By Michael L. Anderson
The desktop analogy of the brain has been as broadly followed in modern cognitive neuroscience as was once the analogy of the mind as a suite of organs in phrenology. simply because the phrenologist could insist that every organ needs to have its specific functionality, so modern cognitive neuroscience is devoted to the thought that every mind quarter should have its primary computation. In After Phrenology, Michael Anderson argues that to accomplish a completely post-phrenological technology of the mind, we have to think again this dedication and devise another, neuroscientifically grounded taxonomy of psychological functionality.
Anderson contends that the cognitive roles performed through each one sector of the mind are hugely a number of, reflecting various neural partnerships confirmed lower than diversified situations. He proposes quantifying the practical houses of neural assemblies when it comes to their dispositional traits quite than their computational or information-processing operations. Exploring larger-scale matters, and drawing on facts from embodied cognition, Anderson develops an image of considering 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 bargains 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 resources for After phrenology : neural reuse and the interactive brain
Excitement over the discovery of the fusiform face area (Kanwisher, McDermott, & Chun 1997) was quickly tempered when it was discovered that the area also responded to cars, birds, and other stimuli (Gauthier et al. 2000; Grill-Spector, Sayres, & Ress 2006; Hanson & Schmidt 2011; Rhodes et al. 2004). The ensuing debates over the “real” function of these areas have still not been resolved, and in light of these results researchers have started to question the boundaries between psychological domains once thought separate and distinct, such as perception and cognition (Anderson, Richardson, & Chemero 2012; Barsalou 1999, 2008) and cognition and emotion (Pessoa 2008, 2012).
Those 595 regions were activated by an average of more than 10 experiments across five cognitive domains. 12). These results were recently confirmed with different methods and metrics, for a range of brain region sizes, thoroughly measuring diversity in the brain voxel by voxel (Anderson et al. 2013). Indeed, my collaborators and I have investigated diversity in the brain using multiple metrics and ways of carving up the brain; no matter what we try, we cannot seem to disconfirm the finding. The upshot: local neural structures are not highly selective and typically contribute to multiple tasks across domain boundaries.
But it is not the sort of inheritance predicted by concept empiricism or conceptual metaphor theory. Rather than inheriting semantic structure, what we apparently have here is the persistence of performance characteristic imposed by the underlying implementation of the capacity. This is not to question the notion that numbers and other mathematical concepts and procedures are in some way grounded in sensorimotor experience (Lakoff & Núñez 2000) nor to argue that sensorimotor experience might not be a necessary precursor to mathematical development.
After phrenology : neural reuse and the interactive brain by Michael L. Anderson