After Phrenology: Neural Reuse and the Interactive Brain by Michael L. Anderson

By Michael L. Anderson

The computing device analogy of the brain has been as extensively 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 should have its specific functionality, so modern cognitive neuroscience is dedicated to the proposal that every mind sector 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 re-examine this dedication and devise an alternative, neuroscientifically grounded taxonomy of psychological functionality.

Anderson contends that the cognitive roles performed by means of every one sector of the mind are hugely quite a few, reflecting assorted neural partnerships validated less than varied situations. He proposes quantifying the sensible houses of neural assemblies by way of their dispositional trends instead of 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 deals a more robust healthy for those findings, and a extra promising highway towards a unified technological know-how of minded organisms.

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Extra info for After Phrenology: Neural Reuse and the Interactive Brain (MIT Press)

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One result of this focus had been the acceptance of a version of faculty psychology exemplified in the “adaptive toolbox” model of mind (Gigerenzer & Selten 2002), a framework also sometimes known as “massive modularity” (Carruthers 2006). Two main considerations have been primarily responsible for the focus on independent, modular neural implementations of these tools. First, evolvability appears to require that these tools be Neural Reuse in Brain Function 7 separately targetable by selection pressures (Barrett & Kurzban 2006); and second, the demand for immediate and efficient real-time operation points to massive parallelism.

2004; Venkatraman, Ansari, & Chee 2005). Zago et al. (2001) found increased activation in the premotor strip in a region implicated in finger awareness during multiplication performance compared to a digit reading condition, and similar findings were reported by Andres, Seron, and Oliver (2007), who found that hand motor structures were activated during adults’ number processing in a dot-counting task. Moreover, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) (Rusconi, Walsh, & Butterworth 2005) and direct cortical stimulation (Roux et al.

284) and reconfigured to serve present purposes. A logical place to look for evidence of such a history is in the distribution of and relationships among the neural structures supporting various cognitive functions. ECS predicts that neural structures originally evolved or developed for one purpose will be reused in later emerging functionality. 1 Three logical possibilities for the functional structure of the brain. neural structure is conserved but is often combined and recombined by different organisms in different ways to achieve diverse purposes.

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