Results for 'Brain Evolution'

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  1. Human Brain Evolution, Theories of Innovation, and Lessons From the History of Technology.Alfred Gierer - 2004 - J. Biosci 29 (3):235-244.
    Biological evolution and technological innovation, while differing in many respects, also share common features. In particular, implementation of a new technology in the market is analogous to the spreading of a new genetic trait in a population. Technological innovation may occur either through the accumulation of quantitative changes, as in the development of the ocean clipper, or it may be initiated by a new combination of features or subsystems, as in the case of steamships. Other examples of the latter (...)
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  2. Information Based Hierarchical Brain Organization/Evolution From the Perspective of the Informational Model of Consciousness.Florin Gaiseanu - 2020 - Archives in Neurology and Neuroscience 7 (5):1-9.
    Introduction: This article discusses the brain hierarchical organization/evolution as a consequence of the information-induced brain development, from the perspective of the Informational Model of Consciousness. Analysis: In the frame of the Informational Model of Consciousness, a detailed info-neural analysis ispresented, concerning the specific properties/functions of the informational system of the human body composed by the Center of Acquisition and Storing of Information, Center of Decision and Command, Info-Emotional Center, Maintenance Informational System, Genetic Transmission System, Info Genetic Generator (...)
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  3. The Evolution-Creation Wars: Why Teaching More Science Just is Not Enough.Massimo Pigliucci - 2007 - McGill Journal of Education 42 (2):285-306.
    The creation-evolution “controversy” has been with us for more than a century. Here I argue that merely teaching more science will probably not improve the situation; we need to understand the controversy as part of a broader problem with public acceptance of pseudoscience, and respond by teaching how science works as a method. Critical thinking is difficult to teach, but educators can rely on increasing evidence from neurobiology about how the brain learns, or fails to.
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  4. Kosmologie, Evolution und die Raetsel der Großen Zahlen.Alfred Gierer - manuscript
    Die Beziehung der Entwicklung des Lebens im Weltall - von den einfachsten Formen bis zu Leben mit Geist und Bewusstsein – zu der Physik, wie wir sie aus der unbelebten Natur kennen, ist Thema dieses Essays. Ist die Entstehung des Lebens Zufall, ist es Folge einer physikalischen Logik, die noch zu entdecken ist, oder ist „Lebensfreundlichkeit“ ein eigenes Prinzip des Naturgeschehens, das zum Beispiel offene Naturkonstanten der physikalischen Gesetze festlegt, zu denen die geheimnisvollen Grossen Zahlen der Kosmologie gehören – „The (...)
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  5. Emergence, Evolution, and the Geometry of Logic: Causal Leaps and the Myth of Historical Development. [REVIEW]Stephen Palmquist - 2007 - Foundations of Science 12 (1):9-37.
    After sketching the historical development of “emergence” and noting several recent problems relating to “emergent properties”, this essay proposes that properties may be either “emergent” or “mergent” and either “intrinsic” or “extrinsic”. These two distinctions define four basic types of change: stagnation, permanence, flux, and evolution. To illustrate how emergence can operate in a purely logical system, the Geometry of Logic is introduced. This new method of analyzing conceptual systems involves the mapping of logical relations onto geometrical figures, following (...)
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  6. The Evolution of Knowledge During the Cambrian Explosion.Walter Veit - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences:e47.
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  7. Innovationstheorie und die Evolution menschlicher Fähigkeiten: Beispiel Empathie.Alfred Gierer - 1998 - Nova Acta Leopoldina 77 (304):85-98.
    A summarizing English version on “Theory of Innovation and the Evolution of General Human Capabilities, such as Cognition-based Empathy” is included in the download. Den biologisch modernen Menschentyp charakterisieren sehr allgemeine Fähigkeiten, wie begriffliche Sprache, strategisches Denken und kognitionsgestützte Empathie. Neurobiologisch kann Empathiefähigkeit als eine Verbindung von Repräsentationen von Mitmenschen mit dem je eigenen Gefühlszentren im Gehirn angesehen werden. In Grundzügen ist sie vor vielleicht 100 000 Jahren als Folge von Mutationen der Erbsubstanz DNA entstanden. Für solche genetische Innovationen (...)
