By Michael L. Anderson
The pc analogy of the brain has been as commonly followed in modern cognitive neuroscience as used to be the analogy of the mind as a suite of organs in phrenology. simply because the phrenologist could insist that every organ should have its specific functionality, so modern cognitive neuroscience is dedicated to the inspiration that every mind sector should have its basic computation. In After Phrenology, Michael Anderson argues that to accomplish a completely post-phrenological technological know-how of the mind, we have to re-examine this dedication and devise another, neuroscientifically grounded taxonomy of psychological function.
Anderson contends that the cognitive roles performed through each one quarter of the mind are hugely quite a few, reflecting varied neural partnerships confirmed lower than diversified situations. He proposes quantifying the sensible houses of neural assemblies by way of their dispositional developments instead of their computational or information-processing operations. Exploring larger-scale concerns, and drawing on proof from embodied cognition, Anderson develops an image of pondering rooted within the exploitation and extension of our early-evolving skill for iterated interplay with the realm. He argues that the multidimensional method of the mind he describes deals an improved healthy for those findings, and a extra promising street towards a unified technological know-how of minded organisms.
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Extra info for After Phrenology: How to Study the Brain
2010 for reviews). In the current case we wanted to see, for each region, what the diversity of activations was—how many neural activations fell into each of the 11 task categories. 091 with 11 categories), and k equals the number categories. Diversity is (1 – DV), normalized such that the values range from 0 (all activations in one category) to 1 (activations spread equally across all 11 categories). 12). 17). Put differently, the regions were active in an average of 95 tasks spread across nine cognitive domains.
Although they cannot take on just any configuration, they appear to be able to take on more than one. Thus, the best current evidence seems to suggest that although some of the observed functional diversity results from the fact that a given circuit in a given configuration is often useful in multiple contexts, some of the observed diversity is likely also due to the fact that the local network can be in multiple different states. This matter is extensively discussed in this volume. For now the point to emphasize is that it would be worth our while to see how much science we can do with the weaker notion of functional differentiation in the brain before engaging in the kind of abduction to specific, local computational operations to which (I have lately come to think) the field is overprone.
Let me be clear, however, about what it is I do not take the evidence to have established. I was an early proponent of ECS (O’Donovan-Anderson 1996, 1997), continue to be a staunch advocate (Anderson 2003, 2008b, 2009; Anderson & Rosenberg 2008; Anderson et al. 2012), and do not think that any of the arguments made in this chapter falsify any of the claims made on its behalf. Quite the contrary! As I have already indicated, I think that neural reuse follows naturally from, and coheres perfectly with, the general expectations of ECS.
After Phrenology: How to Study the Brain by Michael L. Anderson