dunnettreader + neuroscience   87

Ilkka Pyysiainen - Cognitive Science of Religion: State of the Art (2012) | Academia.edu
Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion (2012) -- article presents an introduction to the cognitive science of religion. It shows that CSR began with original theoretical approaches within the human sciences and has subsequently developed into a more empirical, interdisciplinary feld of study. The feld is growing rapidly with the appearance of several centers and projects. The most important theories, fndings, and criticisms are presented. Also the various centers of study and recent projects are described. -- Keywords -- cognition, agency, sociality, ritual -- Downloaded to Tab S2
article  downloaded  religion  cognitive_science  sociology_of_religion  religious_belief  religious_experience  religious_culture  comparative_religion  comparative_anthropology  neuroscience  cultural_transmission  cultural_change  cultural_influence  tradition  Innovation  ritual  agency  agency-structure  social_psychology  social_movements 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Ilkka Pyysiainen - Religon: From mind to society and back (2012) | Academia.edu
Book chapter - Exploring the cognitive basis of the social sciences and trying to ground the social in the cognitive requires taking an explicit stance on reduction(ism) as discussed in philosophy of science. In social science and the humanities, the question of reductionism has been especially salient in the study of religion. This chapter begins with a philosophical analysis of reduction; after that, two relatively new research programs in the study of religious thought and behavior are discussed: the standard model of the cognitive science of religion and approaches based on gene-culture coevolutionary theories. Finally, the question of reductionism is addressed and the possibility of combining multilevel explanations of religious phenomena is evaluated. -- Downloaded to Tab S2
chapter  Academia.edu  downloaded  cognitive_science  religion  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_social_science  level_of_analysis  reductionism  religious_belief  religious_experience  neuroscience  cognition  cognition-social  gene-culture_coevolution  cultural_transmission  cultural_change  sociology_of_religion  naturalism  natural_selection  evolution-social  evolution-as-model  evolution-group_selection 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Psychologists at the Gate: Review of Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow (2012) | Andrei Shleifer - J of Econ Lit
Shleifer, Andrei. 2012. “Psychologists at the Gate: Review of Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow.” Journal of Economic Literature 50 (4): 1080-1091. -- downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
investors  cognition  neuroscience  reviews  books  credit  cognitive_bias  cognitive_science  financial_regulation  Minsky  risk_assessment  asset_prices  bubbles  creditors  downloaded  financial_system  credit_booms  behavioral_economics  financial_crisis 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Embodied Cognition (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
1. Embodied vs Traditional Cognitive Science
2. Some Historical Anchors for Embodied Cognitive Science
2.1 Metaphor and Cognition
2.2 Enactive Cognition.
2.3 Rethinking Robotics.
2.4 Ecological Perception.
2.5 Dynamicism and Development
2.6 Phenomenology
3. What Embodied Cognition Is
4. Embodiment vs Tradition on Three Issues
4.1 Modularity
4.2 Mental Representation.
4.3 Nativism
5. Empirical Domains for Embodied Cognition
5.1 Visual Consciousness
5.2 Concepts
5.3 Memory.
5.4 Other Minds.
5.5 Moral Cognition.
6. Sharper Divides Over Embodied Cognition
6.1 Payoffs for empirical research.
6.2 Accommodation by traditional cognitive science
6.3 Embodied cognition and the extended mind thesis.
6.4 Agency, the self, and subjectivity.
bibliography  philosophy_of_mind  mind-body  mind  embodied_cognition  neuroscience  phenomenology  innatism  innate_ideas  theory_of_mind  perception  memory  cognition  emotions  representation-metaphysics  child_development  language  moral_psychology 
july 2016 by dunnettreader
New Brain Map Shows Nearly 100 Undiscovered Regions | Big Think - July 2016
Big splash including short video in Nature - combination of lots more subjects examined than usual, having them do more while examined, a verification/falsification stage where another large group was examined with same protocol, and using some machine learning to identify areas where they might find a region correlated with a function
Pocket  neuroscience  from pocket
july 2016 by dunnettreader
Consciousness (pages 11-18) | Symposion. Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences - Jan 2015
Nicholas Rescher

ABSTRACT: Consciousness is sometimes viewed as a particular parametric factor in the analogy of blood pressure or electric charge. The paper argues that this is an erroneous conception becomes consciousness involves a varied assortment of different phenomena that have no single unified commonality. And so even as ‘abnormal psychology’ has to be a disjointed assembly of diverse specialties so will ‘consciousness studies’ have to be.
neuroscience  article  mind-body  philosophy_of_science  reductionism  human_nature  psychology  downloaded  consciousness  mind 
may 2016 by dunnettreader
Ruairidh James Macleod - The Concept of Temporality in John Dewey's Early Works (2015 thesis) - Academic Commons
Ruairidh James Macleod, 2015, The Concept of Temporality in John Dewey's Early Works, Columbia University Academic Commons, http://dx.doi.org/10.7916/D8M044XW : -- It is well understood that a concept of temporality is central to Dewey’s later work, finding its culmination in his essay “Time and Individuality” (1938). What has not been either acknowledged or established is the fact that a detailed and sophisticated concept of temporality, one which is fully in accord with his later work, was already present in Dewey’s early work, particularly in his essay “The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology” (1896). This thesis therefore seeks to demonstrate not only that such a concept of temporality exists in Dewey’s early work, but also the nuanced nature of that concept of temporality, particularly in its function as a central, grounding component of the preconditions required for Dewey’s concept of experience. (..) this thesis argues that it in fact constitutes a key contribution to a tradition of philosophy of temporality which starts with the work of Henri Bergson, continues with the philosophy of Martin Heidegger (most saliently with Being and Time), and finds its full contemporary statement in Gilles Deleuze’s work on time, based on his concept of ‘the virtual.’ The fact that Dewey’s concept of temporality, as with that of Deleuze, is based on a sophisticated understanding of contemporary scientific findings is also explored, with the argument made that possessing such a foundation in scientific thought allows Dewey’s concept of temporality to become fully compatible to current research in psychology, particularly as it concerns educational psychology. -- downloaded pdf to Note
thesis  downloaded  intellectual_history  18thC  20thC  philosophical_anthropology  mind  consciousness  time  time-perception  subjectivity  Dewey  pragmatism  psychology  physiology  neuroscience  Bergson  Heidegger  Deleuze  education  learning 
april 2016 by dunnettreader
The Artful Brain Conference - Margaret Livingstone - What Art can tell us about the Brain | School of Advanced Study, University of London
The Artful Brain Conference: What Art can tell us about the Brain - Margaret Livingstone (Harvard)

Artists have been doing experiments on vision longer than neurobiologists. Some major works of art have provided insights as to how we see; some of these insights are so fundamental that they can be understood in terms of the underlying neurobiology. For example, artists have long realized that color and luminance can play independent roles in visual perception. Picasso said, "Colors are only symbols. Reality is to be found in luminance alone." This observation has a parallel in the functional subdivision of our visual systems, where color and luminance are processed by the newer, primate-specific What system, and the older, colorblind, Where (or How) system. Many techniques developed over the centuries by artists can be understood in terms of the parallel organization of our visual systems. I will explore how the segregation of color and luminance processing are the basis for why some Impressionist paintings seem to shimmer, why some op art paintings seem to move, some principles of Matisse's use of color, and how the Impressionists painted "air". Central and peripheral vision are distinct, and I will show how the differences in resolution across our visual field make the Mona Lisa's smile elusive, and produce a dynamic illusion in Pointillist paintings, Chuck Close paintings, and photomosaics. I will explore how artists have intuited important features about how our brains extract relevant information about faces and objects, and I will discuss why learning disabilities may be associated with artistic talent.
brain  neuroscience  lecture  perception  video  conference  painting  vision  art 
march 2016 by dunnettreader
Mahrad Almotahari interview with Richard Marshall - Not and Other Metalinguistic Stuff - 3AM
Interview by Richard Marshall. Mahrad Almotahari is an Assistant Professor and a member of UIC’s Laboratory of Integrative Neuroscience. He earned his PhD from…
Instapaper  interview  philosophy_of_science  neuroscience  cognition  mind  mind-body  linguistics  logic  from instapaper
march 2016 by dunnettreader
Lionel Fouré - Entretien avec Vincent Descombes (2005) - Cairn.info
Fouré Lionel, « Entretien avec Vincent Descombes. », Le Philosophoire 2/2005 (n° 25) , p. 7-20
URL : www.cairn.info/revue-le-philosophoire-2005-2-page-7.htm.
DOI : 10.3917/phoir.025.0007.
elite_culture  human_nature  comparative_anthropology  modernity  mind  downloaded  epistemology  social_theory  French_intellectuals  philosophy_of_social_science  modernity-emergence  subjectivity  mass_culture  interview  identity  postmodern  neuroscience  nature-nurture 
february 2016 by dunnettreader
Weibel P, Sloterdijk P, Finkielkraut A, Houellebecq M - La nouvelle conception de l'homme. La construction de l'être humain (2004) - Cairn.info
Weibel Peter, Sloterdijk Peter, Finkielkraut Alain, Houellebecq Michel, « La nouvelle conception de l'homme. La construction de l'être humain. », Le Philosophoire 2/2004 (n° 23) , p. 32-55
URL : www.cairn.info/revue-le-philosophoire-2004-2-page-32.htm.
DOI : 10.3917/phoir.023.0032.