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  8. Evolution of Sentience, Consciousness and Language Viewed From a Darwinian and Purposive Perspective.Nicholas Maxwell - 2001 - In From The Human World in the Physical Universe: Consciousness, Free Will and Evolution, ch. 7. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 162-201.
    In this article I give a Darwinian account of how sentience, consciousness and language may have evolved. It is argued that sentience and consciousness emerge as brains control purposive actions in new ways. A key feature of this account is that Darwinian theory is interpreted so as to do justice to the purposive character of living things. According to this interpretation, as evolution proceeds, purposive actions play an increasingly important role in the mechanisms of evolution until, with (...) by cultural means, Darwinian evolution takes on a Lamarckian character. According to this view, as evolution proceeds, the mechanisms of Darwinian evolution themselves evolve. (shrink)
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  9.  68
    The Evolution of Skilled Imitative Learning: A Social Attention Hypothesis.Antonella Tramacere & Richard Moore - 2020 - In Carlotta Pavese & Ellen Fridland (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of skill and expertise. pp. 394-408.
    Humans are uncontroversially better than other species at learning from their peers. A key example of this is imitation, the ability to reproduce both the means and ends of others’ behaviours. Imitation is critical to the acquisition of a number of uniquely human cultural and cognitive traits. However, while authors largely agree on the importance of imitation, they disagree about the origins of imitation in humans. Some argue that imitation is an adaptation, connected to the ‘Mirror Neuron System’ that evolved (...)
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  10. The Cultural Evolution of Institutional Religions.Michael Vlerick - forthcoming - Religion, Brain and Behavior.
    In recent work, Atran, Henrich, Norenzayan and colleagues developed an account of religion that reconciles insights from the ‘by-product’ accounts and the adaptive accounts. According to their synthesis, the process of cultural group selection driven by group competition has recruited our proclivity to adopt and spread religious beliefs and engage in religious practices to increase within group solidarity, harmony and cooperation. While their account has much merit, I believe it only tells us half the story of how institutional religions have (...)
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  11.  5
    The Evolution and Development of Consciousness: The Subject-Object Emergence Hypothesis.John E. Stewart - 2022 - Biosystems 217.
    A strategy for investigating consciousness that has proven very productive has focused on comparing brain processes that are accompanied by consciousness with processes that are not. But comparatively little attention has been given to a related strategy that promises to be even more fertile. This strategy exploits the fact that as individuals develop, new classes of brain processes can transition from operating ‘in the dark’ to becoming conscious. It has been suggested that these transitions occur when a new (...)
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  12. Informational Mode of the Brain Operation and Consciousness as an Informational Related System.Florin Gaiseanu - 2019 - Archives in Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology 1 (5):1-7.
    Introduction: the objective of the investigation is to analyse the informational operating-mode of the brain and to extract conclusions on the structure of the informational system of the human body and consciousness. Analysis: the mechanisms and processes of the transmission of information in the body both by electrical and non-electrical ways are analysed in order to unify the informational concepts and to identify the specific essential requirements supporting the life. It is shown that the electrical transmission can be described (...)
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  13. Networks of Gene Regulation, Neural Development and the Evolution of General Capabilities, Such as Human Empathy.Alfred Gierer - 1998 - Zeitschrift Für Naturforschung C - A Journal of Bioscience 53:716-722.
    A network of gene regulation organized in a hierarchical and combinatorial manner is crucially involved in the development of the neural network, and has to be considered one of the main substrates of genetic change in its evolution. Though qualitative features may emerge by way of the accumulation of rather unspecific quantitative changes, it is reasonable to assume that at least in some cases specific combinations of regulatory parts of the genome initiated new directions of evolution, leading to (...)
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  14. "Monsters on the Brain: An Evolutionary Epistemology of Horror".Stephen Asma - 2014 - Social Research: An International Quarterly (N.4).
    The article discusses the evolutionary development of horror and fear in animals and humans, including in regard to cognition and physiological aspects of the brain. An overview of the social aspects of emotions, including the role that emotions play in interpersonal relations and the role that empathy plays in humans' ethics, is provided. An overview of the psychological aspects of monsters, including humans' simultaneous repulsion and interest in horror films that depict monsters, is also provided.
