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  1.  12
    I, NEURON: The Neuron as the Collective.Lance Nizami - 2017 - Kybernetes 46:1508-1526.
    Purpose – In the last half-century, individual sensory neurons have been bestowed with characteristics of the whole human being, such as behavior and its oft-presumed precursor, consciousness. This anthropomorphization is pervasive in the literature. It is also absurd, given what we know about neurons, and it needs to be abolished. This study aims to first understand how it happened, and hence why it persists. Design/methodology/approach – The peer-reviewed sensory-neurophysiology literature extends to hundreds (perhaps thousands) of papers. Here, more than 90 (...)
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  2.  9
    Reductionism Ad Absurdum: Attneave and Dennett Cannot Reduce Homunculus (and Hence the Mind).Lance Nizami - 2018 - Kybernetes 47:163-185.
    Purpose – Neuroscientists act as proxies for implied anthropomorphic signal- processing beings within the brain, Homunculi. The latter examine the arriving neuronal spike-trains to infer internal and external states. But a Homunculus needs a brain of its own, to coordinate its capabilities – a brain that necessarily contains a Homunculus and so on indefinitely. Such infinity is impossible – and in well-cited papers, Attneave and later Dennett claim to eliminate it. How do their approaches differ and do they (in fact) (...)
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  3.  7
    Paradigm Versus Praxis: Why Psychology ‘Absolute Identification’ Experiments Do Not Reveal Sensory Processes.Lance Nizami - 2013 - Kybernetes 42:1447-1456.
    Purpose – A key cybernetics concept, information transmitted in a system, was quantified by Shannon. It quickly gained prominence, inspiring a version by Harvard psychologists Garner and Hake for “absolute identification” experiments. There, human subjects “categorize” sensory stimuli, affording “information transmitted” in perception. The Garner-Hake formulation has been in continuous use for 62 years, exerting enormous influence. But some experienced theorists and reviewers have criticized it as uninformative. They could not explain why, and were ignored. Here, the “why” is answered. (...)
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  4.  6
    Sensory Systems as Cybernetic Systems That Require Awareness of Alternatives to Interact with the World: Analysis of the Brain-Receptor Loop in Norwich's Entropy Theory of Perception.Lance Nizami - 2009 - Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics. San Antonio, TX.
    Introduction & Objectives: Norwich’s Entropy Theory of Perception (1975 [1] -present) stands alone. It explains many firing-rate behaviors and psychophysical laws from bare theory. To do so, it demands a unique sort of interaction between receptor and brain, one that Norwich never substantiated. Can it now be confirmed, given the accumulation of empirical sensory neuroscience? Background: Norwich conjoined sensation and a mathematical model of communication, Shannon’s Information Theory, as follows: “In the entropic view of sensation, magnitude of sensation is regarded (...)
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  5.  5
    Homunculus Strides Again: Why ‘Information Transmitted’ in Neuroscience Tells Us Nothing.Lance Nizami - 2015 - Kybernetes 44:1358-1370.
    Purpose – For half a century, neuroscientists have used Shannon Information Theory to calculate “information transmitted,” a hypothetical measure of how well neurons “discriminate” amongst stimuli. Neuroscientists’ computations, however, fail to meet even the technical requirements for credibility. Ultimately, the reasons must be conceptual. That conclusion is confirmed here, with crucial implications for neuroscience. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – Shannon Information Theory depends upon a physical model, Shannon’s “general communication system.” Neuroscientists’ interpretation of that model is (...)
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  6.  5
    Interpretation of Absolute Judgments Using Information Theory: Channel Capacity or Memory Capacity?Lance Nizami - 2010 - Cybernetics and Human Knowing 17:111-155.
    Shannon’s information theory has been a popular component of first-order cybernetics. It quantifies information transmitted in terms of the number of times a sent symbol is received as itself, or as another possible symbol. Sent symbols were events and received symbols were outcomes. Garner and Hake reinterpreted Shannon, describing events and outcomes as categories of a stimulus attribute, so as to quantify the information transmitted in the psychologist’s category (or absolute judgment) experiment. There, categories are represented by specific stimuli, and (...)
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  7.  4
    Information Theory’s Failure in Neuroscience: On the Limitations of Cybernetics.Lance Nizami - 2014 - In Proceedings of the IEEE 2014 Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century.
    In Cybernetics (1961 Edition), Professor Norbert Wiener noted that “The role of information and the technique of measuring and transmitting information constitute a whole discipline for the engineer, for the neuroscientist, for the psychologist, and for the sociologist”. Sociology aside, the neuroscientists and the psychologists inferred “information transmitted” using the discrete summations from Shannon Information Theory. The present author has since scrutinized the psychologists’ approach in depth, and found it wrong. The neuroscientists’ approach is highly related, but remains unexamined. Neuroscientists (...)
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  8.  4
    Memory Model of Information Transmitted in Absolute Judgment.Lance Nizami - 2011 - Kybernetes 40:80-109.
    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the popular “information transmitted” interpretation of absolute judgments, and to provide an alternative interpretation if one is needed. Design/methodology/approach – The psychologists Garner and Hake and their successors used Shannon’s Information Theory to quantify information transmitted in absolute judgments of sensory stimuli. Here, information theory is briefly reviewed, followed by a description of the absolute judgment experiment, and its information theory analysis. Empirical channel capacities are scrutinized. A remarkable coincidence, the (...)
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  9.  4
    Norwich’s Entropy Theory: How Not to Go From Abstract to Actual.Lance Nizami - 2011 - Kybernetes 40:1102-1118.
    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to ask whether a first-order-cybernetics concept, Shannon’s Information Theory, actually allows a far-reaching mathematics of perception allegedly derived from it, Norwich et al.’s “Entropy Theory of Perception”. Design/methodology/approach – All of The Entropy Theory, 35 years of publications, was scrutinized for its characterization of what underlies Shannon Information Theory: Shannon’s “general communication system”. There, “events” are passed by a “source” to a “transmitter”, thence through a “noisy channel” to a “receiver”, that passes (...)
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