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Modelling the human brain by modelling its evolutionary emergence

Glen M. Sizemore gmsizemore2 at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 27 18:32:35 EST 2002


> Perhaps this quote illustrates exactly why little progress has been made.
> One thing it does not contain is any hint that the notions of "mind" and
> "information handling processes" may be scientifically worthless.
***********************
FvdW: I disagree; one only should define what one is talking about.

GS: This is, indeed, the view that has been propagated in psychology and
psychology-related disciplines since the 1940s. It is also hopelessly naive.

FvdW: My definitions are: * Mind is the functionality and stored memory
items, as implemented in the
physical brain structure.

GS: There is nothing "stored" in the brain. This is another of the great
mis-conceptualizations afflicting behavioral neuroscience.

FvdW: It can be called also: 'The Information System Man'.

GS: Catchy, but really, really silly like virtually all of what you say.

FvdW: * Brain is the physical object that 'houses' the mind.

GS: Ummm, and why would this metaphor be useful? Does it actually accomplish
anything besides escaping the embarrassment of a frankly dualistic position?

FvdW: * Information System is defined as the sum of all those
characteristics of
that species that can be represented by some repository of abstract and
conceptual
information items, that is reasonably isomorph in its characteristics to the
real life system.

GS: You're joking, right?

FvdW: * Information Handling is the set of information transfer-, storage-,
transformation-, input- and output operations within such an Information
System Once defined in this (or any other) way, you can use it and work with
it within a modelling environment.

GS: Gibberish.

FvdW: 'Scientifically' means 'well defined' & 'transformed via
logical rules'.

GS: Whatever "scientific" means, this is not it. What is "transformed," BTW?

FvdW: Whether or not these notions are used in daily life in a less well
defined
or 'sloppy' way is irrelevant to the modeller. Language expressions are very
often not very
specific nor well defined. Misunderstandings occur often; humans can 'live'
with it because
they can use context information for a further narrowed down interpretation
of these
sloppy statements; models can not, as long as context information is not
part of a modelling.
Attaining that last stage is one of the goals of artificial intelligence and
in fact of my
research.

GS: Gibberish....but to a great extent that is irrelevant to the point I
wanted to make in this NG. The original statement that I criticized would be
more or less accepted by the majority of people who talk about the brain and
behavior, yet it is silly. So much for our chances of elucidating the
realtion between brain activity and behavior.


"Frans van der Walle" <fw.novoware at wxs.nl> wrote in message
news:a5jfp4$lgj$1 at reader08.wxs.nl...
>
> Glen M. Sizemore <gmsizemore2 at yahoo.com> wrote in berichtnieuws
> 3c7b7ed2$1_1 at news.nntpserver.com...
> > ' our present day knowledge of the functioning of the human brain and
mind
> > demonstrates clearly the lack of some unifying theory for the
information
> > handling processes in the human brain and mind.'
> >
> > Perhaps this quote illustrates exactly why little progress has been
made.
> > One thing it does not contain is any hint that the notions of "mind" and
> > "information handling processes" may be scientifically worthless.
> ***********************
>  I disagree; one only should define what one is talking about. My
> definitions are:
> *   Mind is the functionality and stored memory items, as implemented in
the
> physical brain
>    structure. It can be called also: 'The Information System Man'.
> *   Brain is the physical object that 'houses' the mind.
> *   Information System is defined as the sum of all those characteristics
of
> that species that
>    can be represented by some repository of abstract and conceptual
> information items, that
>    is reasonably isomorph in its characteristics to the real life system.
> *   Information Handling is the set of information transfer-, storage-,
> transformation-, input-
>    and output operations within such an Information System
> Once defined in this (or any other) way, you can use it and work with it
> within a modelling
> environment. 'Scientifically' means 'well defined' & 'transformed via
> logical rules'.
> Whether or not these notions are used in daily life in a less well defined
> or 'sloppy' way is
> irrelevant to the modeller. Language expressions are very often not very
> specific nor well
> defined. Misunderstandings occur often; humans can 'live' with it because
> they can use
> context information for a further narrowed down interpretation of these
> sloppy statements;
> models can not, as long as context information is not part of a modelling.
> Attaining that last
> stage is one of the goals of artificial intelligence and in fact of my
> research.
>
> Regards
> Frans van der Walle
>
>





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