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  15. Where the Standard Approach in Comparative Neuroscience Fails and Where It Works: General Intelligence and Brain Asymmetries.Davide Serpico & Elisa Frasnelli - 2018 - Comparative Cognition and Behavior Reviews 13:95-98.
    Although brain size and the concept of intelligence have been extensively used in comparative neuroscience to study cognition and its evolution, such coarse-grained traits may not be informative enough about important aspects of neurocognitive systems. By taking into account the different evolutionary trajectories and the selection pressures on neurophysiology across species, Logan and colleagues suggest that the cognitive abilities of an organism should be investigated by considering the fine-grained and species-specific phenotypic traits that characterize it. In such a (...)
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  16. Cultural Evolution and Prosociality: Widening the Hypothesis Space.Bryce Huebner & Hagop Sarkissian - 2016 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (39):e15.
    Norenzayan and colleagues suggest that Big Gods can be replaced by Big Governments. We examine forms of social and self-monitoring and ritual practice that emerged in Classical China, heterarchical societies like those that emerged in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and the contemporary Zapatista movement of Chiapas, and we recommend widening the hypothesis space to include these alternative forms of social organization.
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  17. The Brain's Mind. The Mind's Brain.Ronny Verlet - manuscript
    The biological brain creates a mind, and the mental mind creates a brain. Learn how the brain creates consciousness and how it generates momentaneous time moments. Discover how at each moment in Time, our body runs the whole program of Evolution. Neuroscience and Philosophy.
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  18. Was Human Evolution Driven by Pleistocene Climate Change?Lucia C. Neco & Peter J. Richerson - 2014 - Ciência and Ambiente 1 (48):107-117.
    Modern humans are probably a product of social and anatomical preadaptations on the part of our Miocene australopithecine ancestors combined with the increasingly high amplitude, high frequency climate variation of the Pleistocene. The genus Homo first appeared in the early Pleistocene as ice age climates began to grip the earth. We hypothesize that this co-occurrence is causal. The human ability to adapt by cultural means is, in theory, an adaptation to highly variable environments because cultural evolution can better track (...)
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  19. The Future Evolution of Consciousness.John E. Stewart - 2007 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (8):58-92.
    What is the potential for improvements in the functioning of consciousness? The paper addresses this issue using global workspace theory. According to this model, the prime function of consciousness is to develop novel adaptive responses. Consciousness does this by putting together new combinations of knowledge, skills and other disparate resources that are recruited from throughout the brain. The paper's search for potential improvements in consciousness is aided by studies of a developmental transition that enhances functioning in whichever domain it (...)
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  20. ‘The Action of the Brain’. Machine Models and Adaptive Functions in Turing and Ashby.Hajo Greif - 2018 - In Vincent Müller (ed.), Philosophy and theory of artificial intelligence 2017. Berlin, Germany: Springer. pp. 24-35.
    Given the personal acquaintance between Alan M. Turing and W. Ross Ashby and the partial proximity of their research fields, a comparative view of Turing’s and Ashby’s work on modelling “the action of the brain” (letter from Turing to Ashby, 1946) will help to shed light on the seemingly strict symbolic/embodied dichotomy: While it is clear that Turing was committed to formal, computational and Ashby to material, analogue methods of modelling, there is no straightforward mapping of these approaches onto (...)
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  21. Teilhard and Other Modern Thinkers on Evolution, Mind, and Matter.Peter B. Todd - 2013 - Teilhard Studies (66):1-22.
    In his The Phenomenon of Man, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin develops concepts of consciousness, the noosphere, and psychosocial evolution. This paper explores Teilhard’s evolutionary concepts as resonant with thinking in psychology and physics. It explores contributions from archetypal depth psychology, quantum physics, and neuroscience to elucidate relationships between mind and matter. Teilhard’s work can be seen as advancing this psychological lineage or psychogenesis. That is, the evolutionary emergence of matter in increasing complexity from sub-atomic particles to the human (...) and reflective consciousness leads to a noosphere evolving towards an Omega point. Teilhard’s central ideas provide intimations of a numinous principle implicit in cosmology and the discovery that in and through humanity evolution not only becomes conscious of itself but also directed and purposive. (shrink)
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  22.  93
    Mind and Brain States.Inês Hipólito - 2015 - Epistemology and Philosophy of Science 44 (2):102-111.
