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After phrenology : neural reuse and the interactive brain by Michael L. Anderson

By Michael L. Anderson

The laptop analogy of the brain has been as greatly 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 may insist that every organ needs to have its specific functionality, so modern cognitive neuroscience is devoted to the inspiration that every mind zone should have its basic computation. In After Phrenology, Michael Anderson argues that to accomplish a completely post-phrenological technology of the mind, we have to think again this dedication and devise an alternative, neuroscientifically grounded taxonomy of psychological functionality.

Anderson contends that the cognitive roles performed by way of every one quarter of the mind are hugely quite a few, reflecting diversified neural partnerships proven less than varied conditions. He proposes quantifying the practical homes of neural assemblies when it comes to their dispositional developments quite than 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 potential for iterated interplay with the area. He argues that the multidimensional method of the mind he describes deals a better healthy for those findings, and a extra promising street towards a unified technology of minded organisms.

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2005). He concludes that current evidence for the notion that Broca’s area is a “language” region is fairly weak, in part because it was more frequently activated by nonlanguage tasks than by language-related ones. Similarly, several statistical analyses of experiments from large collections of neuroimaging results (Anderson et al. 2010; Anderson & Pessoa 2011; Anderson, Kinnison, & Pessoa 2013) demonstrate that most regions of the brain—even fairly small regions—appear to be activated by multiple tasks across diverse task categories (Anderson 2010b).

Once numerals are arrayed in this format, it is natural to reuse the circuit responsible for shifting spatial attention for the purpose of shifting attention between positions on this line. The resulting magnitude-influenced attentional bias can explain the SNARC effect. This redeployment of visuospatial resources in support of alternate cognitive uses is somewhat difficult to explain from the standpoint of either concept empiricism or conceptual metaphor theory. In these examples the effects would not be accounted for by the fact that the meanings of numbers might be grounded in basic sensorimotor experience; nor is it immediately obvious what metaphorical mapping might be implicated here.

In the volume as a whole, I hope to establish not just that neural reuse is a fundamental feature of the functional architecture of the brain but also that this fact calls for a thorough rethinking of how we do brain science. We need to rethink the principles of brain evolution and development, the methods we use for functionstructure mapping, and even the categories we use in the neural and behavioral sciences. But we get to those issues later. For now we turn to the evidence that will drive our consideration of them.

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