By Michael L. Anderson
The laptop analogy of the brain has been as largely followed in modern cognitive neuroscience as was once the analogy of the mind as a set of organs in phrenology. simply because the phrenologist might insist that every organ needs to have its specific functionality, so modern cognitive neuroscience is devoted to the thought that every mind sector should have its basic 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 by way of every one sector of the mind are hugely quite a few, reflecting diverse neural partnerships demonstrated below varied situations. He proposes quantifying the sensible houses of neural assemblies when it comes to their dispositional developments relatively than their computational or information-processing operations. Exploring larger-scale matters, and drawing on facts from embodied cognition, Anderson develops an image of pondering 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 bargains a stronger healthy for those findings, and a extra promising street towards a unified technology of minded organisms.
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Extra resources for After phrenology : neural reuse and the interactive brain
In a functional connectivity analysis (Anderson, Brumbaugh, & Şuben 2010), one looks to see how often regions of the brain coactivate under various task conditions. 01) higher than would be predicted from the general probability of A being active and the general probability of B being active—then this indicates there is a functional connection between the regions. The results of such a study can be represented as a graph. A graph is simply a set of nodes joined by edges, where the nodes and edges can represent various aspects of a modeled system.
The remainder of this chapter is spent detailing the evidence for neural reuse and why the brain is built this way. In the volume as a whole, I hope to establish not just that neural reuse is a fundamental feature of the functional architecture of the brain but also that this fact calls for a thorough rethinking of how we do brain science. 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.
Unlike evolutionary psychology, embodied cognitive science (ECS) has been more interested in understanding the ways in which thinking is both influenced and partially constituted by emotional and physical states, bodily activity, and interactions among self, others, and environment (Ackerman, Nocera, & Bargh 2010; Chandler & Schwarz 2009; Chemero 2009; Kelso 1995; Lee & Schwarz 2010; Varela, Thompson, & Rosch 1990). When one is considering the neural supports for cognition, this perspective naturally places greater weight on the functional relations and interactions between neural structures than on the actions of individual regions.