    With neurons emergence, life alters itself in a remarkable way. This embodied neurons become carriers of signals, and processing devices: it begins an inexorable progression of functional complexity, from increasingly drawn behaviors to the mind and eventually to consciousness [Damasio, 2010]. In which moment has awareness arisen in the history of life? The emergence of human consciousness is associated with evolutionary developments in brain, behavior and mind, which ultimately lead to the creation of culture, a radical novelty in natural (...)
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  23. Physical Complexity and Cognitive Evolution.Peter Jedlicka - 2007 - In Carlos Gershenson, Diederik Aerts & Bruce Edmonds (eds.), Worldviews, Science, and Us: Philosophy and Complexity. World Scientific. pp. 221--231.
    Our intuition tells us that there is a general trend in the evolution of nature, a trend towards greater complexity. However, there are several definitions of complexity and hence it is difficult to argue for or against the validity of this intuition. Christoph Adami has recently introduced a novel measure called physical complexity that assigns low complexity to both ordered and random systems and high complexity to those in between. Physical complexity measures the amount of information that an organism (...)
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  24. Philosophy and Science, the Darwinian-Evolved Computational Brain, a Non-Recursive Super-Turing Machine & Our Inner-World-Producing Organ.Hermann G. W. Burchard - 2016 - Open Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):13-28.
    Recent advances in neuroscience lead to a wider realm for philosophy to include the science of the Darwinian-evolved computational brain, our inner world producing organ, a non-recursive super- Turing machine combining 100B synapsing-neuron DNA-computers based on the genetic code. The whole system is a logos machine offering a world map for global context, essential for our intentional grasp of opportunities. We start from the observable contrast between the chaotic universe vs. our orderly inner world, the noumenal cosmos. So far, (...)
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  25. Evolving Artificial Minds and Brains.Alex Vereschagin, Mike Collins & Pete Mandik - 2007 - In Drew Khlentzos & Andrea Schalley (eds.), Mental States Volume 1: Evolution, function, nature. John Benjamins.
    We explicate representational content by addressing how representations that ex- plain intelligent behavior might be acquired through processes of Darwinian evo- lution. We present the results of computer simulations of evolved neural network controllers and discuss the similarity of the simulations to real-world examples of neural network control of animal behavior. We argue that focusing on the simplest cases of evolved intelligent behavior, in both simulated and real organisms, reveals that evolved representations must carry information about the creature’s environ- ments (...)
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  26.  64
    On Tools Making Minds: An Archaeological Perspective on Human Cognitive Evolution.Karenleigh A. Overmann & Thomas Wynn - 2019 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 19 (1-2):39-58.
    Using a model of cognition as extended and enactive, we examine the role of materiality in making minds as exemplified by lithics and writing, forms associated with conceptual thought and meta-awareness of conceptual domains. We address ways in which brain functions may change in response to interactions with material forms, the attributes of material forms that may cause such change, and the spans of time required for neurofunctional reorganization. We also offer three hypotheses for investigating co-influence and change in (...)
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  27.  23
    Thoughts on Artificial Intelligence and the Origin of Life Resulting From General Relativity, with Neo-Darwinist Reference to Human Evolution and Mathematical Reference to Cosmology.Rodney Bartlett - manuscript
    When this article was first planned, writing was going to be exclusively about two things - the origin of life and human evolution. But it turned out to be out of the question for the author to restrict himself to these biological and anthropological topics. A proper understanding of them required answering questions like “What is the nature of the universe – the home of life – and how did it originate?”, “How can time travel be removed from fantasy (...)
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  28. Mirrors of the Soul and Mirrors of the Brain? The Expression of Emotions as the Subject of Art and Science.Machiel Keestra - 2014 - In Gary Schwartz (ed.), Emotions. Pain and pleasure in Dutch painting of the Golden Age. nai010 publishers. pp. 81-92.