Transcript from 2001 conference
Downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
21stC  evolution-social  biocultural_evolution  Modernism  humanism  downloaded  posthumanism  human_nature  change-social  conference  genetics  anti-humanism  neuroscience  social_theory  postmodern 
february 2016 by dunnettreader
Todd K Shackelford and James R Liddle - An overview of evolutionary psychology, Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Cognitive science (2014) | via Researchgate
Understanding the mind from an evolutionary perspective: An overview of evolutionary psychology, Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Cognitive science, 05/2014; 5(3). DOI: 10.1002/wcs.1281 (Impact Factor: 0.79). -- ABSTRACT --
The theory of evolution by natural selection provides the only scientific explanation for the existence of complex adaptations. The design features of the brain, like any organ, are the result of selection pressures operating over deep time. Evolutionary psychology posits that the human brain comprises a multitude of evolved psychological mechanisms, adaptations to specific and recurrent problems of survival and reproduction faced over human evolutionary history. Although some mistakenly view evolutionary psychology as promoting genetic determinism, evolutionary psychologists appreciate and emphasize the interactions between genes and environments. This approach to psychology has led to a richer understanding of a variety of psychological phenomena, and has provided a powerful foundation for generating novel hypotheses. Critics argue that evolutionary psychologists resort to storytelling, but as with any branch of science, empirical testing is a vital component of the field, with hypotheses standing or falling with the weight of the evidence. Evolutionary psychology is uniquely suited to provide a unifying theoretical framework for the disparate subdisciplines of psychology. An evolutionary perspective has provided insights into several subdisciplines of psychology, while simultaneously demonstrating the arbitrary nature of dividing psychological science into such subdisciplines. Evolutionary psychologists have amassed a substantial empirical and theoretical literature, but as a relatively new approach to psychology, many questions remain, with several promising directions for future research. For further resources related to this article, see the WIREs website. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  Wiley  evolutionary_biology  biocultural_evolution  evo_psych  psychology  mind  neuroscience  natural_selection  bibliography  downloaded 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
Philip Ball - Why story is used to explain symphonies and sport matches - Aeon
It’s a movie classic. The lovers are out for a walk when a villain dashes out of his house and starts fighting the man. The woman takes refuge in the house;…
neuroscience  evo_psych  narrative  complexity  causation  cognitive_bias  cognition  cognition-social  epistemology-naturalism  Instapaper  from instapaper
november 2015 by dunnettreader
Jared P. Friedman and Anthony I. Jack - Mapping cognitive structure onto philosophical debate re problems of consciousness, free will and ethics | Minds Online - Sept 2015 - Session 1 - Social Cognition
Mapping cognitive structure onto the landscape of philosophical debate: An empirical framework with relevance to problems of consciousness, free will and ethics -- Department of Philosophy and Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, Case Western Reserve University -- There are some seemingly intractable questions that have remained at the heart of philosophical discourse since they were first asked. Is the mind distinct from the brain or are we just physical stuff? Are we autonomous agents or merely at the mercy of the causal and mechanistic laws of nature? When, if ever, is it acceptable to sacrifice one for the greater good of many? That these questions have remained at the heart of philosophy for so long, and that their ‘solutions’ (e.g., monism vs. dualism) seem to be incommensurable with each other, strikes us as enigmatic. Might the intractable nature of these and other appropriately identified problems reflect something peculiar about us rather than something peculiar about the way the world is? (...) This account maintains that the difficulties reconciling markedly different philosophical responses to these three questions arise from an unavoidable tension between two anatomically independent and functionally inhibitory neural networks, both of which are essential to human understanding. This account is motivated by the observation that both philosophers and non-philosophers experience difficulty in reconciling competing responses to these questions. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  conference  cognition  antimonies  consciousness  mind-body  neuroscience  determinism  free_will  naturalism  physicalism  reductionism  causation  moral_philosophy  metaethics  intuitions  brain  experimental_philosophy  analytical_philosophy  James_William  monism  dualism  downloaded 
september 2015 by dunnettreader
Emmanuel Bezy, review - Pascale Gillot, L’esprit, figures classiques et contemporaines - Histoire du mind-body problem - La Vie des idées - 10 janvier 2008
Pascale Gillot, L’esprit, figures classiques et contemporaines, Paris, CNRS Editions, 2007, 315 p., 30 euros. -- Si l’esprit et le corps sont des substances séparées et distinctes, comment peuvent-ils agir l’un sur l’autre ? P. Gillot montre dans son ouvrage les différentes réponses que la philosophie de l’esprit a apportées au problème ainsi formulé par Descartes. Mais ces réponses parviennent difficilement, selon elle, à s’affranchir totalement du cartésianisme. -- L’ouvrage de Pascale Gillot peut se lire de deux manières, qui ne sont pas exclusives l’une de l’autre : il constitue à la fois une introduction à la philosophie de l’esprit et une mise en perspective de la philosophie de l’esprit contemporaine, telle qu’elle s’est développée aux Etats-Unis depuis le tournant cognitiviste. Pascale Gillot expose la construction du problème du corps et de l’esprit, puis elle met en évidence les rémanences de cette problématique de William James à Jaegwon Kim. -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  French_language  intellectual_history  17thC  18thC  20thC  21stC  mind  mind-body  cogito  Cartesian  Descartes  James_William  dualism  cognition  neuroscience  psychology  metaphysics  essence  substance  human_nature  analytical_philosophy  naturalism  reductionism  thinking_matter  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews - July 2015
This is a ground-breaking philosophical exploration of consciousness and the self as they occur across the states of waking, falling asleep, dreaming, lucid…
Instapaper  books  reviews  consciousness  self  dreaming  neuroscience  Buddhism  meditation  self-consciousness  from instapaper
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Noah Millman - Was Origen the Caitlyn Jenner of the Transabled? | The American Conservative - June 2015
I’m afraid I’m going to re-enter the fray. Rod Dreher has a piece today wondering whether the next step in our cultural development (or decline) will be the… Another superb piece by Millman illustrating how Dreher's hostility to changing cultural norms gets wrapped in a blanket condemnation of "modernity" (and liberalism, individualism, autonomy, and generally Enlightenment values) yet Dreher is committed to Enlightenment benefits of increased knowledge, and insists on liberalism's commitment to personal religious liberty. So it basically comes down to liberty for me but not for thee, with the Church authority for norm-setting both impervious to scientific and cultural change, and claiming an extension over those who don't recognize the Chyrch's authority. The example of Origen, whose spiritual commitment led to self-castration, and who wasn't condemned by the senior hierarchy (prior to the Church legislating on a range of norms dealing with the body and especially sexuality and gender, which was one reason Origen was never made a saint). Millman also has a lengthy passage from Tolstoy about a priest, sexual tension, spiritual demands and self-mutilation, with Tolstoy's final conclusion that this sort of psychological turmoil wasn’t the praiseworthy attitudes and action of a saint but self-absorbed cintra Christ's teaching. Tl; dr -- Dreher can't have it both ways (or in his case what seems like an ever-growing laundry list of contradictory ways). -- saved to Instapaper
Instapaper  sexuality  gender  gender-and-religion  norms  Early_Christian  theology  declinism  modernity  liberalism  Orthodox_Christianity  authority  individualism  autonomy  culture_wars  culture-American  cultural_change  cultural_authority  psychology  identity  biology  physiology  neuroscience  Tolstoy  religious_experience  religious_culture  religion-established  civil_liberties  bill_of_rights  from instapaper
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Caroline Jacot Grapa - Dans le vif du sujet - Diderot, corps et âme ( 2009) | Classiques Garnier - collection L'Europe des Lumières
Ce livre est un essai sur le style du matérialisme de Diderot, sa psychologie, sa métaphysique et sur les figures de l'intériorité des Lumières. La langue de l'intériorité, apanage de la spiritualité, se retrempe au contact sensible des métaphores de l'époque. Elles donnent accès à un savoir nouveau de la vie corporelle. L'actualité de cet essai tient au dialogue qu'il engage avec la phénoménologie et les neurosciences. -- This work is an essay on the style of Diderot's materialism, his psychology and his metaphysics. Its modern pertinence stems from the dialogue established with phenomenology and neurosciences. -- ISBN 978-2-8124-0046-9 -- 504 pages -- looks extremely interesting -- tracking reception of British empiricism, debates over various Cartesian proposals for dealing with animals, and the new directions taken both in life sciences and psychology and the metaphysics of materialism -- downloaded TOC as pdf to Note
books  find  amazon.fr  libraries  intellectual_history  history_of_science  philosophy_of_science  natural_philosophy  18thC  France  Diderot  d'Alembert  d'Holbach  Cartesian  Locke  Newton  Newtonian  Encyclopédie  Republic_of_Letters  philosophes  Scientific_Revolution  Enlightenment  French_Enlightenment  Vitalism  psychology  thinking_matter  anatomy  physiology  scientific_method  organism  subject  subjectivity  phenomenology  neuroscience  materialism  metaphysics  mind  mind-body  soul  human_nature  metaphor  French_language  French_lit  downloaded 
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Seamus Bradley Imprecise Probabilities (Dec 2014) | Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
It has been argued that imprecise probabilities are a natural and intuitive way of overcoming some of the issues with orthodox precise probabilities. Models of this type have a long pedigree, and interest in such models has been growing in recent years. This article introduces the theory of imprecise probabilities, discusses the motivations for their use and their possible advantages over the standard precise model. It then discusses some philosophical issues raised by this model. There is also a historical appendix which provides an overview of some important thinkers who appear sympathetic to imprecise probabilities. *-* Related Entries -- belief, formal representations of | epistemic utility arguments for probabilism | epistemology: Bayesian | probability, interpretations of | rational choice, normative: expected utility | statistics, philosophy of | vagueness
epistemology  philosophy_of_science  technology  probability  risk  uncertainty  rational_choice  rationality-economics  rationality  rationality-bounded  statistics  Bayesian  linguistics  causation  causation-social  causation-evolutionary  complexity  complex_adaptive_systems  utility  behavioral_economics  behavioralism  neuroscience  vagueness 
february 2015 by dunnettreader
UMA RAMAMURTHY, STAN FRANKLIN, and PULIN AGRAWAL - SELF-SYSTEM IN A MODEL OF COGNITION | International Journal of Machine Consciousness: Vol. 04, No. 02 December 2012 (World Scientific)
Philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists have proposed various forms of a "self" in humans and animals. All of these selves seem to have a basis in some form of consciousness. The Global Workspace Theory (GWT) [Baars, 1988, 2003] suggests a mostly unconscious, many-layered self-system. In this paper, we consider several issues that arise from attempts to include a self-system in a software agent/cognitive robot. We explore these issues in the context of the LIDA model [Baars and Franklin, 2009; Ramamurthy et al., 2006] which implements the Global Workspace Theory.
