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  1. William H. Calvin, Email || Home Page || Publication List.
    Plan-ahead becomes necessary for those movements which are over-and-done in less time than it takes for the feedback loop to operate. Natural selection for one of the ballistic movements (hammering, clubbing, and throwing) could evolve a plan-ahead serial buffer for hand-arm commands that would benefit the other ballistic movements as well. This same circuitry may also sequence other muscles (children learning handwriting often screw up their faces and tongues) and so novel oral-facial sequences may also benefit (as might kicking and (...)
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  2. William H. Calvin, Global Fever.
    a. Lessons from science and medicine b. Lessons from industrial revolutions c. How Deep Geothermal can replace coal. d. How to sink a lot of carbon quickly.
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  3. William H. Calvin, Pumping Up Intelligence.
    The title is not a metaphor, though past tense might be better as this chapter is about how each of the many hundred abrupt coolings of the last several million years could have served as a pump stroke, each elevating intelligence a small increment - even though what natural selection was operating on was not intelligence per se.
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  4. William H. Calvin, Scientific American.
    An expanded version has now appeared: HOW BRAINS THINK: Evolving Intelligence, Then and Now in the Science Masters series (BasicBooks 1996 in the USA and Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the UK, various translation editions elsewhere, including China). My Darwin Machines model for cerebral cortical circuitry has now appeared as THE CEREBRAL CODE: Thinking a Thought in the Mosaics of the Mind (MIT Press 1996).
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  5. William H. Calvin, The Great Use-It-or-Lose-It Intelligence Test.
    To fit the magnificence of this setting in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, and the honor of giving the 2007 Sir John Crawford Memorial Lecture, it is well to have a subject of suitable proportions. I have chosen one of global size and urgent time frame: our climate crisis. We only have one future and one global climate–and now it looks as if we only have one chance to rescue our civilization from collapse and prevent a mass extinction of (...)
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  6. William H. Calvin, The Six Essentials?
    Since Richard Dawkins' The Extended Phenotype got me to thinking about copying units in the mid-1980s, I have been trying to define a cerebral code (the spatiotemporal firing pattern that represents a word, image, metaphor, or even a sentence) by searching for what can be successfully replicated in the brain's neural circuitry, a minimum replicable unit. I indeed found such circuitry (it implies that the firing pattern within several hundred minicolumns of neocortex, contained in a 0.5 mm hexagon, is (...)
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  7. William H. Calvin (2007). Why a Creative Brain? Evolutionary Setups for Off-Line Planning of Coherent Stages. In Henri Cohen & Brigitte Stemmer (eds.), Consciousness and Cognition: Fragments of Mind and Brain. Elxevier Academic Press.
     
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  8. William H. Calvin (2004). A Brief History of the Mind: From Apes to Intellect and Beyond. Oxford University Press.
    This book looks back at the simpler versions of mental life in apes, Neanderthals, and our ancestors, back before our burst of creativity started 50,000 years...
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  9. William H. Calvin (2002). Rediscovery and the Cognitive Aspects of Toolmaking: Lessons From the Handaxe. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (3):403-404.
    Long before signs of staged toolmaking appeared, Homo erectus made symmetrical tools. The handaxe is a flattened tear-drop shape, but often with edges sharpened all around. Before we assign their obsession with symmetry to an aesthetic judgment, we must consider whether it is possible that the symmetry is simply very pragmatic for one particular use in the many suggested.
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  10. William H. Calvin (1998). Competing for Consciousness: A Darwinian Mechanism at an Appropriate Level of Explanation. Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (4):389-404.
    Treating consciousness as awareness or attention greatly underestimates it, ignoring the temporary levels of organization associated with higher intellectual function (syntax, planning, logic, music). The tasks that require consciousness tend to be the ones that demand a lot of resources. Routine tasks can be handled on the back burner but dealing with ambiguity, groping around offline, generating creative choices, and performing precision movements may temporarily require substantial allocations of neocortex. Here I will attempt to clarify the appropriate levels of explanation (...)
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  11. William H. Calvin (1996). The Cerebral Code. MIT Press.
    In "The Cerebral Code," he has solidly embedded his ideas in experimental neurophysiology and neuropharmacology, deriving from his decades in the laboratory.
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  12. William H. Calvin (1991). The Ascent of Mind: Ice Age Climates and the Evolution of Intelligence. Bantam Books.
  13. William H. Calvin (1990). The Cerebral Symphony: Seashore Reflections on the Structure of Consciousness. Bantam.
  14. William H. Calvin (1987). On Evolutionary Expectations of Symmetry and Toolmaking. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (2):267.
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  15. William H. Calvin (1984). Precision Timing Requirements Suggest Wider Brain Connections, Not More Restricted Ones. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 7 (3):334.
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  16. William H. Calvin (1983). Timing Sequencers as a Foundation for Language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 6 (2):210.
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