    Is it not surprising that we look with so much pleasure and emotion at works of art that were made thousands of years ago? Works depicting people we do not know, people whose backgrounds are usually a mystery to us, who lived in a very different society and time and who, moreover, have been ‘frozen’ by the artist in a very deliberate pose. It was the Classical Greek philosopher Aristotle who observed in his Poetics that people could apparently be moved (...)
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  29. Misbehaving Machines: The Emulated Brains of Transhumanist Dreams.Corry Shores - 2011 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 22 (1):10-22.
    Enhancement technologies may someday grant us capacities far beyond what we now consider humanly possible. Nick Bostrom and Anders Sandberg suggest that we might survive the deaths of our physical bodies by living as computer emulations.­­ In 2008, they issued a report, or “roadmap,” from a conference where experts in all relevant fields collaborated to determine the path to “whole brain emulation.” Advancing this technology could also aid philosophical research. Their “roadmap” defends certain philosophical assumptions required for this technology’s (...)
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  30.  80
    The Mirror BRAIN - MIND.Ronny Verlet - 10/04/2021 - Koksijde:
    The biological Brain createst the mental Mind. Today our collective Mind becomes so fascinated by its source, the Brain, that all sciences incorporate neuro models in their concepts to increase global brainpower with technology. The most significant discovery is probably technology. We learn how the Brain creates consciousness and how the Brain generates momentaneous Time. Discover how at each moment in Time, our body runs the whole program of Evolution. What we know about the (...) is phantasy from the Mind. (shrink)
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  31. What Does the Mind Do That the Brain Does Not?Jean E. Burns - 2010 - In R. L. Amoroso (ed.), The Complementarity of Mind and Body: Fulfilling the Dream of Descartes, Einstein and Eccles. Nova Science.
    Two forms of independent action by consciousness have been proposed by various researchers – free will and holistic processing. (Holistic processing contributes to the formation of behavior through the holistic use of brain programs and encoding.) The well-known experiment of Libet et al. (1983) implies that if free will exists, its action must consist of making a selection among alternatives presented by the brain. As discussed herein, this result implies that any physical changes mind can produce in the (...)
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  32. Review of Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Brains[REVIEW]Neil Van Leeuwen - 2011 - Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 16 (5):473-478.
    The book I review, _Sleights of Mind_, aims to illuminate properties of perceptual systems by discussing human susceptibility to magical illusions. I describe how the authors use psychological principles to explain two tricks, spoon bending and the Miser's Dream. I also argue that the book is congenial to the following view of illusions: susceptibility to illusion is the result of evolutionary trade-offs; perceptual systems must make assumptions in order to function at all, but susceptibility to illusion is the byproduct of (...)
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  33.  7
    Recentering Neuroscience on Behavior: The Interface Between Brain and Environment is a Privileged Level of Control of Neural Activity. [REVIEW]Igor Branchi - 2022 - Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 138.
    Despite the huge and constant progress in the molecular and cellular neuroscience fields, our capability to understand brain alterations and treat mental illness is still limited. Therefore, a paradigm shift able to overcome such limitation is warranted. Behavior and the associated mental states are the interface between the central nervous system and the living environment. Since, in any system, the interface is a key regulator of system organization, behavior is proposed here as a unique and privileged level of control (...)
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  34. Toward a Better Understanding of Prosocial Behavior: The Role of Evolution and Directed Attention.Stephen Kaplan & Raymond De Young - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):263-264.
    Rachlin's thought-provoking analysis could be strengthened by greater openness to evolutionary interpretation and the use of the directed attention concept as a component of self-control. His contribution to the understanding of prosocial behavior would also benefit from abandoning the traditional (and excessively restrictive) definition of altruism.
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  35.  17
    The Relevance of Mathematics to Brain Functioning.Brian D. Josephson - manuscript
    The slides of a talk given at the Cavendish Laboratory in 2001, relating brain function to concepts such as hyperstructure theory (Baas), Memory Evolutive Systems (Ehresmann), and representational redescription (A Karmiloff-Smith).
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  36. Methodological Problems of Neuroscience.Nicholas Maxwell - 1985 - In David Rose & Vernon Dobson (eds.), Models of the Visual Cortex. New York: Wiley.
