In his excellent and thought provoking article Gallagher (2000) suggests that there are no exceptions to the immunity principle, that one cannot use the first person pronoun and be incorrect in one's reference. He discusses Wittgenstein's differentiation between the "I"‚ as subject and as object, and suggests that misidentification may be possible in the latter instance, when one is, for instance, viewing an arm moving and incorrectly thinks it one's own. In amplifying this distinction Gallagher introduces the two related aspects (...) of (minimal) self awareness: a sense of agency, (the sense that I am the initiator of an act), and a sense of ownership, (the sense that it is my body that is moving). (shrink)
The potential to instrumentalize drug use based upon the detection of very many different drug states undoubtedly exists, and such states may play a role in psychiatric and many other drug uses. Nevertheless, nonaddictive drug use is potentially more parsimoniously explained in terms of sensation seeking/impulsivity and drug expectations. Cultural factors also play a major role in nonaddictive drug use.
Did protolanguage users use discrete words that referred to objects, actions, locations, etc., and then, at some point, combine them; or on the contrary did they have words that globally indexed whole semantic complexes, and then come to divide them? Our answer is: early humans were forming language units consisting of global and discrete dimensions of semiosis in dynamic opposition. These units of thinking-for-speaking, or ‘growth points’ (GPs) were, jointly, analog imagery (visuo-spatio-motoric) and categorically-contrastive (-emic) linguistic encodings. This discrete-global duality (...) was a new mode of embodied cognition that enabled thinking and acting in new ways: the dawn of protolanguage. Where did this mode of cognition come from? We have some suggestions based on the hypothesis that gestures gained the power to orchestrate actions, manual and vocal, with significances other than those of the actions themselves, giving rise to cognition framed in the proposed dual terms. Note, however, our proposal is not one of the ‘gesture-first’ theories of language origins. Such theories predict what did not evolve: a language of pantomime; rather than what did evolve: an integrated system of synchronized gestures and spoken forms. GP theory is an account of the cognition underlying such an integrated system. A scenario for the evolutionary selection of this cognitive mode is ‘Mead’s Loop’, a model in which one’s cognition is enriched by one’s own gestures, insofar as they are objects in social interactions. (shrink)
This paper considers the importance of the body for self-esteem, communication, and emotional expression and experience, through the reflections of those who live with various neurological impairments of movement and sensation; sensory deafferentation, spinal cord injury and Möbius Syndrome (the congenital absence of facial expression). People with severe sensory loss, who require conscious attention and visual feedback for movement, describe the imperative to use the same strategies to reacquire gesture, to appear normal and have embodied expression. Those paralysed after spinal (...) cord injury struggle to have others see them as people rather than as people in wheelchairs and have been active in the disability movement, distinguishing between their medical impairment and the social induced disability others project onto them. Lastly those with Möbius reveal the importance of the face for emotional expression and communication and indeed for emotional experience itself. All these examples explore the crucial role of the body as agent for social and personal expression and self-esteem. (shrink)
We are defined by our faces. They give identity but, equally importantly, reveal our moods and emotions through facial expression. So what happens when the face cannot move? This book is about people who live with Möbius Syndrome, which has as its main feature an absence of movement of the muscles of facial expression from birth. People with Möbius cannot smile, frown, or look surprised or sad. Talking and eating are problematic, since their lips do not move. Even looking around (...) is also difficult since the eyes cannot move either. -/- The book is unique in giving those with Möbius a voice, allowing children and adults with the condition to explain what it is like. These fascinating biographies reveal much about the relations between face and facial expression, and emotional expression and emotional experience which we normally take for granted. The narratives also show the creative ways in which those with Möbius construct their lives and how they come to terms with and express their identities with, and yet, beyond their faces. Some with Möbius have been thought to have learning difficulties and autism, since an impassive immobile face has been assumed to reflect inner cognitive problems. This book criticises such work and asks people to look not only at the face but beyond it to see the person. -/- Throughout the book, several themes emerge, of which perhaps the most surprising is the reduced emotional experience those with Möbius can have as children and young adults and the journeys they go on as they realise this and then assimilate emotion from the outside in. -/- The result of a 4 year collaboration between a clinician/neuroscientist and a teacher/lobbyist who lives with Möbius, 'The Invisible Smile' provides an authentic, personal, and moving account of this disorder. (shrink)
Studies of perception have focussed on sensation, though more recently the perception of action has, once more, become the subject of investigation. These studies have looked at acute experimental situations. The present paper discusses the subjective experience of those with either clinical syndromes of loss of movement or sensation (spinal cord injury, sensory neuronopathy syndrome or motor stroke), or with experimental paralysis or sensory loss. The differing phenomenology of these is explored and their effects on intention and agency discussed. It (...) is shown that sensory loss can have effects on the focussing of motor command and that for some a sense of agency can return despite paralysis. (shrink)
To what extent is imagination dependent on embodied experience? In attempting to answer such questions I consider the experiences of those who have to come to terms with altered neurological function, namely those with spinal cord injury at the neck. These people have each lost all sensation and movement below the neck. How might these new ways of living affect their imagination?
