New PDF release: After Phrenology: How to Study the Brain

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By Michael L. Anderson

The pc analogy of the brain has been as generally followed in modern cognitive neuroscience as used to be the analogy of the mind as a suite of organs in phrenology. simply because the phrenologist could insist that every organ should have its specific functionality, so modern cognitive neuroscience is devoted to the suggestion that every mind zone should have its basic computation. In After Phrenology, Michael Anderson argues that to accomplish a completely post-phrenological technological know-how of the mind, we have to re-evaluate this dedication and devise another, neuroscientifically grounded taxonomy of psychological function.

Anderson contends that the cognitive roles performed by means of every one sector of the mind are hugely a variety of, reflecting diverse neural partnerships tested below assorted situations. He proposes quantifying the sensible houses of neural assemblies when it comes to their dispositional trends instead of their computational or information-processing operations. Exploring larger-scale matters, and drawing on facts from embodied cognition, Anderson develops an image of considering rooted within the exploitation and extension of our early-evolving skill for iterated interplay with the realm. He argues that the multidimensional method of the mind he describes bargains a stronger healthy for those findings, and a extra promising highway towards a unified technology of minded organisms.

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Extra resources for After Phrenology: How to Study the Brain

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2002; Martin et al. 1995, 1996; Martin, Ungerleider, & Haxby 2000; Pulvermüller 2005; see Schiller 1996 for a related discussion). Excitement over the discovery of the fusiform face area (Kanwisher, McDermott, & Chun 1997) was quickly tempered when it was discovered that the area also responded to cars, birds, and other stimuli (Gauthier et al. 2000; Grill-Spector, Sayres, & Ress 2006; Hanson & Schmidt 2011; Rhodes et al. 2004). The ensuing debates over the “real” function of these areas have still not been resolved, and in light of these results researchers have started to question the boundaries between psychological domains once thought separate and distinct, such as perception and cognition (Anderson, Richardson, & Chemero 2012; Barsalou 1999, 2008) and cognition and emotion (Pessoa 2008, 2012).

This is not to question the notion that numbers and other mathematical concepts and procedures are in some way grounded in sensorimotor experience (Lakoff & Núñez 2000) nor to argue that sensorimotor experience might not be a necessary precursor to mathematical development. But this specific overlap in neural circuitry is not straightforward to explain in the context of such grounding, nor is it anything that would have been predicted on the basis of either conceptual metaphor theory or concept empiricism.

3, the nodes represent individual brain regions, plotted in a 3-D anatomical space, and the edges represent functional connections between them—that is, a higher-than-expected likelihood of coactivation during tasks in a given cognitive domain. By looking at the data in this format, it is easy to compare how often a given region is active in more than one domain and how often it has the same neural partners in more than one domain. 3 highlights the functional partners of the left precentral gyrus (the various functional roles of which are discussed further below) during semantics tasks, emotion tasks, and attention tasks.

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