    In this paper I argue that neuroscience has been harmed by the widespread adoption of seriously inadequate methodologies or philosophies of science - most notably inductivism and falsificationism. I argue that neuroscience, in seeking to understand the human brain and mind, needs to follow in the footsteps of evolution.
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  37. Review of Terrence W. Deacon, The Symbolic Species. [REVIEW]Greg Nixon - 1998 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (5-6):746-748.
    Terrence Deacon has constructed a tome in which he unleashes his considerable learning in quest of several answers to the question, ‘What are we?’ He is uniquely qualified to take an approach which details the origin and development of, first, language, then the brain, and, lastly, their ‘co-evolution.’ Described on the jacket as ‘a world-renowned researcher in neuroscience and evolutionary anthropology,’ all of his background is called upon at various times to pull together the mass of data and (...)
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  38. The Emotional Mind: The Affective Roots of Culture and Cognition.Stephen Asma & Rami Gabriel - 2019 - Harvard University Press.
    Tracing the leading role of emotions in the evolution of the mind, a philosopher and a psychologist pair up to reveal how thought and culture owe less to our faculty for reason than to our capacity to feel. Many accounts of the human mind concentrate on the brain’s computational power. Yet, in evolutionary terms, rational cognition emerged only the day before yesterday. For nearly 200 million years before humans developed a capacity to reason, the emotional centers of the (...)
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  39. Sleep and Dreaming in the Predictive Processing Framework.Alessio Bucci & Matteo Grasso - 2017 - Philosophy and Predictive Processing.
    Sleep and dreaming are important daily phenomena that are receiving growing attention from both the scientific and the philosophical communities. The increasingly popular predictive brain framework within cognitive science aims to give a full account of all aspects of cognition. The aim of this paper is to critically assess the theoretical advantages of Predictive Processing (PP, as proposed by Clark 2013, Clark 2016; and Hohwy 2013) in defining sleep and dreaming. After a brief introduction, we overview the state of (...)
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  40. How Biology Became Social and What It Means for Social Theory.Maurizio Meloni - 2014 - The Sociological Review 62:593-614.
    In this paper I first offer a systematic outline of a series of conceptual novelties in the life-sciences that have favoured, over the last three decades, the emergence of a more social view of biology. I focus in particular on three areas of investigation: (1) technical changes in evolutionary literature that have provoked a rethinking of the possibility of altruism, morality and prosocial behaviours in evolution; (2) changes in neuroscience, from an understanding of the brain as an isolated (...)
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  41. On Illusory Contours and Their Functional Significance.Birgitta Dresp - 1997 - Current Psychology of Cognition 16:489-518.
    This article discusses the reasons why illusory contours are likely to result from adaptive perceptual mechanisms that have evolved across species to promote behavioral success.
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  42. The Origin of Language. [REVIEW]Desmond Fearnley-Sander - 2002 - Human Nature Review 2.
    REVIEW OF: The Symbolic Species - The co-evolution of language and the human brain, by Terrence Deacon, Penguin, 527pp, 1997. -/- Terrence Deacon works at the interface between neurobiology, developmental biology and biological anthropology. He is ideally placed to bring together the insights of the very different sciences of palaeontology and physiology into the nature and origins of language. The pleasures of his book are in the detail, the expert knowledge that the author brings to bear, the lucidity (...)