Keywords: Consciousness; self-system; Global Workspace Theory; LIDA model
article  consciousness  self  mind  unconscious  neuroscience  artificial_intelligence  agent-based_models  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
IEEE Xplore Abstract Franklin, S.; Madl, T. ; D'mello, S. ; Snaider, J. - LIDA: A Systems-level Architecture for Cognition, Emotion, and Learning (2014)
IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development, (Volume:6 , Issue: 1 ) Page(s):19 - 41 DOI:10.1109/TAMD.2013.2277589 -- We describe a cognitive architecture learning intelligent distribution agent (LIDA) that affords attention, action selection and human-like learning intended for use in controlling cognitive agents that replicate human experiments as well as performing real-world tasks. LIDA combines sophisticated action selection, motivation via emotions, a centrally important attention mechanism, and multimodal instructionalist and selectionist learning. Empirically grounded in cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience, the LIDA architecture employs a variety of modules and processes, each with its own effective representations and algorithms. LIDA has much to say about motivation, emotion, attention, and autonomous learning in cognitive agents. In this paper, we summarize the LIDA model together with its resulting agent architecture, describe its computational implementation, and discuss results of simulations that replicate known experimental data. We also discuss some of LIDA's conceptual modules, propose nonlinear dynamics as a bridge between LIDA's modules and processes and the underlying neuroscience, and point out some of the differences between LIDA and other cognitive architectures. Finally, we discuss how LIDA addresses some of the open issues in cognitive architecture research. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  neuroscience  psychology  brain  consciousness  cognition  emotions  learning  memory  attention  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Madl T, Baars BJ, Franklin S (2011) The Timing of the Cognitive Cycle. | PLoS ONE 6(4)
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014803 -- We propose that human cognition consists of cascading cycles of recurring brain events. Each cognitive cycle senses the current situation, interprets it with reference to ongoing goals, and then selects an internal or external action in response. While most aspects of the cognitive cycle are unconscious, each cycle also yields a momentary “ignition” of conscious broadcasting. Neuroscientists have independently proposed ideas similar to the cognitive cycle, the fundamental hypothesis of the LIDA (Learning Intelligent Distribution Agent) model of cognition. High-level cognition, such as deliberation, planning, etc., is typically enabled by multiple cognitive cycles. In this paper we describe a timing model of LIDA's cognitive cycle. -- The action selection component of the cycle is proposed to involve frontal, striatal and cerebellar regions. Thus the cycle is inherently recurrent, as the anatomy of the thalamocortical system suggests. The LIDA model fits a large body of cognitive and neuroscientific evidence. Finally, we describe two LIDA-based software agents: the LIDA Reaction Time agent that simulates human performance in a simple reaction time task, and the LIDA Allport agent which models phenomenal simultaneity within timeframes comparable to human subjects. While there are many models of reaction time performance, these results fall naturally out of a biologically and computationally plausible cognitive architecture. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  neuroscience  cognition  consciousness  brain  perception  memory  learning  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Melanie Boly et al - Consciousness in humans and non-human animals: recent advances and future directions (2013) | Frontiers of Psychology - Consciousness Research
Review ARTICLE - Frontiers of Psychology, 31 October 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00625 -- Melanie Boly1,2,3*, Anil K. Seth4,5, Melanie Wilke6,7, Paul Ingmundson8, Bernard Baars9, Steven Laureys3, David B. Edelman10 and Naotsugu Tsuchiya11,12 -- This joint article reflects the authors' personal views regarding noteworthy advances in the neuroscience of consciousness in the last 10 years, and suggests what we feel may be promising future directions. It is based on a small conference in July of 2012, organized by the Mind Science Foundation of San Antonio,. We summarize recent advances in our understanding of subjectivity in humans and other animals, including empirical, applied, technical, and conceptual insights. These include the evidence for the importance of fronto-parietal connectivity and of “top-down” processes, both of which enable information to travel across distant cortical areas effectively, as well as numerous dissociations between consciousness and cognitive functions, such as attention, in humans. In addition, we describe the development of mental imagery paradigms, which made it possible to identify covert awareness in non-responsive subjects. Non-human animal consciousness research has also witnessed substantial advances on the specific role of cortical areas and higher order thalamus for consciousness, thanks to important technological enhancements. In addition, much progress has been made in the understanding of non-vertebrate cognition relevant to possible conscious states. Finally, major advances have been made in theories of consciousness, and also in their comparison with the available evidence. Along with reviewing these findings, each author suggests future avenues for research in their field of investigation.
Keywords: consciousness, animals, human cognition, theoretical neuroscience, biotechnology, neuroimaging

Citation: Boly M, Seth AK, Wilke M, Ingmundson P, Baars B, Laureys S, Edelman DB and Tsuchiya N (2013) Consciousness in humans and non-human animals: recent advances and future directions. Front. Psychol. 4:625. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00625
article  neuroscience  consciousness  cognition  brain  animals  physiology  mind  mind-body  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Gaëlle Desbordes et al - Effects of mindful-attention and compassion meditation training on amygdala response to emotional stimuli in an ordinary, non-meditative state (2012) | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Original Research ARTICLE - Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, 01 November 2012 | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00292 -- Gaëlle Desbordes1,2*, Lobsang T. Negi3, Thaddeus W. W. Pace4, B. Alan Wallace5, Charles L. Raison6 and Eric L. Schwartz2,7 - authors in brain research, imaging, computational engineering, psychiatry, and religious studies from Mass General, Boston U, Emory, U of Arizona -- In this study, we investigated how 8 weeks of training in meditation affects amygdala responses to emotional stimuli in subjects when in a non-meditative state. Healthy adults with no prior meditation experience took part in 8 weeks of either Mindful Attention Training (MAT), Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT; a program based on Tibetan Buddhist compassion meditation practices), or an active control intervention. Before and after the intervention, participants underwent an fMRI experiment during which they were presented images with positive, negative, and neutral emotional valences from the IAPS database while remaining in an ordinary, non-meditative state. Using a region-of-interest analysis, we found a longitudinal decrease in right amygdala activation in the Mindful Attention group in response to positive images, and in response to images of all valences overall. In the CBCT group, we found a trend increase in right amygdala response to negative images, which was significantly correlated with a decrease in depression score. No effects or trends were observed in the control group. This finding suggests that the effects of meditation training on emotional processing might transfer to non-meditative states. This is consistent with the hypothesis that meditation training may induce learning that is not stimulus- or task-specific, but process-specific, and thereby may result in enduring changes in mental function. -- didn't download
article  neuroscience  emotions  attention  meditation  Buddhism 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Catherine E. Kerr et al - Mindfulness starts with the body: somatosensory attention and top-down modulation of cortical alpha rhythms in mindfulness meditation (2013) | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Review ARTICLE - Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, 13 February 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00012 -- Catherine E. Kerr1*, Matthew D. Sacchet2,3, Sara W. Lazar4, Christopher I. Moore5 and Stephanie R. Jones4,5 - authors from Brown, Stanford and Mass General -- Using a common set of mindfulness exercises, mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) have been shown to reduce distress in chronic pain and decrease risk of depression relapse. These standardized mindfulness (ST-Mindfulness) practices predominantly require attending to breath and body sensations. Here, we offer a novel view of ST-Mindfulness's somatic focus as a form of training for optimizing attentional modulation of 7–14 Hz alpha rhythms that play a key role in filtering inputs to primary sensory neocortex and organizing the flow of sensory information in the brain. (..) Our computational model predicts ST-Mindfulness enhances top-down modulation of alpha by facilitating precise alterations in timing and efficacy of SI thalamocortical inputs. We conclude by considering how the framework aligns with Buddhist teachings that mindfulness starts with “mindfulness of the body.” Translating this theory into neurophysiology, we hypothesize that with its somatic focus, mindfulness' top-down alpha rhythm modulation in SI enhances gain control which, in turn, sensitizes practitioners to better detect and regulate when the mind wanders from its somatic focus. This enhanced regulation of somatic mind-wandering may be an important early stage of mindfulness training that leads to enhanced cognitive regulation and metacognition. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  neuroscience  brain  perception  psychology  pain  Buddhism  meditation  physiology  health  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Kieran Fox et al - Is thinking really aversive? Commentary on Wilson et al.’s “Just think: The challenges of the disengaged mind” | Frontiers of Psychology - Cognition
Shoots down silly but highly publicized claim that people would rather undergo electric shocks than sit by themselves and "just think" for 15 minutes. They go through the experiment setups and data sets and show that the experiments demonstrated nothing like the dramatic claims but rather were consistent with prior research. Opinion ARTICLE -- Frontiers of Psychology | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01427 -- Kieran C. Fox1, Evan Thompson2, Jessica R. Andrews-Hanna4 and Kalina Christoff1, 3* -- Spontaneous thought, often colloquially referred to as ‘daydreaming’ or ‘mind-wandering,’ is increasingly being investigated by scientists (for recent reviews, see Andrews-Hanna et al., 2014; Christoff, 2012; Smallwood and Schooler, 2014). In a recent article published in Science, Wilson et al. (2014) argue in support of the view (e.g., Killingsworth & Gilbert, 2010) that such thinking is predominantly unpleasant, and even emotionally aversive. While we were impressed with the enormous wealth of data collected by Wilson et al. and by the number of experimental manipulations carried out, we found their interpretations surprising in light of prior research. We applaud Wilson et al.’s detailed effort to investigate the content and affective qualities of ‘just thinking’ – but upon examining their dataset, we find little support for their claims. -- didn't download
article  neuroscience  psychology  behavior  mind  bad_journalism  science-public  bad_science  emotions 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Jeroen J. A. van Boxtel, Naotsugu Tsuchiya and Christof Koch - Consciousness and Attention: On Sufficiency and Necessity | Consciousness Research
