After Phrenology: Neural Reuse And The Interactive Brain by Michael L. AndersonAfter Phrenology: Neural Reuse And The Interactive Brain by Michael L. Anderson

After Phrenology: Neural Reuse And The Interactive Brain

byMichael L. Anderson

Hardcover | December 12, 2014

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A proposal for a fully post-phrenological neuroscience that details the evolutionary roots of functional diversity in brain regions and networks.

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.

Michael L. Anderson is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
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Title:After Phrenology: Neural Reuse And The Interactive BrainFormat:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.12 inPublished:December 12, 2014Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262028107

ISBN - 13:9780262028103

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A proposal for a fully post-phrenological neuroscience that details the evolutionary roots of functional diversity in brain regions and networks.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.In this ground-breaking treatment, Michael Anderson argues for a vision of the brain as, at root, a dynamical system for the control of action. This has radical implications for how to think about the role of different neural regions and offers a promising way to blend neuroscientific research with insights from the study of embodied and socially situated cognition. Mindedness, Anderson argues 'is the activity of making the world a home.' The writing is fluid, the ideas compelling, and the overall vision unique. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the nature of mind and action.-Andy Clark, FRSE, Professor of Logic and Metaphysics, University of Edinburgh