Although Arbib's extension of the mirror-system hypothesis neatly sidesteps one problem with the “gesture-first” theory of language origins, it overlooks the importance of gestures that occur in current-day human linguistic performance, and this lands it with another problem. We argue that, instead of gesture-first, a system of combined vocalization and gestures would have been a more natural evolutionary unit.
Behrendt & Young's (B&Y's) novel “unifying model” of hallucinations, although comprehensive, fails to incorporate research into the possible role of 5-HT2A receptors in the mode of action of novel “atypical” antipsychotic drugs (which treat hallucinations effectively), and into the role of such receptors, which are located in thalamocortical circuits, in mediating drug-induced hallucinations.
Empirical studies of gesture in a subject who has lost proprioception and the sense of touch from the neck down show that specific aspects of gesture remain normal despite abnormal motor processes for instrumental movement. The experiments suggest that gesture, as a linguistic phenomenon, is not reducible to instrumental movement. They also support and extend claims made by Merleau-Ponty concerning the relationship between language and cognition. Gesture, as language, contributes to the accomplishment of thought.
The present paper considers the processing of facial information from a personal and narrative aspect, attempting to address the effects that deficits in such processing have on people¿s perceptions of themselves and of others. The approach adopted has been a narrative and mainly subjective one, entering the experience of several subjects with facial problems to tease out the interactions between their facial problems and their relations with others. The subjects are those with blindness, either congenital or acquired, autism, Moebius syndrome (...) (the congenital absence of facial expression), Bell¿s palsy and facial disfigurement. From these biographical experiences the effect of facial problems on people¿s perception of self and their social existence is explored. Facial information processing is being examined to brilliant effect scientifically: the effects of problems in the system on individuals¿ self esteem may be informed, in part, by a clinical, descriptive approach. (shrink)
Preprint of Cole, Sacks, and Waterman. 2000. "On the immunity principle: A view from a robot." Trends in Cognitive Science 4 (5): 167, a response to Shaun Gallagher, S. 2000. "Philosophical conceptions of the self: implications for cognitive science," Trends in Cognitive Science 4 (1):14-21. Also see Shaun Gallagher, Reply to Cole, Sacks, and Waterman Trends in Cognitive Science 4, No. 5 (2000): 167-68.
In a majority of situations the normal adult maintains posture or moves without consciously monitoring motor activity. Posture and movement are usually close to automatic; they tend to take care of themselves, outside of attentive regard. One's body, in such cases, effaces itself as one is geared into a particular intentional goal. This effacement is possible because of the normal functioning of a body schema. Body schema can be defined as a system of preconscious, subpersonal processes that play a dynamic (...) role in governing posture and movement (Head, 1920). There is an important and often overlooked conceptual difference between the subpersonal body schema and what is usually called body image . The latter is most often defined as a conscious idea or mental representation that one has of one's own body (for example, Adame, Radell, Johnson, and Cole, 1991; Gardner and Moncrieff, 1988; Schilder, 1935). Despite the conceptual difference many researchers use the terms interchangeably, leading to both a terminological and conceptual confusion. (shrink)