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  43. Complexity Reality and Scientific Realism.Avijit Lahiri - manuscript
    We introduce the notion of complexity, first at an intuitive level and then in relatively more concrete terms, explaining the various characteristic features of complex systems with examples. There exists a vast literature on complexity, and our exposition is intended to be an elementary introduction, meant for a broad audience. -/- Briefly, a complex system is one whose description involves a hierarchy of levels, where each level is made of a large number of components interacting among themselves. The time (...) of such a system is of a complex nature, depending on the interactions among subsystems in the next level below the one under consideration and, at the same time, conditioned by the level above, where the latter sets the context for the evolution. Generally speaking, the interactions among the constituents of the various levels lead to a dynamics characterized by numerous characteristic scales, each level having its own set of scales. What is more, a level commonly exhibits ‘emergent properties’ that cannot be derived from considerations relating to its component systems taken in isolation or to those in a different contextual setting. In the dynamic evolution of some particular level, there occurs a self-organized emergence of a higher level and the process is repeated at still higher levels. -/- The interaction and self-organization of the components of a complex system follow the principle commonly expressed by saying that the ‘whole is different from the sum of the parts’. In the case of systems whose behavior can be expressed mathematically in terms of differential equations this means that the interactions are nonlinear in nature. -/- While all of the above features are not universally exhibited by complex systems, these are nevertheless indicative of a broad commonness relative to which individual systems can be described and analyzed. There exist measures of complexity which, once again, are not of universal applicability, being more heuristic than exact. The present state of knowledge and understanding of complex systems is itself an emerging one. Still, a large number of results on various systems can be related to their complex character, making complexity an immensely fertile concept in the study of natural, biological, and social phenomena. -/- All this puts a very definite limitation on the complete description of a complex system as a whole since such a system can be precisely described only contextually, relative to some particular level, where emergent properties rule out an exact description of more than one levels within a common framework. -/- We discuss the implications of these observations in the context of our conception of the so-called noumenal reality that has a mind-independent existence and is perceived by us in the form of the phenomenal reality. The latter is derived from the former by means of our perceptions and interpretations, and our efforts at sorting out and making sense of the bewildering complexity of reality takes the form of incessant processes of inference that lead to theories. Strictly speaking, theories apply to models that are constructed as idealized versions of parts of reality, within which inferences and abstractions can be carried out meaningfully, enabling us to construct the theories. -/- There exists a correspondence between the phenomenal and the noumenal realities in terms of events and their correlations, where these are experienced as the complex behavior of systems or entities of various descriptions. The infinite diversity of behavior of systems in the phenomenal world are explained within specified contexts by theories. The latter are constructs generated in our ceaseless attempts at interpreting the world, and the question arises as to whether these are reflections of `laws of nature' residing in the noumenal world. This is a fundamental concern of scientific realism, within the fold of which there exists a trend towards the assumption that theories express truths about the noumenal reality. We examine this assumption (referred to as a ‘point of view’ in the present essay) closely and indicate that an alternative point of view is also consistent within the broad framework of scientific realism. This is the view that theories are domain-specific and contextual, and that these are arrived at by independent processes of inference and abstractions in the various domains of experience. Theories in contiguous domains of experience dovetail and interpenetrate with one another, and bear the responsibility of correctly explaining our observations within these domains. -/- With accumulating experience, theories get revised and the network of our theories of the world acquires a complex structure, exhibiting a complex evolution. There exists a tendency within the fold of scientific realism of interpreting this complex evolution in rather simple terms, where one assumes (this, again, is a point of view) that theories tend more and more closely to truths about Nature and, what is more, progress towards an all-embracing ‘ultimate theory’ -- a foundational one in respect of all our inquiries into nature. We examine this point of view closely and outline the alternative view -- one broadly consistent with scientific realism -- that there is no ‘ultimate’ law of nature, that theories do not correspond to truths inherent in reality, and that successive revisions in theory do not lead monotonically to some ultimate truth. Instead, the theories generated in succession are incommensurate with each other, testifying to the fact that a theory gives us a perspective view of some part of reality, arrived at contextually. Instead of resembling a monotonically converging series successive theories are analogous to asymptotic series. -/- Before we summarize all the above considerations, we briefly address the issue of the complexity of the {\it human mind} -- one as pervasive as the complexity of Nature at large. The complexity of the mind is related to the complexity of the underlying neuronal organization in the brain, which operates within a larger biological context, its activities being modulated by other physiological systems, notably the one involving a host of chemical messengers. The mind, with no materiality of its own, is nevertheless emergent from the activity of interacting neuronal assemblies in the brain. As in the case of reality at large, there can be no ultimate theory of the mind, from which one can explain and predict the entire spectrum of human behavior, which is an infinitely rich and diverse one. (shrink)
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  44. Why Peirce Matters : The Symbol in Deacon’s Symbolic Species.Tanya De Villiers - 2007 - Language Sciences 29 (1):88-101.