Review ARTICLE - Frontiers of Psychology, 20 December 2010 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00217 - authors from or affiliated with CalTech (biology and humanities) and Tsuchiya is connected with both CalTech and brain institutes at Tamagawa University, Tokyo, Japan and Korea University, Seoul, Korea -- Recent research has slowly corroded a belief that selective attention and consciousness are so tightly entangled that they cannot be individually examined. In this review, we summarize psychophysical and neurophysiological evidence for a dissociation between top-down attention and consciousness. The evidence includes recent findings that show subjects can attend to perceptually invisible objects. More contentious is the finding that subjects can become conscious of an isolated object, or the gist of the scene in the near absence of top-down attention; we critically re-examine the possibility of “complete” absence of top-down attention. We also cover the recent flurry of studies that utilized independent manipulation of attention and consciousness. These studies have shown paradoxical effects of attention, including examples where top-down attention and consciousness have opposing effects, leading us to strengthen and revise our previous views. Neuroimaging studies with EEG, MEG, and fMRI are uncovering the distinct neuronal correlates of selective attention and consciousness in dissociative paradigms. These findings point to a functional dissociation: attention as analyzer and consciousness as synthesizer. Separating the effects of selective visual attention from those of visual consciousness is of paramount importance to untangle the neural substrates of consciousness from those for attention. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  neuroscience  psychology  mind  perception  consciousness  attention  unconscious  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Tim Gard et al - Potential self-regulatory mechanisms of yoga for psychological health | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience Sept 2014
Tim Gard1,2,3†, Jessica J. Noggle4†, Crystal L. Park5†, David R. Vago6*† and Angela Wilson7† -- authors from variety of prestigious Boston institutions from Harvard to Mass General and sleep Institute at Brigham and Women's plus one from Germany and Maastricht -- Research suggesting the beneficial effects of yoga on myriad aspects of psychological health has proliferated in recent years, yet there is currently no overarching framework by which to understand yoga’s potential beneficial effects. Here we provide a theoretical framework and systems-based network model of yoga that focuses on integration of top-down and bottom-up forms of self-regulation. We begin by contextualizing yoga in historical and contemporary settings, and then detail how specific components of yoga practice may affect cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and autonomic output under stress through an emphasis on interoception and bottom-up input, resulting in physical and psychological health. The model describes yoga practice as a comprehensive skillset of synergistic process tools that facilitate bidirectional feedback and integration between high- and low-level brain networks, and afferent and re-afferent input from interoceptive processes (somatosensory, viscerosensory, chemosensory). From a predictive coding perspective we propose a shift to perceptual inference for stress modulation and optimal self-regulation. We describe how the processes that sub-serve self-regulation become more automatized and efficient over time and practice, requiring less effort to initiate when necessary and terminate more rapidly when no longer needed. To support our proposed model, we present the available evidence for yoga affecting self-regulatory pathways, integrating existing constructs from behavior theory and cognitive neuroscience with emerging yoga and meditation research. This paper is intended to guide future basic and clinical research, specifically targeting areas of development in the treatment of stress-mediated psychological disorders. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  neuroscience  brain-development  plasticity  habit  self-regulation  neuro-endocrine_system  psychology  yoga  health  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Denis Larrivee and Adriana Gini - Neuroplasticity and the Reemergence of Virtue | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2014
Opinion ARTICLE - Front. Hum. Neurosci., 18 September 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00731 -- Is the philosophical construct of “habitus operativus bonus” compatible with the modern neuroscience concept of human flourishing through neuroplasticity? A consideration of prudence as a multidimensional regulator of virtue - Denis Larrivee1* and Adriana Gini2 - 1Educational Outreach Office, Catholic Diocese of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA - 2Neuroradiology Division, Neuroscience Department, San Camillo-Forlanini Medical Center, Rome, Italy Unlike ancient Greece where personal virtue was the route to fulfillment, modern man typically seeks to improve human well-being by external means, in a process known as the medicalization of society. The apparent novelty of recent proposals in psychological theory to develop character strength, therefore, lies in their reemphasis on a personal implementation of positive values. Among the factors contributing to a new look at self-determination has been the capacity for the neural substrate to selectively alter itself via neuroplasticity. Indeed, the confluence of past and contemporary thinking may presage a consideration of neurobiological instantiation within which virtuous behavior may be enhanced in accord with principles governing neuroplastic change. But what are virtues and positive traits? And to what extent can these conceptions inform our growing understanding of the neural contribution to human behavior? -- full title is enormous, referring to Aquinas formula and written by at least one author committed to Catholic Thomism - discussion of Aristotle also -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  philosophy  ancient_philosophy  Aristotle  Aquinas  Thomism-21stC  moral_philosophy  mind  habit  neuroscience  cognition  plasticity  prudence  practical_reason  character  virtue  psychology  brain  brain-development  self-development  self-regulation  phronesis  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Gloria Balderas, Opinion Article - Habits as learning enhancers (2014) | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Opinion ARTICLE -- Frontiers of Human Neuroscience., 14 November 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00918- Departamento de Filosofía, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain -- Introduction - Habits are usually associated with both a positive and a negative consequence. The positive consequence is that habits liberate attentional resources and mechanisms, thus enabling organisms to perform simultaneous or more complex actions. The negative consequence is that habits become rigid behaviors which persist despite producing harmful outcomes, as in addictions and some neurological disorders. This article proposes that habits also function as learning enhancers. The plausibility of this statement is supported by results from research on word-trained dogs. (..) Evidence has been found that dogs are able to fast map. In studies of language acquisition, the ability to make accurate assumptions about the referent of an unfamiliar word is called fast mapping, a phenomenon that has been observed especially in toddlers. This article argues that the training in words forms habits that predispose dogs to establish a new word-object association. The definition of learning as ontogenetic adaptation and the hierarchical view of habit are expounded in Section Learning and Habits. Taking into account these notions, the results of experiments on fast mapping in dogs are presented in Section Fast Mapping in Dogs and Learned Habits, to show that habits work as learning enhancers. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  neuroscience  learning  habit  fast_mapping  language  development  development-biological  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Bernacer J and Murillo JI - The Aristotelian conception of habit and its contribution to human neuroscience (2014) | Frontiers of Human Neuroscience. 8:883. - doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00883 Frontiers | The Aristotelian conception of habit and its contribut
Mind-Brain Group, Institute for Culture and Society, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain, Edited by: Jose Angel Lombo, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Italy -- Reviewed by: Katie A. Jennings, University of Oxford, UK - Carol Seger, Colorado State University, USA - Hypothesis & Theory ARTICLE - The notion of habit used in neuroscience is an inheritance from a particular theoretical origin, whose main source is William James. Thus, habits have been characterized as rigid, automatic, unconscious, and opposed to goal-directed actions. This analysis leaves unexplained several aspects of human behavior and cognition where habits are of great importance.(..) We summarize the current notion of habit in neuroscience, its philosophical inspiration and the problems that arise from it, mostly centered on the sharp distinction between goal-directed actions and habitual behavior. We then introduce the Aristotelian view and compare it with that of James. For Aristotle, a habit is an acquired disposition to perform certain types of action. If this disposition involves an enhanced cognitive control of actions, it can be considered a “habit-as-learning”. The current view of habit in neuroscience, which lacks cognitive control and we term “habit-as-routine”, is also covered by the Aristotelian conception. He classifies habits into three categories: (1) theoretical, or the retention of learning understood as “knowing that x is so”; (2) behavioral, through which the agent achieves a rational control of emotion-permeated behavior (“knowing how to behave”); and (3) technical or learned skills (“knowing how to make or to do”). Finally, we propose new areas of research where this “novel” conception of habit could serve as a framework concept, from the cognitive enrichment of actions to the role of habits in pathological conditions. In all, this contribution may shed light on the understanding of habits as an important feature of human action. Habits, viewed as a cognitive enrichment of behavior, are a crucial resource for understanding human learning and behavioral plasticity. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  human_nature  behavior  habit  psychology  epistemology  learning  neuroscience  cognition  brain-development  memory  Aristotle  Aristotelian  James_William  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Marta Florio and Wieland B. Huttner - Neural progenitors, neurogenesis and the evolution of the neocortex (2014) | Development - online Journal of development biology
REVIEW - Abstract - The neocortex is the seat of higher cognitive functions and, in evolutionary terms, is the youngest part of the mammalian brain. Since its origin, the neocortex has expanded in several mammalian lineages, and this is particularly notable in humans. This expansion reflects an increase in the number of neocortical neurons, which is determined during development and primarily reflects the number of neurogenic divisions of distinct classes of neural progenitor cells. Consequently, the evolutionary expansion of the neocortex and the concomitant increase in the numbers of neurons produced during development entail interspecies differences in neural progenitor biology. Here, we review the diversity of neocortical neural progenitors, their interspecies variations and their roles in determining the evolutionary increase in neuron numbers and neocortex size. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  neuroscience  evolutionary_biology  evolution  brain  brain-development  primates  human_nature  genetics  molecular_biology  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Simon M. G. Braun and Sebastian Jessberger - Adult neurogenesis: mechanisms and functional significance (2014) | Development - online Journal of development biology
DEVELOPMENT AT A GLANCE -- Abstract - New neurons are generated throughout life in distinct regions of the mammalian brain. This process, called adult neurogenesis, has been implicated in physiological brain function, and failing or altered neurogenesis has been associated with a number of neuropsychiatric diseases. Here, we provide an overview of the mechanisms governing the neurogenic process in the adult brain and describe how new neurons may contribute to brain function in health and disease.
