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‘Material Symbols’ – Clark 2006

21 December, 2011 Leave a comment

Clark describes an alternative to Fodorian ‘mentalese’ and rich-internal-representation accounts (e.g. Churchland, Barsalou) of language comprehension and usage. He calls his model ‘the complementarity hypothesis’.

The complementarity hypothesis says that language functions to enhance the intrinsic abilities of the biological mind (c.f. the ‘extended mind hypothesis’). The difference from Fodor’s account is clear; the difference from accounts like Barsalou’s ‘perceptual symbol system’ less obvious. Read more…

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Knowledge of our own thoughts is just as interpretive as knowledge of the thoughts of others

4 November, 2011 Leave a comment

Peter Carruthers argues at On The Human that the idea that knowledge of our own thoughts is qualitatively different than knowledge of the thoughts of others is one we need to abandon. He proposes instead that the much-discussed ‘mindreading’ faculty used to understand others is used to understand one’s own internal state, as well, in a theory he calls Interpretive Self-Access.  Read more…

Self in Time and Language

24 October, 2011 Leave a comment

Cosentino argues with Dennet’s claim that language creates the self as a ‘narrative center of gravity’. Rather, she says, it is the ability to mentally project oneself into irrealis states that is central, and that episodic memory does not primarily function as a record of one’s life; rather, it’s an archive for generating recombinatorial predictions.

While the author notes that many other species have some cognitive ability to project (aka ‘mental time travel’, MTT), such as corvidae, other primates, etc, I think more could be made of the point that this is (perhaps?) not enough for a self. Read more…

Moving Through Time

19 January, 2010 Leave a comment

Thinking about past or future events can literally move us: Engaging in mental time travel (a.k.a. chronesthesia) results in physical movement corresponding to the direction of time. Volunteers who thought about past events swayed backwards while volunteers imagining future events swayed forward. These findings suggest that chronesthesia may be grounded in processes that link spatial and temporal metaphors (e.g., future= forward, past=backward) to our systems of perception and action.

Lynden K. Miles, Louise K. Nind, and C. Neil Macrae
Psychological Science
Moving Through Time — PDF.

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Destination Memory: Stop Me if I’ve Told You This Before. Nigel Gopie. 2009; Psychological Science – Wiley InterScience

4 December, 2009 Leave a comment

Destination Memory: Stop Me if I’ve Told You This Before. Nigel Gopie. 2009; Psychological Science – Wiley InterScience.

Everyone has recounted a story or joke to someone only to experience a nagging feeling that they may already have told this person this information. Remembering to whom one has told what, an ability that we term destination memory, has been overlooked by researchers despite its important social ramifications. Using a novel paradigm, we demonstrate that destination memory is more fallible than source memory—remembering the person from whom one has received information (Experiment 1). In Experiments 2 and 3, we increased and decreased self-focus, obtaining support for a theoretical framework that explains relatively poor destination memory performance as being the result of focusing attention on oneself and on the processes required to transmit information. Along with source memory, destination memory is an important component of episodic memory that plays a critical role in social interactions.

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OnFiction: Remembrance and Imagination

4 December, 2009 Leave a comment

OnFiction: Remembrance and Imagination.
Dan Schacter, Donna Addis, and Randy Buckner (e.g. 2007), … have found that people who have episodic memories that are detailed and specific in terms of time and place tend also to make predictions of possible future events that are detailed and specific in the same way.

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PLoS ONE: An Auditory Illusion of Infinite Tempo Change Based on Multiple Temporal Levels

4 December, 2009 Leave a comment
Categories: Papers
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