    In ‘‘Why brains matter: an integrational perspective on The Symbolic Species’’ Cowley (2002) [Language Sciences 24, 73–95] suggests that Deacon pictures brains as being able to process words qua tokens, which he identifies as the theory’s Achilles’ heel. He goes on to argue that Deacon’s thesis on the co-evolution of language and mind would benefit from an integrational approach. This paper argues that Cowley’s criticism relies on an invalid understanding of Deacon’s use the concept of ‘‘symbolic reference’’, which he (...)
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  45. Neuroethics and Animals: Report and Recommendations From the University of Pennsylvania Animal Research Neuroethics Workshop.Adam Shriver & Tyler M. John - 2021 - ILAR Journal (00):1-10.
    Growing awareness of the ethical implications of neuroscience in the early years of the 21st century led to the emergence of the new academic field of “neuroethics,” which studies the ethical implications of developments in the neurosciences. However, despite the acceleration and evolution of neuroscience research on nonhuman animals, the unique ethical issues connected with neuroscience research involving nonhuman animals remain underdiscussed. This is a significant oversight given the central place of animal models in neuroscience. To respond to these (...)
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  46. The Cambrian Explosion and the Origins of Embodied Cognition.Michael Trestman - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (1):80-92.
    Around 540 million years ago there was a sudden, dramatic adaptive radiation known as the Cambrian Explosion. This event marked the origin of almost all of the phyla (major lineages characterized by fundamental body plans) of animals that would ever live on earth, as well the appearance of many notable features such as rigid skeletons and other hard parts, complex jointed appendages, eyes, and brains. This radical evolutionary event has been a major puzzle for evolutionary biologists since Darwin, and while (...)
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  47. Varieties of Representation in Evolved and Embodied Neural Networks.Pete Mandik - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (1):95-130.
    In this paper I discuss one of the key issuesin the philosophy of neuroscience:neurosemantics. The project of neurosemanticsinvolves explaining what it means for states ofneurons and neural systems to haverepresentational contents. Neurosemantics thusinvolves issues of common concern between thephilosophy of neuroscience and philosophy ofmind. I discuss a problem that arises foraccounts of representational content that Icall ``the economy problem'': the problem ofshowing that a candidate theory of mentalrepresentation can bear the work requiredwithin in the causal economy of a mind and (...)
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  48. Why Some Apes Became Humans, Competition, Consciousness, and Culture.Pouwel Slurink - 2002 - Dissertation, Radboud University
    Chapter 1 (To know in order to survive) & Chapter 2 (A critique of evolved reason) explain human knowledge and its limits from an evolutionary point of view. Chapter 3 (Captured in our Cockpits) explains the evolution of consciousness, using value driven decision theory. Chapter 4-6 (Chapter 4 Sociobiology, Chapter 5 Culture: the Human Arena), Chapter 6, Genes, Memes, and the Environment) show that to understand culture you have at least to deal with 4 levels: genes, brains, the environment, (...)
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  49.  87
    Let the Dice Play God.Damiano Anselmi - manuscript
    We define life as the amplification of quantum uncertainty up to macroscopic scales. A living being is any amplifier that achieves this goal. We argue that everything we know about life can be explained from this idea. We study a ladder mechanism to estimate the probability that the amplification occurs spontaneously in nature. The amplification mechanism is so sensitive to small variations of its own parameters that it acts as a bifurcation itself, i.e. it implies that the universe is either (...)
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  50. A Copernican Revolution in Science and Religion Towards a Third Millennium Spirituality:The Entangled State of God and Humanity.Peter B. Todd - forthcoming - Symposium Conference Paper, C. G. Jung Society of Melbourne, May 21, 2016.
    As the title, The Entangled State of God and Humanity suggests, this lecture dispenses with the pre-Copernican, patriarchal, anthropomorphic image of God while presenting a case for a third millennium theology illuminated by insights from archetypal depth psychology, quantum physics, neuroscience and evolutionary biology. It attempts to smash the conceptual barriers between science and religion and in so doing, it may contribute to a Copernican revolution which reconciles both perspectives which have been apparently irreconcilable opposites since the sixteenth century. The (...)
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