a false memory effect for related critical lures in the 2000-ms condition. However, in the conditions with shorter presentation times (20 (...) ms in Experiment 1; 20 and 40 ms in Experiment 2) no memory for studied words, nor a false memory effect was found. We argue that there is at present no strong evidence supporting the claim for a nonconscious basis of the false memory effect. (shrink)
Although great progress in neuroanatomy and physiology has occurred lately, we still cannot go directly to those levels to discover the neural mechanisms of higher cognition and consciousness. But we can use neurocomputational methods based on these details to push this project forward. Here we describe vector subtraction as an operation that computes sequential paths through high-dimensional vector spaces. Vector-space interpretations of network activity patterns are a fruitful resource in recent computational neuroscience. Vector subtraction also appears to be implemented neurally (...) in primate frontal eye field activity, which computes dimensions of saccadic eye movements. We use this apparent neural implementation as a model and construct from it a general neurocomputational account of an important type of sequential cognitive and conscious process. We defend the biological plausibility of all components of the general model and show that it yields testable anatomical and physiological predictions. We close by suggesting some interesting consequences for consciousness if our model characterizes correctly the neural mechanisms producing a common type of episode in our conscious streams. (shrink)
What makes us conscious? Many theories that attempt to answer this question have appeared recently in the context of widespread interest about consciousness in the cognitive neurosciences. Most of these proposals are formulated in terms of the information processing conducted by the brain. In this overview, we survey and contrast these models. We first delineate several notions of consciousness, addressing what it is that the various models are attempting to explain. Next, we describe a conceptual landscape that addresses how (...) the theories attempt to explain consciousness. We then situate each of several representative models in this landscape and indicate which aspect of consciousness they try to explain. We conclude that the search for the neural correlates of consciousness should be usefully complemented by a search for the computational correlates of consciousness. (shrink)
Empirical approaches on topics such as consciousness, self-awareness, or introspective perspective, need a conceptual framework so that the emerging, still unconnected findings can be integrated and put into perspective. We introduce a model of self-consciousness derived from phenomenology, philosophy, the cognitive, and neurosciences. We will then give an overview of research data on one particular aspect of our model, self-agency, trying to link findings from cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Finally, we will expand on pathological aspects of self-agency, and (...) in particular on psychosis in schizophrenia. We show, that a deficient self-monitoring system underlies, in part, hallucinations and formal thought (language) disorder in schizophrenia. We argue, that self-consciousness is a valid construct and can be studied with the instruments of cognitive and neuroscience. (shrink)
Most ?theories of consciousness? are based on vague speculations about the properties of conscious experience. We aim to provide a more solid basis for a science of consciousness. We argue that a theory of consciousness should provide an account of the very processes that allow us to acquire and use information about our own mental states ? the processes underlying introspection. This can be achieved through the construction of information processing models that can account for ?Type-C? processes. Type-C processes can (...) be specified experimentally by identifying paradigms in which awareness of the stimulus is necessary for an intentional action. The Shallice (1988b) framework is put forward as providing an initial account of Type-C processes, which can relate perceptual consciousness to consciously performed actions. Further, we suggest that this framework may be refined through the investigation of the functions of prefrontal cortex. The formulation of our approach requires us to consider fundamental conceptual and methodological issues associated with consciousness. The most significant of these issues concerns the scientific use of introspective evidence. We outline and justify a conservative methodological approach to the use of introspective evidence, with attention to the difficulties historically associated with its use in psychology. (shrink)
Human self-consciousness operates at different levels of complexity and at least comprises five different levels of representational processes. These five levels are nonconceptual representation, conceptual representation, sentential representation, meta-representation, and iterative meta-representation. These different levels of representation can be operationalized by taking a first-person-perspective that is involved in representational processes on different levels of complexity. We refer to experiments that operationalize a first-person-perspective on the level of conceptual and meta-representational self-consciousness. Interestingly, these experiments show converging evidence for a recruitment of (...) medial cortical and parietal regions during taking a first-person-perspective, even when operating on different degrees of complexity. These data lend support for the speculative hypothesis, that there exist a neural signature for human self-consciousness that is recruited independent from the degree of representational complexity to be performed. (shrink)
The present paper analyzes the regularities referred to via the concept 'self.' This is important, for cognitive science traditionally models the self as a cognitive mediator between perceptual inputs and behavioral outputs. This leads to the assertion that the self causes action. Recent findings in social psychology indicate this is not the case and, as a consequence, certain cognitive scientists model the self as being epiphenomenal. In contrast, the present paper proposes an alternative approach (i.e., the event-control (...) approach) that is based on recently discovered regularities between perception and action. Specifically, these regularities indicate that perception and action planning utilize common neural resources. This leads to a coupling of perception, planning, and action in which the first two constitute aspects of a single system (i.e., the distal-event system) that is able to pre-specify and detect distal events. This distal-event system is then coupled with action (i.e., effector-control systems) in a constraining, as opposed to 'causal' manner. This model has implications for how we conceptualize the manner in which one infers the intentions of another, anticipates the intentions of another, and possibly even experiences another. In conclusion, it is argued that it may be possible to map the concept 'self' onto the regularities referred to in the event-control model, not in order to reify 'the self' as a causal mechanism, but to demonstrate its status as a useful concept that refers to regularities that are part of the natural order. (shrink)
In his commentary, David Galin raises several important issues that deserve to be addressed. In this response, I do three things. First, I briefly discuss the relation between the present work and the metaphoric theories of thought developed by cognitive lin- guists such as Lakoff and Johnson (1998). Second, I address some of the confusions that seem to have arisen about my use of the terms ''substantive thought'' and ''nucleus.'' Third, I briefly discuss some of the directions that Galin (...) suggests for further research. (shrink)
My goal is to try to understand the intentionality of consciousness from a naturalistic perspective. My basic methodological assumption is that embodied agents, through their sensory-motor, affective, and cognitive activities directed at objects, engage in intentional relations with these objects. Furthermore, I assume that intentional relations can be viewed from a first- and a third-person perspective. What is called primary consciousness is the first-person perspective of the agent engaged in a current intentional relation. While primary consciousness posits an implicit.