article  neuroscience  brain-development  brain  genetics  epigenetics  physiology  psychology  plasticity  neurogenesis  primates  molecular_biology  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Jens Rister, Claude Desplan, and Daniel Vasiliauskas - Primer Series: Establishing and maintaining gene expression patterns: insights from sensory receptor patterning (2013)
Development. Feb 1, 2013; 140(3): 493–503. - doi: 10.1242/dev.079095 - PMCID: PMC3561783 - Primer Series - In this Primer, we summarize our current understanding of the mechanisms governing SR patterning in the fly retina, one of the best-understood systems for SR gene choice. We then compare these regulatory mechanisms with those used in the mouse retina and in the fly and mouse olfactory systems. -- Abstract - In visual and olfactory sensory systems with high discriminatory power, each sensory neuron typically expresses one, or very few, sensory receptor genes, excluding all others. Recent studies have provided insights into the mechanisms that generate and maintain sensory receptor expression patterns. Here, we review how this is achieved in the fly retina and compare it with the mechanisms controlling sensory receptor expression patterns in the mouse retina and in the mouse and fly olfactory systems. -- Introduction - Multicellular organisms are able to perceive and discriminate a broad range of environmental stimuli within a number of sensory modalities. To achieve this, the visual and olfactory systems deploy large numbers of sensory receptors (SRs). For example, five Rhodopsin genes are differentially expressed in the fly retina while over 1200 olfactory receptor genes are expressed in the nose of the mouse . In sensory systems of high discriminatory power, each sensory neuron generally expresses only one or very few SR gene(s), excluding all others . Importantly, the choice of expressing a particular SR determines the identity and response spectrum of the sensory neuron. Thus, each sensory neuron faces two regulatory challenges during its terminal differentiation: it first has to make an unambiguous choice of SR expression, and it must then maintain this decision throughout its lifespan. Failure in either case would compromise the ability of the sensory system to discriminate between stimuli. -- downloaded pdf to Note Keywords: Hippo pathway, Cell identity maintenance, Olfactory receptor, Opsin, Photoreceptor, Sensory --
article  neuroscience  brain  perception  sensation  brain-development  vision  molecular_biology  genetics  epigenetics  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Kevin T. Eade, et al - Developmental Transcriptional Networks Are Required to Maintain Neuronal Subtype Identity in the Mature Nervous System (2012)
PLoS Genet. Feb 2012; 8(2): e1002501.-- doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002501
PMCID: PMC3285578 -- Kevin T. Eade, Hailey A. Fancher, Marc S. Ridyard, and Douglas W. Allan* - William A. Harris, Editor -- Abstract - During neurogenesis, transcription factors combinatorially specify neuronal fates and then differentiate subtype identities by inducing subtype-specific gene expression profiles. But how is neuronal subtype identity maintained in mature neurons? Modeling this question in two Drosophila neuronal subtypes (Tv1 and Tv4), we test whether the subtype transcription factor networks that direct differentiation during development are required persistently for long-term maintenance of subtype identity. By conditional transcription factor knockdown in adult Tv neurons after normal development, we find that most transcription factors within the Tv1/Tv4 subtype transcription networks are indeed required to maintain Tv1/Tv4 subtype-specific gene expression in adults. Thus, gene expression profiles are not simply “locked-in,” but must be actively maintained by persistent developmental transcription factor networks. We also examined the cross-regulatory relationships between all transcription factors that persisted in adult Tv1/Tv4 neurons. We show that certain critical cross-regulatory relationships that had existed between these transcription factors during development were no longer present in the mature adult neuron. This points to key differences between developmental and maintenance transcriptional regulatory networks in individual neurons. Together, our results provide novel insight showing that the maintenance of subtype identity is an active process underpinned by persistently active, combinatorially-acting, developmental transcription factors. These findings have implications for understanding the maintenance of all long-lived cell types and the functional degeneration of neurons in the aging brain. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  neuroscience  brain-development  brain-aging  genetics  epigenetics  molecular_biology  plasticity  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Verena Wolfram and Richard A. Baines - Blurring the boundaries: developmental and activity-dependent determinants of neural circuits (2013
Trends in Neuroscience. Oct 2013; 36(10): 610–619. - doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2013.06.006
PMCID: PMC3794160 -- Abstract - The human brain comprises approximately 100 billion neurons that express a diverse, and often subtype-specific, set of neurotransmitters and voltage-gated ion channels. Given this enormous complexity, a fundamental question is how is this achieved? The acquisition of neurotransmitter phenotype was viewed as being set by developmental programs ‘hard wired’ into the genome. By contrast, the expression of neuron-specific ion channels was considered to be highly dynamic (i.e., ‘soft wired’) and shaped largely by activity-dependent mechanisms. Recent evidence blurs this distinction by showing that neurotransmitter phenotype can be altered by activity and that neuron type-specific ion channel expression can be set, and perhaps limited by, developmental programs. Better understanding of these early regulatory mechanisms may offer new avenues to avert the behavioral changes that are characteristic of many mental illnesses. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  neuroscience  neuro-endocrine_system  brain  plasticity  psychology  genetics  epigenetics  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Francisco J. Novo - Habit acquisition in the context of neuronal genomic and epigenomic mosaicism (2014)
Frontiers of Human Neuroscience. 2014; 8: 255. - doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00255
PMCID: PMC4007014 -- See the article "Epigenetic Priming of Memory Updating during Reconsolidation to Attenuate Remote Fear Memories" in Cell, volume 156 on page 261. -- A recent paper (Gräff et al., 2014) shows that remote fear memories in mice can be stably attenuated with the administration of histone de-acetylase (HDAC) inhibitors during reconsolidation. This achieved persistent attenuation of remote memories, even though it is well established that the brief period of hippocampal neuroplasticity induced by recent memory recall is absent for remote memories. Apparently, such epigenetic intervention primed the expression of neuroplasticity-related genes. This work comes shortly after the finding (McConnell et al., 2013) that individual neurons show an extraordinary degree of genomic mosaicism. Sequencing the genomes of single human frontal cortex neurons, these authors found that up to 41% of neurons contain at least one de novo copy-number variant (CNV) of at least one megabase in size. Segmental duplications have greatly expanded in African great apes (Marques-Bonet et al., 2009), and it is possible that increased retrotransposon activity during human neurogenesis also contributes to this striking diversity in CNV numbers in neuronal genomes (Singer et al., 2010). Taken together, both studies support the notion that genomic and epigenomic mosaicism allows for the introduction of heritable changes at the single-cell level that promote neuronal plasticity, and thus help to explain how human actions can modify neural circuits involved in memory and learning. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  genetics  epigenetics  primates  human_nature  brain  neuroscience  memory  learning  plasticity  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
David L. Molfese - Advancing Neuroscience through Epigenetics: Molecular Mechanisms of Learning and Memory (2011)
Dev Neuropsychol. Oct 2011; 36(7): 810–827. - doi: 10.1080/87565641.2011.606395 PMCID: PMC3191880 - NIHMSID: NIHMS325838 -- Abstract - Humans share 96% of our 30,000 genes with Chimpanzees. The 1,200 genes that differ appear at first glance insufficient to describe what makes us human and them apes. However, we are now discovering that the mechanisms that regulate how genes are expressed tell a much richer story than our DNA alone. Sections of our DNA are constantly being turned on or off, marked for easy access, or secluded and hidden away, all in response to on-going cellular activity. In the brain, neurons encode information – in effect memories – at the cellular level. Yet while memories may last a lifetime, neurons are dynamic structures. Every protein in the synapse undergoes some form of turnover, some with half-lives of only hours. How can a memory persist beyond the lifetimes of its constitutive molecular building blocks? Epigenetics – changes in gene expression that do not alter the underlying DNA sequence – may be the answer. In this article, epigenetic mechanisms including DNA methylation and acetylation or methylation of the histone proteins that package DNA are described in the context of animal learning. Through the interaction of these modifications a “histone code” is emerging wherein individual memories leave unique memory traces at the molecular level with distinct time courses. A better understanding of these mechanisms has implications for treatment of memory disorders caused by normal aging or diseases including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, depression, and drug addiction. -- downloaded pdf to Note - Keywords: epigenetics, genes, memory, learning, histone, hippocampus, behavior
article  genetics  epigenetics  memory  learning  brain  neuroscience  molecular_biology  primates  psychology  human_nature  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Victoria Menzies, et al - Epigenetic Alterations and an Increased Frequency of Micronuclei in Women with Fibromyalgia (2013)
Nursing Research and Practice. 2013; doi: 10.1155/2013/795784 -- PMCID: PMC3766610 -- Victoria Menzies, 1 ,* Debra E. Lyon, 1 , 2 Kellie J. Archer, 3 Qing Zhou, 3 Jenni Brumelle, 4 Kimberly H. Jones, 4 , 5 G. Gao, 3 Timothy P. York, 6 and Colleen Jackson-Cook -- Abstract - Fibromyalgia (FM), characterized by chronic widespread pain, fatigue, and cognitive/mood disturbances, leads to reduced workplace productivity and increased healthcare expenses. To determine if acquired epigenetic/genetic changes are associated with FM, we compared the frequency of spontaneously occurring micronuclei (MN) and genome-wide methylation patterns in women with FM (n = 10) to those seen in comparably aged healthy controls (n = 42 (MN); n = 8 (methylation)). The mean (sd) MN frequency of women with FM (51.4 (21.9)) was significantly higher than that of controls (15.8 (8.5)) (χ2 = 45.552; df = 1; P = 1.49 × 10−11). Significant differences (n = 69 sites) in methylation patterns were observed between cases and controls considering a 5% false discovery rate. The majority of differentially methylated (DM) sites (91%) were attributable to increased values in the women with FM. The DM sites included significant biological clusters involved in neuron differentiation/nervous system development, skeletal/organ system development, and chromatin compaction. Genes associated with DM sites whose function has particular relevance to FM included BDNF, NAT15, HDAC4, PRKCA, RTN1, and PRKG1. Results support the need for future research to further examine the potential role of epigenetic and acquired chromosomal alterations as a possible biological mechanism underlying FM. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  health  genetics  epigenetics  neuroscience  downloaded 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Susanne Becker and Petra Schweinhardt - Dysfunctional Neurotransmitter Systems in Fibromyalgia (2012) | NIH Medical Library
Dysfunctional Neurotransmitter Systems in Fibromyalgia, Their Role in Central Stress Circuitry and Pharmacological Actions on These Systems -- Pain Res Treat. 2012 - Published online Oct 2, 2011. doi: 10.1155/2012/741746 -- PMCID: PMC3195783 -- Abstract - Fibromyalgia is considered a stress-related disorder, and hypo- as well as hyperactive stress systems (sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) have been found. Some observations raise doubts on the view that alterations in these stress systems are solely responsible for fibromyalgia symptoms. Cumulative evidence points at dysfunctional transmitter systems that may underlie the major symptoms of the condition. In addition, all transmitter systems found to be altered in fibromyalgia influence the body's stress systems. Since both transmitter and stress systems change during chronic stress, it is conceivable that both systems change in parallel, interact, and contribute to the phenotype of fibromyalgia. As we outline in this paper, subgroups of patients might exhibit varying degrees and types of transmitter dysfunction, explaining differences in symptomatoloy and contributing to the heterogeneity of fibromyalgia. The finding that not all fibromyalgia patients respond to the same medications, targeting dysfunctional transmitter systems, further supports this hypothesis.
