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After Phrenology

Author: Michael L. Anderson
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262028107
Size: 51.85 MB
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The computer analogy of the mind has been as widely adopted in contemporary cognitive neuroscience as was the analogy of the brain as a collection of organs in phrenology. Just as the phrenologist would insist that each organ must have its particular function, so contemporary cognitive neuroscience is committed to the notion that each brain region must have its fundamental computation. In After Phrenology, Michael Anderson argues that to achieve a fully post-phrenological science of the brain, we need to reassess this commitment and devise an alternate, neuroscientifically grounded taxonomy of mental function. Anderson contends that the cognitive roles played by each region of the brain are highly various, reflecting different neural partnerships established under different circumstances. He proposes quantifying the functional properties of neural assemblies in terms of their dispositional tendencies rather than their computational or information-processing operations. Exploring larger-scale issues, and drawing on evidence from embodied cognition, Anderson develops a picture of thinking rooted in the exploitation and extension of our early-evolving capacity for iterated interaction with the world. He argues that the multidimensional approach to the brain he describes offers a much better fit for these findings, and a more promising road toward a unified science of minded organisms.

Advice For A Young Investigator

Author: Santiago Ramón y Cajal
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262250039
Size: 57.85 MB
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Santiago Ramón y Cajal was a mythic figure in science. Hailed as the father of modern anatomy and neurobiology, he was largely responsible for the modern conception of the brain. His groundbreaking works were New Ideas on the Structure of the Nervous System and Histology of the Nervous System in Man and Vertebrates. In addition to leaving a legacy of unparalleled scientific research, Cajal sought to educate the novice scientist about how science was done and how he thought it should be done. This recently rediscovered classic, first published in 1897, is an anecdotal guide for the perplexed new investigator as well as a refreshing resource for the old pro.Cajal was a pragmatist, aware of the pitfalls of being too idealistic -- and he had a sense of humor, particularly evident in his diagnoses of various stereotypes of eccentric scientists. The book covers everything from valuable personality traits for an investigator to social factors conducive to scientific work.

Development Of Mathematical Cognition

Author: Daniel B. Berch
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 0128019093
Size: 18.37 MB
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Development of Mathematical Cognition: Neural Substrates and Genetic Influences reviews advances in extant imaging modalities and the application of brain stimulation techniques for improving mathematical learning. It goes on to explore the role genetics and environmental influences have in the development of math abilities and disabilities. Focusing on the neural substrates and genetic factors associated with both the typical and atypical development of mathematical thinking and learning, this second volume in the Mathematical Cognition and Learning series integrates the latest in innovative measures and methodological advances from the top researchers in the field. Provides details about new progress made in the study of neural correlates of numerical and arithmetic cognition Addresses recent work in quantitative and molecular genetics Works to improve instruction in numerical, arithmetical, and algebraic thinking and learning Informs policy to help increase the level of mathematical proficiency among the general public

Mind The Body

Author: Frédérique de Vignemont
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192536680
Size: 54.13 MB
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Mind the Body provides the first comprehensive treatment of bodily awareness and of the sense of bodily ownership, combining philosophical analysis with recent experimental results from cognitive science. Our own body seems to be the object that we know the best for we constantly receive a flow of internal information about it. Yet bodily awareness has attracted little attention in the literature, possibly because it seems reducible to William James's description of a 'feeling of the same old body always there'. But it is not true that our body always feels so familiar. In particular, puzzling neurological disorders and new bodily illusions raise a wide range of questions about the relationship between the body and the self. Although most of the time we experience our body as our own, it is possible to report feeling parts of our body as alien. It is also possible to experience extraneous objects, such as prosthetic hands, as our own. Hence, what makes us feel this particular body as our own? The fact that we feel sensations there? The fact that we can voluntarily move it? Or the fact that we need to care about it to survive? De Vignemont argues that to answer these questions, we need a better understanding of the various aspects of bodily self-awareness, including the spatiality of bodily sensations, their multimodality, their role in social cognition, and their relation to action and self-defence.

From Molecule To Metaphor

Author: Jerome Feldman
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262296888
Size: 23.92 MB
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In From Molecule to Metaphor, Jerome Feldman proposes a theory of language and thought that treats language not as an abstract symbol system but as a human biological ability that can be studied as a function of the brain, as vision and motor control are studied. This theory, he writes, is a "bridging theory" that works from extensive knowledge at two ends of a causal chain to explicate the links between. Although the cognitive sciences are revealing much about how our brains produce language and thought, we do not yet know exactly how words are understood or have any methodology for finding out. Feldman develops his theory in computer simulations -- formal models that suggest ways that language and thought may be realized in the brain. Combining key findings and theories from biology, computer science, linguistics, and psychology, Feldman synthesizes a theory by exhibiting programs that demonstrate the required behavior while remaining consistent with the findings from all disciplines.After presenting the essential results on language, learning, neural computation, the biology of neurons and neural circuits, and the mind/brain, Feldman introduces specific demonstrations and formal models of such topics as how children learn their first words, words for abstract and metaphorical concepts, understanding stories, and grammar (including "hot-button" issues surrounding the innateness of human grammar). With this accessible, comprehensive book Feldman offers readers who want to understand how our brains create thought and language a theory of language that is intuitively plausible and also consistent with existing scientific data at all levels.

