Vol 2 (1995 - 1996)

Table of Contents

Book Reviews

A Self Divided A Review of Self and Consciousness: Multiple Perspectives Frank S. Kessel, Pamela M. Cole, and Dale L. Johnson (Eds). Full Text
Valerie Gray Hardcastle
Between The Motion And The Act... A Review of Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penros Full Text
Tim Maudlin
Is Quantum Mechanics Relevant To Understanding Consciousness A Review of Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penrose Full Text
Stanley A. Klein
Can Humans Escape Gödel? A Review of Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penrose Full Text
Daryl McCullough
Roger Penrose's Gravitonic Brains A Review of Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penrose  Full Text
Hans Moravec
Penrose's Gödelian Argument A Review of Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penrose  Full Text
Solomon Feferman
Can Physics Provide a Theory of Consciousness? A Review of Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penrose Full Text
Bernard J. Baars
Minds, Machines, And Mathematics A Review of Shadows of the Mind by Roger PenroseFull Text
David J. Chalmers
Awareness and Understanding in Computer Programs A Review of Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penrose Full Text
John McCarthy
A Lack of Depth Review of The Pinnacle of Life: Consciousness and self-awareness in humans and animals by Derek Denton Full Text
Matthew Elton
A Synesthesia Experiment: Consciousness of Neural Activity Full Text
James A. Schirillo
[STAR] Penrose is Wrong Full Text
Drew McDermott
Review of The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search For The Soul by Francis Crick Full Text
Bill Webster
Review Of Creativity And Consciousness: Philosophical And Psychological Dimensions edited by Jerzy Brzezinski, Santo Di Nuovo, Tadeusz Marek, and Tomasz Maruszewski Full Text
Adriano P. Palma
Beyond the Doubting of a Shadow A Reply to Commentaries on Shadows of the Mind  Full Text
Roger Penrose
Automated Theorem Proving and Its Prospects Full Text
Desmond Fearnley Sander
Do Seated Souls Experience Slumberous Sensations? Review of The Engine of Reason, The Seat of the Soul by Paul Churchland Full Text
Luciano da Fontoura Costa
What We Really Know About Consciousness Review of A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness by Bernard Baars Full Text
Bruce Bridgeman
Qualia Ain't in the Head Review of Ten Problems of Consciousness: A Representational Theory of the Phenomenal Mind by Michael Tye Full Text
D.M. Armstrong
 'Bridge Out' on the Road to a Theory of Consciousness Full Text
Gregory R. Mulhauser
Reply to Mulhauser's Review of The Conscious Mind Full Text
David J. Chalmers

 

