On the evolution of consciousness and language
Keywords:consciousness, language, plans, motivation, evolution, motor system
Deposited by:Prof. Bruce Bridgeman
Date of Issue:1992
Page Range:Electronic journal-29 paragraphs
Abstract:Psychology can be based on plans, internally held images ofachievement that organize the stimulus-response links of traditional psychology. The hierarchical structure of plans must be produced, held, assigned priorities, and monitored. Consciousness is the operation of the plan-executing mechanism, enabling behavior to be driven by plans rather than immediate environmental contingencies. The mechanism unpacks a single internally held idea into a series of actions. New in this paper is the proposal that language uses this mechanism for communication, unpacking an idea into a series of articulatory acts. Language comprehension uses the plan-monitoring mechanism to pack a series of linguistic events into an idea. Recursive processing results from monitoring one's own speech. Neurophysiologically, the planning mechanism is identified with higher-order motor control.