articles  health  neuroscience  neuro-endocrine_system  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Orestis Palermos and Duncan Pritchard - Extended Knowledge and Social Epistemology, Orestis Palermos and Duncan Pritchard « Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, 2 (8): 105-120 (2013).
University of Edinburgh -- Special Issue 2: On the Future Direction of Social Epistemology -- The place of social epistemology within contemporary philosophy, as well as its relation to other academic disciplines, is the topic of an ongoing debate. One camp within that debate holds that social epistemology should be pursued strictly from within the perspective of individualistic analytic epistemology. In contrast, a second camp holds that social epistemology is an interdisciplinary field that should be given priority over traditional analytic epistemology, with the specific aim of radically transforming the latter to fit the results and methodology of the former. We are rather suspicious of this apparent tension, which we believe can be significantly mitigated by paying attention to certain recent advances within philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Accordingly, we attempt to explain how extended knowledge, the result of combining active externalism from contemporary philosophy of mind with contemporary epistemology, can offer an alternative conception of the future of social epistemology.
analytical_philosophy  social_theory  epistemology  epistemology-social  philosophy_of_language  mind  mind-body  cognition  cognition-social  neuroscience  mind-external  bibliography  sociology_of_knowledge  sociology_of_science_&_technology  philosophy_of_science  psychology  social_psychology  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Anna Fels - Should We All Take a Bit of Lithium? - NYTimes.com - September 2014
Mother Nature has already put a psychotropic drug in the drinking water, and that drug is lithium. Although this fact has been largely ignored for over half a century, it appears to have important medical implications.Lithium is a naturally occurring element, not a molecule like most medications, and it is present in the United States, depending on the geographic area, at concentrations that can range widely, from undetectable to around .170 milligrams per liter. This amount is less than a thousandth of the minimum daily dose given for bipolar disorders and for depression that doesn’t respond to antidepressants. Although it seems strange that the microscopic amounts of lithium found in groundwater could have any substantial medical impact, the more scientists look for such effects, the more they seem to discover. Evidence is slowly accumulating that relatively tiny doses of lithium can have beneficial effects. They appear to decrease suicide rates significantly and may even promote brain health and improve mood. -- The scientific story of lithium’s role in normal development and health began unfolding in the 1970s. Studies at that time found that animals that consumed diets with minimal lithium had higher mortality rates, as well as abnormalities of reproduction and behavior. -- In 1990, a study was published looking at 27 Texas counties with a variety of lithium levels in their water. The authors discovered that people whose water had the least amount of lithium had significantly greater levels of suicide, homicide and rape than the people whose water had the higher levels of lithium. The group whose water had the highest lithium level had nearly 40 percent fewer suicides than that with the lowest lithium level. Almost 20 years later, a Japanese study that looked at 18 municipalities with more than a million inhabitants over a five-year period confirmed the earlier study’s finding: Suicide rates were inversely correlated with the lithium content in the local water supply.
health  biology  neuroscience  public_health  mental_health 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
George F.R. Ellis | Personal Page
Links to extensive number of books he has authored or co-authored and to speeches and papers -- Teaching and research interests: *-* General Relativity theory and its application to the study of the large-scale structure of the universe (cosmology). *-* The history and philosophy of cosmology. *-* Complex systems and emergence of complexity. *- * The human brain and behaviour. *-* Science policy, developmental issues. *-* Science and mathematics education. *-* The relation of science to religion.
philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_religion  cosmology  physics  neuroscience  mind  mind-body  reductionism  causation  emergence  complexity  systems_theory  systems-complex_adaptive  science-and-religion  EF-add 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
John Horgan - Physicist George Ellis Knocks Physicists for Knocking Philosophy, Falsification, Free Will | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network - July 2014
A native of South Africa, Ellis is professor emeritus at the U of Cape Town, where he taught for decades, and has also held positions at Cambridge, the U of Texas, the Fermi Institute and ...around the globe. He was an early critic of apartheid, and Mandela awarded him the Order of the Star of S.Africa. -- Horgan: At the conference where we met you were in a session called “The end of experiment.” What was that about? - Ellis: - many of the possible high-energy physics experiments and astronomy observations relevant to cosmology are now in essence nearly complete. Physics experiments are approaching the highest energies it will ever be possible to test by any collider experiment... We can’t build a collider bigger than the surface of the Earth. Thus our ability to test high energy physics – and hence structures on the smallest physical scales – is approaching its limits. Astronomical observations at all wavelengths are now probing the most distant cosmological events that will ever be “seeable” by any kinds of radiation whatever, because of visual horizons for each form of radiation. -- So what we can see at the largest and smallest scales is approaching what will ever be possible, except for refining the details. But I emphasize that this comment does not apply to complex systems. Complexity is almost unbounded – microbiology, biology, the brain will give us work to do for many centuries more, what we may find may be very unexpected. That might also apply to the foundations of quantum physics, and its relation to complexity. -- I concede that observations relevant to structure formation in the universe – galaxies, stars, planets – have a good while to go, they are in essence verging to the side of studying complexity, and still have life in them yet, they are very interesting studies.
physics  cosmology  astronomy  scientism  reductionism  complexity  metaphysics  creation  big_bang  free_will  philosophy_of_science  neuroscience  EF-add 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Gary Lachman on Iain McGilchrist, The Master and His Emissary - Oppositional Thinking | The Los Angeles Review of Books 2013
Gary Lachman on Iain McGilchrist, The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World -- But even if you don't accept McGilchrist's thesis, the book is a fascinating treasure trove of insights into language, music, society, love, and other fundamental human concerns. One of his most important suggestions is that the view of human life as ruthlessly driven by "selfish genes" and other "competitor" metaphors may be only a ploy of left brain propaganda, and through a right brain appreciation of the big picture, we may escape the remorseless push and shove of "necessity." I leave it to the reader to discover just how important this insight is. Perhaps if enough do, we may not have to settle for what's left when there's no right.
books  reviews  kindle-available  history_of_science  neuroscience  psychology  phenomenology  mind  mind-body  creativity  imagination  mechanism  holism  cultural_history  18thC  19thC  20thC  21stC  technology 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Anthony Chemero and Michael Silberstein - After the Philosophy of Mind: Replacing Scholasticism with Science | JSTOR: Philosophy of Science, Vol. 75, No. 1 (January 2008), pp. 1-27
We provide a taxonomy of the two most important debates in the philosophy of the cognitive and neural sciences. The first debate is over methodological individualism: is the object of the cognitive and neural sciences the brain, the whole animal, or the animal—environment system? The second is over explanatory style: should explanation in cognitive and neural science be reductionist‐mechanistic, interlevel mechanistic, or dynamical? After setting out the debates, we discuss the ways in which they are interconnected. Finally, we make some recommendations that we hope will help philosophers interested in the cognitive and neural sciences to avoid dead ends. -- partially a lit survey so good bibliography -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  philosophy_of_science  metaphysics  mind  mind-body  neuroscience  reductionism  mechanism  cognition  ontology  methodology  levels_of_analyis  critical_realism  emergence  individualism-methodology  unit_of_analysis  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Mark Collier - HUME'S THEORY OF MORAL IMAGINATION | JSTOR: History of Philosophy Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 3 (JULY 2010), pp. 255-273
See re neuroscience research re mirroring processes and different types of empathy that suggest something similar to Hume's explanation of two different processes for near and dear vs strangers. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  neuroscience  18thC  Hume-ethics  human_nature  empathy  mirroring  moral_sentiments  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
The 10 best New Yorker articles on health care - Vox - July 2014
The New Yorker has recently made its post-2007 archives open to the non-subscribing public for the next several months. (Some pieces published before 2007 are available, as well.) My colleagues Libby Nelson and Brandon Ambrosino have put together collections of the magazine's best education and religion writing, and I am shamelessly cribbing their idea for the health care beat. -- selected articles to Evernote
US_society  health_care  medicine  poverty  neuroscience  public_health  public_policy  welfare  Evernote 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Kevin Mitchell -- Wiring the Brain: Exciting findings in schizophrenia genetics – but what do they mean? - July 2014
Study of genome in huge number of people (with the disease and controls) doesn't solve the question of the architecture, but locates lots of areas to look at for not just mutations but interactions
genetics  neuroscience  psychology 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Lennon, Thomas M., Stainton, Robert J. (Eds.) 2008 The Achilles of Rationalist Psychology
Downloaded Introduction pdf to Note -- Series: Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind, Vol. 7 -- newly written papers addressing each of the main contributors to the discussion of the Achilles. Despite the historical importance and intrinsic interest of the argument, very little has been written about it. *--* Contents. *--* Did Plato Articulate the Achilles Argument?. *-- Aristotle on the Unity of Consciousness. *-- The Neoplatonic Achilles. *-- The Unity of the Soul and Contrary Appetites in Medieval Philosophy. *-- Hume, Spinoza and the Achilles Inference. *-- Locke and the Achilles Argument. *-- The Reverse Achilles in Locke. *-- Cudworth and Bayle: An Odd Couple?. *-- The Achilles Argument and the Nature of Matter in the Clarke Collins Correspondence. *-- Leibniz’s ‘Achilles’. *-- Hume’s Reply to the Achilles Argument. *-- Kant and Mendelssohn on the Implications of the ‘I Think’. *-- Kant on the Achilles Argument. *-- William James and the Achilles Argument. *-- The Binding Problem: Achilles in the 21st Century.