Articles

Why Classical Mechanics Cannot Naturally Accommodate Consciousness but Quantum Mechanics Can Summary Full Text
Henry P. Stapp
It is argued on the basis of certain mathematical characteristics that classical mechanics is not constitutionally suited to accommodate consciousness, whereas quantum mechanics is. These mathematical characteristics pertain to the nature of the information represented in the state of the brain, and the way this information enters into the dynamics.
Synesthesia: Phenomenology And Neuropsychology A Review of Current Knowledge Summary Full Text
Richard E. Cytowic
Synesthesia (Greek, syn = together + aisthesis = perception) is the involuntary physical experience of a cross-modal association. That is, the stimulation of one sensory modality reliably causes a perception in one or more different senses. Its phenomenology clearly distinguishes it from metaphor, literary tropes, sound symbolism, and deliberate artistic contrivances that sometimes employ the term "synesthesia" to describe their multisensory joinings. An unexpected demographic and cognitive constellation co-occurs with synesthesia: females and non-right-handers predominate, the trait is familial, and memory is superior while math and spatial navigation suffer. Synesthesia appears to be a left-hemisphere function that is not cortical in the conventional sense. The hippocampus is critical for its experience. Five clinical features comprise its diagnosis. Synesthesia is "abnormal" only in being statistically rare. It is, in fact, a normal brain process that is prematurely displayed to consciousness in a minority of individuals.
On The Neural Mechanisms of Sequence Learning Summary Full Text
Tim Curran
Nissen and Bullemer's (1987) serial reaction time task (SRT) has proven to be a useful model task for exploring implicit sequence learning. Neuropsychological research indicates that SRT learning may depend on the integrity of the basal ganglia, but not on medial temporal and diencephalic structures that are crucial for explicit learning. Recent neuroimaging research demonstrates that motor cortical areas (primary motor cortex, premotor cortex, supplementary motor cortex), prefrontal, and parietal cortex also may be involved. This paper reviews this neuropsychological and neuroimaging research, but finds it lacking specific links between structure and function. In order to promote better functional hypotheses, the second part of the paper examines the function of these brain areas (basal ganglia, motor cortical areas, prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex) from a broader perspective. Neuroimaging and neuropsychological research with human subjects, as well as neurophysiological and lesion research with animals, suggests a number component operations that these brain mechanisms may contribute to learning in the SRT task.
The Death of Implicit Memory Summary Full Text
Daniel B. Willingham, Laura Preuss
The thesis of this article is that implicit memory does not exist. Implicit memory phenomena are distinct from explicit memory phenomena at a neural and information processing level, but there is such variety among the implicit memory phenomena that nothing holds them together in a common category. Other researchers have distinguished among different types of implicit memory, but have retained the superordinate category. Extant data is evaluated in light of how classification systems should be developed, and it is concluded that there is currently not a reason to retain the construct "implicit memory."
On The Neural Mechanisms of Sequence Learning Summary Full Text
Tim Curran
Nissen and Bullemer's (1987) serial reaction time task (SRT) has proven to be a useful model task for exploring implicit sequence learning. Neuropsychological research indicates that SRT learning may depend on the integrity of the basal ganglia, but not on medial temporal and diencephalic structures that are crucial for explicit learning. Recent neuroimaging research demonstrates that motor cortical areas (primary motor cortex, premotor cortex, supplementary motor cortex), prefrontal, and parietal cortex also may be involved. This paper reviews this neuropsychological and neuroimaging research, but finds it lacking specific links between structure and function. In order to promote better functional hypotheses, the second part of the paper examines the function of these brain areas (basal ganglia, motor cortical areas, prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex) from a broader perspective. Neuroimaging and neuropsychological research with human subjects, as well as neurophysiological and lesion research with animals, suggests a number component operations that these brain mechanisms may contribute to learning in the SRT task.
Why the Difference Between Quantum and Classical Physics is Irrelevant to the Mind/Body Problem Summary Full Text
Kirk Ludwig
I argue that the logical difference between classical and quantum mechanics that Stapp (1995) claims shows quantum mechanics is more amenable to an account of consciousness than is classical mechanics is irrelevant to the problem.
On the End of a Quantum Mechanical Romance Summary Full Text
Gregory R. Mulhauser
Comparatively recent advances in quantum measurement theory suggest that the decades-old flirtation between quantum mechanics and the philosophy of mind is about to end. Various approaches to what I have elsewhere dubbed 'interactive decoherence' promise to remove the conscious observer from the phenomenon of state vector reduction. The mechanisms whereby decoherence occurs suggest, on the one hand, that consciousness per se has no role in explaining the outcomes of quantum events and, on the other, that perhaps apart from questions about the very lowest level properties of minds' instantiating hardware or wetware, the unique features of quantum mechanics are utterly irrelevant to the philosophy of mind. Here we explore a better account of interactive decoherence than I have offered elsewhere, make explicit the argument for irrelevance, and address some unanswered questions and an interesting objection against the formulation of decoherence on which our discussion is based.
Do Measures of Explicit Learning Actually Measure What is Being Learnt in the Serial Reaction Time Task? A Critique of Current Methods Summary Full Text
Georgina M. Jackson, Stephen R. Jackson