There is quite a bit of disagreement in cognitive science regarding the role that consciousness and control play in explanations of how people do what they do. The purpose of the present paper is to do the following: (1) examine the theoretical choice points that have lead theorists to conflicting positions, (2) examine the philosophical and empirical problems different theories encounter as they address the issue of conscious agency, and (3) provide an integrative framework (Wild Systems Theory) that addresses (...) these problems and potentially naturalizes conscious agency. It does so by grounding conscious and control in the notion of self-sustaining energy-transformation systems (i.e., living systems), versus computational or self- organizing systems, as is the case in information processing theory and dynamical systems theory, respectively. Given its assertion that content (and consciousness) emerges in self-sustaining systems, Wild Systems Theory may also provide a sound theoretical basis for a science of consciousness in general. (shrink)
We propose that the isomorphism generally observed between the representations composing our momentary phenomenal experience and the structure of the world is the end-product of a progressive organization that emerges thanks to elementary associative processes that take our conscious representations themselves as the stuff on which they operate, a thesis that we summarize in the concept of Self-Organizing Consciousness (SOC). Key Words: Associative learning; automatism; consciousness; development; implicit learning; incubation; language; mental representation; perception; phenomenal experience.
Various hypotheses about the importance of psycho-neural concomitants are reviewed and their implications discussed for the 'easy' and 'hard' problems of consciousness -- especially, as viewed by cognitive and ecological psychology. In Ecological Psychology, where the subjective-objective dichotomy is repudiated, these concepts are without foundation, and are replaced by informed awareness, which is argued to play an important, perhaps, indispensable role in goal- directed actions and thus to have survival value. The significance of informed awareness is illustrated in several (...) real- world goal-directed tasks. (shrink)
Participants were required to switch among randomly ordered tasks, and instructional cues were used to indicate which task to execute. In Experiments 1 and 2, the participants indicated their readiness for the task switch before they received the target stimulus; thus, each trial was associated with two primary dependent measures: (1) readiness time and (2) target reaction time. Slow readiness responses and instructions emphasizing high readiness were paradoxically accompanied by slow target reaction time. Moreover, the effect of task switching on (...) readiness time was an order of magnitude smaller then the (objectively estimated) duration required for task preparation (Experiment 3). The results strongly suggest that participants have little conscious awareness of their preparedness and challenge commonly accepted assumptions concerning the role of consciousness in cognitive control. (shrink)
Introductory Note: This commentary developed out of an informal discussion of Part I (2000) of Jarvilehto?s two-part Consciousness & Emotion series with Ralph Ellis at the recent Amsterdam Symposium on Feelings and Emotions (June 13?16, 2001). Part II of Jarvilehto?s series appears in the present issue. Ellis asked me to share my critical concerns with Jarvilehto?s Part I in this commentary, with an advance copy supplied to Jarvilehto, who will reply in the next issue of Consciousness & Emotion. I think (...) most of us recognize the need for pluralism in the study of complex processes such as consciousness and emotions, but to place emotions and feelings so strongly into the environment as does Jarvilehto strikes me simply as a category mistake. I acknowledge that my commentary comes from my own unique (and by some standards radical) perspective on how the field might best move forward empirically. I believe an honest understanding of how natural psychological kinds emerge from specifiable brain functions, which are obviously modulated by environmental events, is presently the most important and most poorly studied aspect of modern mind-science. I felt that Jarvilehto?s holistic approach would only further serve to discourage investigators from pursuing those important issues neuro-empirically. (shrink)