By Michael L. Anderson
The pc analogy of the brain has been as extensively followed in modern cognitive neuroscience as was once the analogy of the mind as a suite of organs in phrenology. simply because the phrenologist may insist that every organ should have its specific functionality, so modern cognitive neuroscience is devoted to the idea that every mind sector should have its primary computation. In After Phrenology, Michael Anderson argues that to accomplish an absolutely post-phrenological technological know-how of the mind, we have to reconsider this dedication and devise an alternative, neuroscientifically grounded taxonomy of psychological function.
Anderson contends that the cognitive roles performed by way of every one zone of the mind are hugely quite a few, reflecting various neural partnerships proven below diverse situations. He proposes quantifying the useful houses of neural assemblies by way of their dispositional traits instead of their computational or information-processing operations. Exploring larger-scale concerns, and drawing on proof from embodied cognition, Anderson develops an image of considering rooted within the exploitation and extension of our early-evolving potential for iterated interplay with the area. He argues that the multidimensional method of the mind he describes deals an improved healthy for those findings, and a extra promising highway towards a unified technological know-how of minded organisms.
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Additional resources for After Phrenology: How to Study the Brain
2004) by determining whether (and how often) each was active in 1,138 experimental tasks in 11 different BrainMap task domains: action execution, action observation, action inhibition, attention, audition, vision, emotion, language semantics, reasoning, explicit (semantic) memory, and working memory (Fox et al. 2005). The simple insights behind this work are that selectivity is the inverse of diversity and that we have various methods for measuring the diversity of, say, students in colleges (Chang 1999), housing prices in neighborhoods (Byrne & Flaherty 2004), or species in an ecosystem (Hill 1973; see Jost & Chao 2008; Schleuter et al.
3 Reuse of Structures Mediated by Spatial Cognition Many of the apparent overlaps between higher-order cognition and sensorimotor systems appear to be mediated by spatial schemas in this way. For example, Richardson, Spivey, Barsalou, and McRae (2003) report that verbs are associated with meaning-specific spatial schemas. Verbs such as “hope” and “respect” activate vertical schemas, whereas verbs such as “push” and “argue” activate horizontal ones. ” In a similar vein Casasanto and Boroditsky (2008) suggest that our mental representations of time are built on the foundations of our experience with space.
We need to rethink the principles of brain evolution and development, the methods we use for functionstructure mapping, and even the categories we use in the neural and behavioral sciences. But we get to those issues later. For now we turn to the evidence that will drive our consideration of them. 1 Neural Reuse in the Evolution of the Brain Although as I noted above, the twin notions of functional localization and faculty psychology have long been powerful allies, largely dominating the scientific scene up to the present time, in science—as in history more generally—there are always parallel countercurrents.