Their experiment consisted of people clicking on the image of a word spoken
aloud. They found it took people longer for similar sounding words, such
as when present with an image of candy and candle. From this, they
"In thinking of cognition as working as a biological organism does, on the
other hand, you do not have to be in one state
*or* another like a computer, but can have values in between -- you can be
partially in one state *and* another, and then eventually gravitate to a
unique interpretation, as in finally recognizing a spoken word," Spivey
The non-discrete and partial "states" they refer to are high-level mental
states, such as word identification. This is of little to no relevance to
the low level digital states that would form the basis of a mind under
computationalism. When considering the highest levels of the brain, it is
easy to mistake thought processes as continuous, just as people often
consider a quantity of water to be continuous. Yet, we know
this appearance is simply the result of the huge numbers involved.
On Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 10:00 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:
> On Dec 22, 7:13 pm, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > This is because of the modularity of our brains:
> > Different sections of the brain perform specific functions. Some neurons
> > may serve only as communication links between different regions in the
> > brain, while others may be involved in processing. I think that the
> > malfunction and correction of a "communication neuron" might not alter
> > Alice's experience, in the same way we could correct a faulty signal in
> > optic nerve and not expect her experience to be affected. I am less
> > however, that a neuron involved in processing could have its function
> > replaced by a randomly received particle, as this changes the definition
> > the machine.
> > Think of a register containing a bit '1'. If the bit is '1' because two
> > inputs were received and the logical AND operation is applied, this is an
> > entirely different computation from two bits being ANDed, the result
> > in that register, then (regardless of the result) the bit '1' is set in
> > that register. This erases any effect of the two input bits, and
> > the computation altogether. This 'set 1' instruction is much like the
> > received particles from the super nova causing neurons to fire. It is a
> > very shallow computation, and in my opinion, not likely to lead to any
> > consciousness.
> This study suggests that the mind should not be modeled in that way:
> "For decades, the cognitive and neural sciences have treated mental
> processes as though they involved passing discrete packets of
> information in a strictly feed-forward fashion from one cognitive
> module to the next or in a string of individuated binary symbols --
> like a digital computer," said Spivey. "More recently, however, a
> growing number of studies, such as ours, support dynamical-systems
> approaches to the mind. In this model, perception and cognition are
> mathematically described as a continuous trajectory through a high-
> dimensional mental space; the neural activation patterns flow back and
> forth to produce nonlinear, self-organized, emergent properties --
> like a biological organism."
> Their findings support my view that consciousness is biological
> awareness, not modular computation.
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "Everything List" group.
> To post to this group, send email to email@example.com.
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> For more options, visit this group at
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at