Unifying The Mind

Author: David Danks
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262027992
Size: 53.78 MB
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Our ordinary, everyday thinking requires an astonishing range of cognitive activities, yet our cognition seems to take place seamlessly. We move between cognitive processes with ease, and different types of cognition seem to share information readily. In this book, David Danks proposes a novel cognitive architecture that can partially explain two aspects of human cognition: its relatively integrated nature and our effortless ability to focus on the relevant factors in any particular situation. Danks argues that both of these features of cognition are naturally explained if many of our cognitive representations are understood to be structured like graphical models. The computational framework of graphical models is widely used in machine learning, but Danks is the first to offer a book-length account of its use to analyze multiple areas of cognition. Danks demonstrates the usefulness of this approach by reinterpreting a variety of cognitive theories in terms of graphical models. He shows how we can understand much of our cognition -- in particular causal learning, cognition involving concepts, and decision making -- through the lens of graphical models, thus clarifying a range of data from experiments and introspection. Moreover, Danks demonstrates the important role that cognitive representations play in a unified understanding of cognition, arguing that much of our cognition can be explained in terms of different cognitive processes operating on a shared collection of cognitive representations. Danks's account is mathematically accessible, focusing on the qualitative aspects of graphical models and separating the formal mathematical details in the text.

The Wiley Handbook Of Evolutionary Neuroscience

Author: Stephen V. Shepherd
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1119994691
Size: 27.88 MB
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Comprehensive and authoritative, The Wiley Handbook of Evolutionary Neuroscience unifies the diverse strands of an interdisciplinary field exploring the evolution of brains and cognition. A comprehensive reference that unifies the diverse interests and approaches associated with the neuroscientific study of brain evolution and the emergence of cognition Tackles some of the biggest questions in neuroscience including what brains are for, what factors constrain their biological development, and how they evolve and interact Provides a broad and balanced view of the subject, reviewing both vertebrate and invertebrate anatomy and emphasizing their shared origins and mechanisms Features contributions from highly respected scholars in their fields

Critical Neuroscience

Author: Suparna Choudhury
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444343335
Size: 55.23 MB
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Critical Neuroscience: A Handbook of the Social and Cultural Contexts of Neuroscience brings together multi-disciplinary scholars from around the world to explore key social, historical and philosophical studies of neuroscience, and to analyze the socio-cultural implications of recent advances in the field. This text’s original, interdisciplinary approach explores the creative potential for engaging experimental neuroscience with social studies of neuroscience while furthering the dialogue between neuroscience and the disciplines of the social sciences and humanities. Critical Neuroscience transcends traditional skepticism, introducing novel ideas about ‘how to be critical’ in and about science.

The Human Sciences After The Decade Of The Brain

Author: Jon Leefmann
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 0128042605
Size: 79.74 MB
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The Human Sciences after the Decade of the Brain brings together exciting new works that address today’s key challenges for a mutual interaction between cognitive neuroscience and the social sciences and humanities. Taking up the methodological and conceptual problems of choosing a neuroscience approach to disciplines such as philosophy, history, ethics and education, the book deepens discussions on a range of epistemological, historical, and sociological questions about the "neuro-turn" in the new millennium. The book’s three sections focus on (i) epistemological questions posed by neurobiologically informed approaches to philosophy and history, (ii) neuroscience’s influence on explanations for social and moral behavior, and (iii) the consequences of the neuro-turn in diverse sectors of social life such as science, education, film, and human self-understanding. This book is an important resource both for students and scholars of cognitive neuroscience and biological psychology interested in the philosophical, ethical, and societal influences of—and on—their work as well as for students and scholars from the social sciences and humanities interested in neuroscience. Explores the recent influence of neuroscience on the humanities and social sciences and how they respond to these influences Offers in-depth analysis of the theoretical and practical influence of a brain-centered scientific view in diverse areas of the social sciences including economics, education, cultural studies, and philosophy Investigates contributions of the history of science to scrutinizing current neuroscience–based approaches to social and moral behavior

The Routledge Handbook Of The Computational Mind

Author: Mark Sprevak
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317286715
Size: 45.75 MB
Format: PDF
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Computational approaches dominate contemporary cognitive science, promising a unified, scientific explanation of how the mind works. However, computational approaches raise major philosophical and scientific questions. In what sense is the mind computational? How do computational approaches explain perception, learning, and decision making? What kinds of challenges should computational approaches overcome to advance our understanding of mind, brain, and behaviour? The Routledge Handbook of the Computational Mind is an outstanding overview and exploration of these issues and the first philosophical collection of its kind. Comprising thirty-five chapters by an international team of contributors from different disciplines, the Handbook is organised into four parts: History and future prospects of computational approaches Types of computational approach Foundations and challenges of computational approaches Applications to specific parts of psychology. Essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, and philosophy of science, The Routledge Handbook of the Computational Mind will also be of interest to those studying computational models in related subjects such as psychology, neuroscience, and computer science.