books  intellectual_history  mind  mind-body  consciousness  perception  thinking_matter  materialism  soul  immortality  substance  Plato  Neoplatonism  Aristotle  Aquinas  Duns_Scotus  Ockham  Augustine  Descartes  Spinoza  Malebranche  Cartesian  Bayle  Locke  Clarke  Collins_Anthony  Leibniz  Hume  Kant  Mendelssohn  Fichte  cognition  neuroscience  psychology  natural_philosophy  metaphysics  rationalist  James_William  history_of_science  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
"Some Wittgensteinian Reservations about Neuroeconomics" by Greg Hill - 2010
Greg Hill, City of Seattle -- Suggested Citation -- Greg Hill. 2010. "Some Wittgensteinian Reservationas about Neuroeconomics" The SelectedWorks of Greg Hill -- downloaded pdf to Note
neuroscience  neuroeconomics  social_theory  Wittgenstein  downloaded 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Kevin Mitchell - Wiring the Brain: "Common disorders" are really collections of rare genetic conditions - July 2014
Disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and epilepsy each affect about 1% of the population and are therefore defined as “common disorders”. But are they really? I mean, they are clearly really that common, but are they really “disorders”? Are they natural categories that reflect some shared underlying etiology or are they simply groupings based on sets of shared symptoms? Genetics is providing an answer to that question and demonstrating that so-called “common disorders” are really collections of rare disorders with similar symptoms. This represents a complete paradigm shift in psychiatry, the full ramifications of which have yet to be appreciated. -- fascinating -- lots of links
health  medicine  genetics  psychiatry  neuroscience  links 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Raphael Van Riel, review essay - David Woodruff Smith et Amy L. Thomasson (dir.), Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind (OUP 2005) - Philosophiques v36 n1 2009, p. 257-259 | Érudit 
Raphael Van Riel - Universität bochum -- La phénoménologie traverse présentement une renaissance dans le domaine de la philosophie de l’esprit. Des philosophes comme Alva Noë, Shaun Gallagher et Dan Zahavi interprètent les résultats neuroscientifiques en ayant recours aux concepts et méthodes de la tradition phénoménologique. Toutefois, l’adaptation de la méthode phénoménologique en philosophie de l’esprit consiste souvent simplement à copier la façon de parler phénoménologique, ce qui ne contribue pas nécessairement à l’éclaircissement de l’objet d’étude. Les textes réunis dans le présent volume... sont libérés de tendances semblables -- la première partie, la relation entre la tradition phénoménologique et la philosophie de l’esprit à tendance « analytique » — Paul Livingston (historical overview) («Functionalism and logical analysis »), Galen Strawson sur la structure conceptuelle de la philosophie de l’esprit (« Intentionality and Experience : Terminological Preliminaries ») et une critique d’inspiration merleau-pontyienne à la théorie de la conscience de Dennett par Carmen Taylor (« On the Incapability of Phenomenology ») -- les quatre autres sections abordent différents complexes thématiques de la phénoménologie : la conscience et la connaissance de soi (2e partie), l’intentionnalité (3e partie), l’unité de la conscience (4e partie) et finalement la perception, la sensation et l’action (5e partie). -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  phenomenology  mind  mind-body  consciousness  self  perception  action-theory  neuroscience  cognition  analytical_philosophy  Dennett  downloaded  EF-add 
june 2014 by dunnettreader
Daniel D. Hutto - Consciousness Demystified: A Wittgensteinian Critique of Dennett’s Project | 1995. The Monist. 78:4. 464–478. - Academia.edu
I challenge the idea that the 'reductive character' of Dennett's project is in any way Wittgensteinian in spirit. I suggest that at a crucial point in their philosophy their views diverge significantly. That is to say, although they are good travelling companions up to an important cross-roads, in the end, their incompatible concerns take them in different directions. Furthermore, by reviewing Dennett's project of 'explaining' consciousness, we might begin to see some good reasons for preferring Wittgenstein's 'road less travelled'. Thus, although Dennett's account of consciousness is often given a centre stage in what follows, my ultimate aim is to throw light on the nature Wittgenstein's philosophical psychology by using Dennett as a foil. This should help us to see precisely how the former's approach differs importantly from those advanced by many of today's philosophers and cognitive scientists. -- downloaded pdf to Note
mind  reductionism  Dennett  Wittgenstein  consciousness  cognition  neuroscience  psychology  downloaded  EF-add 
june 2014 by dunnettreader
Chris D. Frith and Tania Singer - The Role of Social Cognition in Decision Making | JSTOR: Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, Vol. 363, No. 1511 (Dec. 12, 2008), pp. 3875-3886
Successful decision making in a social setting depends on our ability to understand the intentions, emotions and beliefs of others. The mirror system allows us to understand other people's motor actions and action intentions. 'Empathy' allows us to understand and share emotions and sensations with others. 'Theory of mind' allows us to understand more abstract concepts such as beliefs or wishes in others. In all these cases, evidence has accumulated that we use the specific neural networks engaged in processing mental states in ourselves to understand the same mental states in others. However, the magnitude of the brain activity in these shared networks is modulated by contextual appraisal of the situation or the other person. An important feature of decision making in a social setting concerns the interaction of reason and emotion. We consider four domains where such interactions occur: our sense of fairness, altruistic punishment, trust and framing effects. In these cases, social motivations and emotions compete with each other, while higher-level control processes modulate the interactions of these low-level biases. -- didn't download -- large references list
article  jstor  social_theory  cognition-social  decision_theory  altruism  fairness  trust  framing_effects  emotions  neuroscience  mind-theory_of  empathy  bibliography  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
RS Bakker - The Missing Half of the Global Neuronal Workspace: A Commentary on Stanislaus Dehaene’s Consciousness and the Brain | Three Pound Brain
Stanislaus Dehaene, to my mind at least, is the premier consciousness researcher on the planet, one of those rare scientists who seems equally at home in the theoretical aether (like we are here) and in the laboratory (where he is there). His latest book, Consciousness and the Brain provides an excellent, and at times brilliant, overview of the state of contemporary consciousness research. Consciousness has come a long way in the past two decades, and Dehaene deserves credit for much of the yardage gained. ... Dehaene’s review of Cristopher Koch’s Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist, where he concludes with a confession of his own: “Can neuroscience be reconciled with living a happy, meaningful, moral, and yet nondelusional life? I will confess that this question also occasionally keeps me lying awake at night.” Since the implications of the neuroscientific revolution, the prospects of having a technically actionable blueprint of the human soul, often keep my mind churning into the wee hours, I was hoping that I might see a more measured, less sanguine Dehaene in this book, one less inclined to soft-sell the troubling implications of neuroscientific research. And in that one regard, I was disappointed. ?...Dehaene, I think, caters far too much to the very preconceptions his science is in the process of dismantling. As a result, the book, for all its organizational finesse, all its elegant formulations, and economical summaries of various angles of research, finds itself haunted by a jagged shadow, the intimation that things simply are not as they seem.
books  reviews  mind  consciousness  neuroscience  cognition  EF-add 
april 2014 by dunnettreader
[1401.1219] Consciousness as a State of Matter - Max Tegmark (MIT)
We examine the hypothesis that consciousness can be understood as a state of matter, "perceptronium", with distinctive information processing abilities. We explore five basic principles that may distinguish conscious matter from other physical systems such as solids, liquids and gases: the information, integration, independence, dynamics and utility principles. If such principles can identify conscious entities, then they can help solve the quantum factorization problem: why do conscious observers like us perceive the particular Hilbert space factorization corresponding to classical space (rather than Fourier space, say), and more generally, why do we perceive the world around us as a dynamic hierarchy of objects that are strongly integrated and relatively independent? Tensor factorization of matrices is found to play a central role, and our technical results include a theorem about Hamiltonian separability (defined using Hilbert-Schmidt superoperators) being maximized in the energy eigenbasis. Our approach generalizes Giulio Tononi's integrated information framework for neural-network-based consciousness to arbitrary quantum systems, and we find interesting links to error-correcting codes, condensed matter criticality, and the Quantum Darwinism program, as well as an interesting connection between the emergence of consciousness and the emergence of time
paper  mind  neuroscience  physics 
april 2014 by dunnettreader
Ruth Leyes - “Both of Us Disgusted in My Insula”: Mirror Neuron Theory and Emotional Empathy | nonsite.org March 2012
Attacks mirror neuron experiments and conclusions - ... the presuppositions of Wicker and his team can be traced most directly to the work of the American psychologist Silvan S. Tomkins, and especially to that of his follower, Paul Ekman, both of whom have proposed an evolutionary-classificatory approach to the affects. Key features of their approach include the claim that there exists a small number of basic emotions, such as disgust, which can be defined in evolutionary terms as universal or pancultural, adaptive responses of the organism; that these emotions are discrete, innate, reflex-like “affect programs” located in subcortical parts of the brain; that the basic emotions manifest themselves in distinct patterns of physiological arousal and especially in characteristic facial expressions; that according to Ekman’s “neurocultural” model for explaining commonalities and variations in human facial displays, socialization and learning may determine the range of stimuli that can “trigger” the emotions and... “display rules,” ...and that the more complex or “higher” emotions are made up of blends of the basic emotions. A further claim associated with the Basic Emotions View, ..., is that although the emotions can and do combine with the cognitive systems in the brain, they are essentially separate processes. For Freud and the “appraisal theorists” such as Richard Lazarus, Robert Solomon, Martha Nussbaum, Phoebe Ellsworth and others, emotions are embodied intentional states that are directed toward objects and depend on our beliefs and desires. But the Basic Emotion View denies this by interpreting the affects as non-intentional responses. It thus posits a constitutive disjunction between our emotions on the one hand and our knowledge of what causes and maintains them on the other, because feeling and cognition are two separate systems.
