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After Phrenology: How to Study the Brain by Michael L. Anderson

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 set of organs in phrenology. simply because the phrenologist could insist that every organ should have its specific functionality, so modern cognitive neuroscience is dedicated to the thought that every mind sector should have its primary computation. In After Phrenology, Michael Anderson argues that to accomplish an absolutely post-phrenological technological know-how of the mind, we have to think again this dedication and devise an alternative, neuroscientifically grounded taxonomy of psychological function.

Anderson contends that the cognitive roles performed by way of every one quarter of the mind are hugely a number of, reflecting diversified neural partnerships validated less than assorted situations. He proposes quantifying the sensible homes of neural assemblies by way of their dispositional trends instead of their computational or information-processing operations. Exploring larger-scale concerns, and drawing on facts from embodied cognition, Anderson develops an image of considering rooted within the exploitation and extension of our early-evolving potential for iterated interplay with the area. He argues that the multidimensional method of the mind he describes deals a stronger healthy for those findings, and a extra promising street towards a unified technology of minded organisms.

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Moreover, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) (Rusconi, Walsh, & Butterworth 2005) and direct cortical stimulation (Roux et al. 2003) have been found to disrupt both finger gnosis and tasks requiring the representation of number. These findings are consistent with neural reuse; one of the neural structures originally evolved or developed for finger awareness has been reused in the (presumably) later-emerging function of number representation, and it now serves both uses. Here again, this reuse of a basic sensorimotor function in an alternate cognitive domain does not seem to follow the logic of conceptual metaphor theory or concept empiricism.

In the abstract transfer cases), or some other mechanism. Glenberg has suggested both that the effect could be explained by the activation of relevant action schemas (Glenberg et al. 2008b) and by the activation and combination of appropriate affordances (Glenberg & Kaschak 2002; Glenberg et al. 2009). Whatever precise mechanism is involved, the finding has been widely interpreted as support for both concept empiricism and conceptual metaphor theory (although see Anderson 2008b for a dissent).

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).

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