Studies of implicit learning have shown that individuals exposed to a rule-governed environment often learn to exploit 'rules' which describe the structural relationship between environmental events. While some authors have interpreted such demonstrations as evidence for functionally separate implicit learning systems, others have argued that the observed changes in performance result from explicit knowledge which has been inadequately assessed. In this paper we illustrate this issue by considering one commonly used implicit learning task, the Serial reaction time task, and outline what we see as an important problem associated with each of the commonly used methods used to assess explicit knowledge. This is that each measure requires a form of response which is dependent on the subjects having some knowledge of the serial-order of the sequence. We argue that such methods, or more specifically their analyses, seriously underestimate other sources of knowledge, which may be available to subjects during their performance of the SRT task. In support of this argument we demonstrate that subjects' serial-order knowledge can, in principle, be independent of subjects' knowledge of the statistical structure of the sequence, and we propose an alternative method for analysing performance on the Generate task which avoids this problem.
Quantum Consciousness is Cybernetic Summary Full Text
Gordon Globus
Classical mechanics cannot naturally accommodate consciousness, whereas quantum mechanics can, but the Heisenberg/Stapp (H/S) approach, in which consciousness randomly collapses the neural wave function, leaves the conscious function unrestricted by known physical principles. The Umezawa/Yasue (U/Y) approach, in which consciousness offers superposed possibilities to the match with sensory input, is based in the first physical principles of quantum field theory. Stapp thinks of the brain as a measuring device, like a Geiger counter, and overlooks that the brain upholds second-order quantum fields that are symmetry-conserving with respect to reality. Consciousness is cybernetic rather than having a random function.
Synesthesia and Method Summary Full Text
Kevin B. Korb
Richard Cytowic has done considerable service to the scientific study of synesthesia, conducting important research and publishing two recent books on the subject. The study of synesthesia raises interesting questions about scientific method, both because of the negative reception it received initially--often being viewed as tainted by a reliance upon introspective reports--and because of the connections Cytowic has found between synesthetic perception and the limbic system, thereby possibly undermining some of the claims to objectivity in perception and scientific method. I dispute some of the more extreme methodological conclusions Cytowic draws from his work and reinforce others by reference to different arguments current within the philosophy of science.
Parallel Models of Serial Behaviour: Lashley Revisited Summary Full Text
George Houghton, Tom Hartley
In 1951, Lashley highlighted the importance of serial order for the brain and behavioural sciences. He considered the response chaining account untenable and proposed an alternative employing parallel response activation and "schemata for action". Subsequently, much has been learned about sequential behaviour, particularly in the linguistic domain. We argue that these developments support Lashley's picture, and recent computational models compatible with it are described. The models are developed in a series of steps, beginning with the basic problem of parallel response competition and its possible resolution into serial action. At each stage, important limitations of the previous models are identified and simple additions proposed to overcome them, including the provision of learning mechanisms. Each type of model is compared with relevant data, and the importance of error data is emphasized. Taken together, the models constitute a unified approach to serial order which has achieved considerable explanatory success across disparate domains.
Synesthesia - A Real Phenomenon? Or Real Phenomena? Summary Full Text
Luciano da F. Costa
This text comments on Cytowic's recent review on the current knowledge on synesthesia. Recent neurophysiological findings are discussed that suggest cross-modal interference in the mammalian brain. Based on these results, it is proposed that synesthesia may not be restricted to the phenomenologically characterized abnormality described in Cytowic's review, but rather that it may encompass a series of related physical phenomena in the brain. Some additional remarks on the relationship between emotions and consciousness have also been included.
Is There a Normal Phase of Synaesthesia in Development? Summary Full Text
Simon Baron Cohen
Synaesthesia (one sense triggering another) has recently become amenable to scientific investigation. Recent findings are reviewed. Maurer's developmental theory of synaesthesia is then discussed. The theory states that all human neonates have synaesthesia, but that by about 4 months of age the senses have become modularized to the extent that we no longer have synaesthesia. Possible ways of testing this important theory are described, and the distinction between this account and cross-modal matching (Meltzoff) is clarified.
Synaesthesia and Synaesthetic Metaphors Summary Full Text
Sean Day
In a synesthetic metaphor, a certain perceptual mode is initially specified (or may be assumed), but the imagery is linguistically related in terms belonging to one or more differing perceptual modes. Commonplace examples of synesthetic metaphors in English include phrases such as "loud colors", "dark sounds", and "sweet smells". Tabulations of the frequency of types of synesthesia and synesthetic metaphors in English reveals that for physiological synesthesia, colored sounds are most common; in English literature, synesthetic metaphors employed for descriptions of tactile sound predominate. Of the various senses, hearing is most frequently expanded and elaborated upon by both synesthetic sensory perceptions and synesthetic metaphors. Synesthetic "visual hearing", which antedates language, may have influenced language development.
Measures of Awareness and of Sequence Knowledge Summary Full Text
Sean Day
Jackson and Jackson (1995) argue that most current tests used to assess awareness of sequential material are flawed because of their emphasis on accuracy. They propose to distinguish two forms of sequence knowledge: Serial knowledge, that is, knowledge about the specific sequence that stimuli follow, which involves information about the statistical relationship between many sequence elements, and statistical knowledge, or knowledge about the probability of different transitions between adjacent sequence elements. Further, they suggest a new method to analyze generation performance, which involves considering the correlation between subjects' responses and the distribution of transition probabilities, regardless of the accuracy of generation performance. In this comment, we first suggest that the distinction between serial and statistical knowledge is unwarranted except in one case which is not addressed by Jackson and Jackson. We propose instead that all sequence knowledge is essentially statistical in nature. Second, we suggest that using probabilistic instead of deterministic sequences is a better way to approach the assessment of explicit knowledge, and illustrate this contention with empirical and simulated examples based on previous and current research (Cleeremans, 1993; Cleeremans and McClelland, 1991; Jimenez, Mendez and Cleeremans, 1996).