article  neuroscience  cognition  evolutionary_biology  cognition-social  epistemology-social  empathy  emotions  Smith  Nussbaum  bibliography  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Robert C. Bishop, review - Peter Ulric Tse, Neural Basis of Free Will: Criterial Causation // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // Jan 2014
Critical re reductionism or eliminativism underneath the Tse "persons choosing" lingo - one where equivocation on key notions such as willing, choosing, planning, valuing, information, assessment, and so forth, mask the replacements of what persons do when they engage in decisions by mechanized response to inputs. The richness of our human experience and practices of free will and action disappear. Equivocating on key terms such as 'assessing', 'deciding' and 'willing' likely would go unnoticed if you are presupposing a strictly instrumental view of action, where all cause-effect chains are modeled on efficient causation, and the main idea is to discern the most efficient or effective means for achieving a pre-set goal. -- On the instrumental view Tse offers, human actions are the effects of efficient causal chains no different in kind from a thermostat triggering the A/C to come on when a preset threshold is met (except that somehow the thermostat has an unidentified power to change the threshold once the threshold has been met). Tse likely does not realize that his being enmeshed in an instrumental view of action leads him to personify neurons and thereby mechanize assessing, deciding and willing, among other activities, at all levels of his account. -- Moreover, Tse likely does not realize how deeply the instrumental view of action is shaped by Western cultural ideals (Bishop 2013). -- In conclusion, Tse tells us that he is going to give us a neuroscientific account of free will and consciousness, but his metaphysics of realization, the personification equivocation and the commitment to an instrumental picture of action amounts to a philosophical account with philosophical assumptions... -- interesting on Causal Closure Principle of physics
books  reviews  philosophy_of_science  mind  neuroscience  free_will  determinism  reductionism  physicalism  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Ian Ravenscroft, review - Alvin I. Goldman, Joint Ventures: Mindreading, Mirroring, and Embodied Cognition // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // March 2014
The title Joint Ventures alludes to Goldman's view that understanding cognition requires both scientific and philosophical expertise. "It would be", he notes, "intellectually irresponsible to ignore the huge swaths of evidence and theory that science has generated" (p. 3). Nevertheless, there is "ample place for philosophers to make theoretical contributions, to argue for this or that theoretical interpretation as the best explanation of the data" (p. 3). Cognitive science is thus a joint venture between philosophy and the behavioral sciences (p. 2). The rich and fascinating essays in this collection are testimony to Goldman's vision. The volume focuses on four themes to which he has made important contributions: simulation theory, empathy, embodied cognition, and the metaphysics of action. I will focus on the first three themes because they are striking examples of the "joint ventures" program.
books  reviews  epistemology  cognition  cognition-social  mind  mind-body  neuroscience  action-theory  empathy  philosophy_of_science  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Kevin Mitchell - Wiring the Brain: The genetics of emergent phenotypes - March 2013
Nifty discussion of emergence in dynamic systems - he claims the higher level phenomena are reducible to lower level factors (post hoc explanation) but not deducible from the lower level. However the dynamic elements that change relations at or among higher level elements (which will change relations at lower levels) seem to be doing most of the explanatory work -- Why are some brain disorders so common? Schizophrenia, autism and epilepsy each affect about 1% of the world’s population, over their lifetimes. Why are the specific phenotypes associated with those conditions so frequent? More generally, why do particular phenotypes exist at all? What constrains or determines the types of phenotypes we observe, out of all the variations we could conceive of? Why does a system like the brain fail in particular ways when the genetic program is messed with? Here, I consider how the difference between “concrete” and “emergent” properties of the brain may provide an explanation, or at least a useful conceptual framework. --
genetics  medicine  psychology  physiology  neuroscience  mind  materialism  emergence  systems-complex_adaptive  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Edouard Machery - Concepts Are Not a Natural Kind* | JSTOR: Philosophy of Science, Vol. 72, No. 3 (July 2005), pp. 444-467
In cognitive psychology, concepts are those bodies of knowledge that are stored in long‐term memory and are used by default in human beings’ higher cognitive processes (categorization, inductive and deductive reasoning, etc.). Most psychologists of concepts assume that these mental representations share many scientifically important properties, and the psychology of concepts is expected to describe those properties. Psychologists assume thereby that concepts constitute a natural kind. I call this assumption the natural kind assumption. This article challenges the natural kind assumption. It is argued that a growing body of evidence suggests that concepts do not constitute a natural kind. Hence, the notion of concept is inappropriate, if one aims at formulating scientifically relevant inductive generalizations about the human mind. -- an early paper that's developed in his recent book -- didn't download
article  jstor  philosophy_of_science  psychology  cognition  neuroscience  concepts  kinds  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Review by Peter J. Steinberger - Leslie Paul Thiele, The Heart of Judgment: Practical Wisdom, Neuroscience, and Narrative | JSTOR: Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Jun., 2007), pp. 359-360
Ever since Aristotle, phronesis has been impossible to pin down. Steinberger - inevitable that someone would try to use new neuroscience, and if a book like this had to be written, at least Thiele makes a reasonably thoughtful stab at it. Given that faint praise, review sorts through how Thiele uses scientific evidence and speculation to date. He finds it reductionist and the production of the illusion of self via a MacIntyre type story hand wavy. -- didn't download
books  article  jstor  mind  neuroscience  moral_philosophy  emotions  reason-passions  phronesis  practical_reason  practical_knowledge  narrative  self  identity  consciousness  reflection  deliberation  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Eric D. Beinhocker : Reflexivity, complexity, and the nature of social science - Journal of Economic Methodology [Soros special issue] - Volume 20, Issue 4 - Taylor & Francis Online
pages 330-342 -- downloaded pdf to Note -- In 1987, George Soros introduced his concepts of reflexivity and fallibility and has further developed and applied these concepts over subsequent decades. This paper attempts to build on Soros's framework, provide his concepts with a more precise definition, and put them in the context of recent thinking on complex adaptive systems. The paper proposes that systems can be classified along a ‘spectrum of complexity’ and that under specific conditions not only social systems but also natural and artificial systems can be considered ‘complex reflexive.’ The epistemological challenges associated with scientifically understanding a phenomenon stem not from whether its domain is social, natural, or artificial, but where it falls along this spectrum. Reflexive systems present particular challenges; however, evolutionary model-dependent realism provides a bridge between Soros and Popper and a potential path forward for economics.
article  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_social_science  epistemology  methodology  complexity  Soros  reflexivity  intentionality  evolution-as-model  Popper  scientific_method  downloaded  EF-add  systems-complex_adaptive  systems-reflexive  systems_theory  economic_theory  economic_models  EMH  rationality-economics  rational_expectations  information-markets  cognition  cognition-social  falsification  neuroscience  uncertainty  laws_of_nature  covering_laws  causation  explanation  prediction 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
The Paradox of Automatic Planning [FIERY CUSHMAN:] HeadCon '13 What's new in social science: Part III | Edge.org
Neurosciences at Brown - some interesting stuff about stimulus-response and basal ganglia that can control both motor response and seems to interact with working memory for goal oriented action -- but where he thinks research is going is the pretty obvious bio-cultural synthesis. Scary that brain researchers on cognition that are hooked with artificial intelligence modeling seem to ignore the humanities perspectives -- quote -- In the literature right now there's a debate between two rival theories for what makes humans unique. One theory calls itself the "cognitive niche" and it basically says what makes us unique is that we can think very, very carefully and hard about things in a controlled way. Another hypothesis calls itself the "cultural niche", and it says, no, what makes us unique is that we get for free the answers to problems culturally. Other people have worked it out through trial and error and they tell us.

What I find really exciting is the idea that it's not just that both of those things are true but that they're codependent. That in principle you could not make the mathematics of controlled cognition work, you couldn't solve the computational intractability without the support of cultural input, and that cultural knowledge wouldn't be much good if you couldn't flexibly reassemble it in the way that hierarchical representations allow you to.
neuroscience  cognition  cognition-social  evolutionary_biology  evolution  evolution-social  human_nature  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
John Mikhail - Review of Patricia S. Churchland, 'Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Morality':: SSRN
The treatment of these subjects is generally informative and often quite illuminating, albeit occasionally superficial. Churchland writes elegantly and presents a clear, distinctive, and forceful viewpoint on the science of morality, which draws inspiration from Aristotle, Hume, and Darwin. Her principal thesis, that moral and social values are rooted in the neurobiology of care, trust, and cooperation, deserves to be taken seriously by scientists and philosophers alike. In this review, I focus on three perceived weaknesses of Churchland’s stimulating book that likely will be of particular interest to philosophers: her interpretation of Hume, her skepticism toward innate moral principles, and her treatment of moral rules. I then conclude by making a few brief observations about the general significance of Braintrust. Keywords: Churchland, Darwin, Hume, Aristotle, Plato, morality, nativism, epistemology, computation, rules, neurobiology, care, attachment, norms, genes, evolution -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  kindle  reviews  moral_philosophy  cognition  neuroscience  Hume  naturalism  evolutionary_biology  evo_psych  epistemology  genetics  downloaded  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Roy F. Baumeister - Do You Really Have Free Will? Of course. Here’s how it evolved. | Slate Sept 2013
Lots of links re silliness that's either mostly semantics or the worst sorts of reductionism that gleefully embraces impoverished materialism.
free_will  neuroscience  mind  mind-body  scientism  links  evolution  evolutionary_biology 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
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