neuroscience and psychology cognitive neuroscience

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  • Neuroscience and psychology

    Cognitive Neuroscience

  • Keith J. Holyoak Psychology in CS (CD MIT 1998) Psychology = Science investigates representation and processing of information by complex organisms.Psychology= Information processing between sensory inputs and motoric outputs. Today: Psychology strong related to neuroscience

  • Anatomy of the Brain Brain = Cerebral Cortex Has two symmetrical hemispheres Each hemisphere consists of largesheets of layered neurons Human cortex: Highly folded topack more cortical surface into theskull Surface area of averagehuman cerebral cortex is about 2200to 2400cmxcm

  • Fodors special sciences (1974)Relation between special sciences (psychology, neuroscience)Basic science: PhysicsEntities/processes from special sciences cannot be defined/described using entities/processes from basic sciencePsychology not reduced to neuroscience Each special science: distinctive taxonomy, distinctive ways of classifying and organizing descriptions and explanations of phenomena

  • One taxonomy (proper to one special science) cannot be reduced to another taxonomy

    Different particular sciences - Different levels of reality: Physics - lowest level Chemistry, biology, psychology, social sciences

    Fodor rejects reductionism and implicitly the Unity of Science

  • The Student's Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience by Jamie Ward(2006 Psychology Press)

    Cognitive neuroscience (CNS)CNS = A bridging discipline: (1) Cognitive science + cognitive psychology (2) Biology + neuroscience

  • A timeline - development of methods and findings relevant to CNS, from phrenology to present day

  • Gall + Spurzheim (19th Century)- Phrenology:2 assumptions: Different regions of brain perform different functions + associated with different behaviours Size of these regions produces distortions of skull + correlates with individual differences in cognition Functional specialization within brain

    Brain: 35 functions

  • Task: Localization of specific mental functions on neural areas

    Functions: Language, color perception, face recognition, self, etc.

    2 alternatives: atomistic or holistic

  • Brocas area: Patient could understand language but not speakPatients left frontal lobe was damaged

    Wernicke (19th Century): A stroke victim could talk freely but with little senseCould not understand spoken or written language

    (Brain story by Vaia Lestou)

  • 3D MRI of human brain with Broca's area highlighted in red3D MRI of human brain with Wernicke's area highlighted in blue

  • Brodmann: Cellular organization 52 distinct regions

  • Revolution in our understanding of the nervous system: Camillo Golgi (Italy) and Ramon y Cajal (Spain)

    Golgi: Impregnated individual neuronsCajal: Neurons are discrete entities - transmit electrical information in only one directions from dendrites to axonal tip

  • The methods of CNS

    1. Neuroanatomy2. Neurophysiology3. Neurology4. Functional Neurosurgery5. Cognitive Psychology6. Computer Modelling7. Converging Methods

  • The brain story by Vaia Lestou Imaging the healthy brain

  • Electrophysiological methods (EEG/ERP and single-cell recordings) and magnetophysiological methods (MEG) record the electrical/magnetic properties of neuronsFunctional imaging methods (PET and fMRI) record physiological changes associated with blood supply to the brain which evolve more slowly over time. These are called haemodynamic methods

  • Temporal resolution: Measure when an event is occurring EEG, MEG, TMS and single-cell recording = millisecond resolutionPET and fMRI = minutes and seconds

    Spatial resolution: Measure where an event is occurringLesion and functional imaging = millimetre Single-cell recordings = level of the neuron(The Student's Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience by Jamie Ward)

  • The goal of CNS: To explain how cognitive processes emerge from neural activity (Two methods: top-down or bottom-up)Bottom-up: Knowledge from neurons + patterns Cognitive processing

    2 steps: (1) Psychological theory (computational) that explain cognition (2) Looking for neural implementation

  • Kosslyn - Image representationsLower brain functions = Early perception + motor control - Small neuronal areas Functions: Reasoning and problem solving = High-level functions - Large neuronal areas

    Kosslyn: Wet mind = Explain cognitive processes only by appealing (but not reducing) to neurobiological data-information Combination between mind-information and brain-information

    Neural level: Difficult to grasp higher functions

  • Johnsons book Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (1997) - Representational Change in Development

  • Uttal (2001, 2002)Impossibility of explaining mind through brain - Non-linearity of neural processesPsychological-neural equivalence necessary at a level much lower that today (resolution of neuroimage mechanisms deal with brain areas too large)Using lesions and image techniques, Uttal considers that we cannot decompose a cognitive system in components that can be localized.

  • Bechtel (2002, 2008, 2009) A [mental] mechanism is a structure performing a function in virtue of its components parts, component operations, and their organization.

    The orchestrated functioning of the mechanism is responsible for one or more phenomena. (Bechtel & Abrahamsen, 2005; Bechtel, 2006, 2009, 2008)

  • Heuristic identity theory: to date, over 30 areas involved in visual processing have been found in primate brain including not only the occipital lobe, but also parietal and temporal cortex. (2008) Localization: Revised during advancing research Decomposability (phenomenal memory- and mechanistic - vision) and localizationPart-whole and the selfReduction and autonomy (explanatory pluralism view)

  • Gualtiero Piccinini (2006)[I]n the language of neurology , presumably, notions like computational state and representation arent accessible (Fodor, 1998, p. 96). = Computational chauvinism: Many neuroscientists - use computation and representation in interpreting data, forming hypotheses, and building models.

    Journals - Neural Computation, Journal of Computational Neuroscience, and Network: Computation in Neural Systems

  • Computational chauvinisms: Neuroscientists have to discover neural mechanisms that implement computational processes from psychological level Autonomy of psychology

    Piccinini - Nature has been uncooperative with this approach. = There has been impossible to discover implementationNeural networks are unable to help the researchers to find such implementation

  • Hardcastle and Stewart (2002) vs. Bechtel

    They criticize modularity of mind (Fodor + evolutionary psychology)Cognitive neuroscientists assume that they can localize brain function; they seek discrete, physically constant brain modules a material analogue for the psychologists set of distinct mental software packages.

  • The main attack: No empirical data, no theoretical framework!

    Localization and single cell recordingsLesion studies and the assumption of brain constancyFunctional imaging

    None of these methods is sustainable in proving the modularity of the mind

  • Jesse J. Prinz, (2006) Is the mind really modular? Critics of Fodors modularity of the mind (1983)Prinz attacked each property of modular system: localization, automatization, fast, shallow, ontogenetically determined, domain specific, inaccessible, information encapsulatedChemero & Silbernstein Holistic and explanatory pluralism view

  • Vul et al (2009) 54 articles! The correlations between behavioral and self-report measures of personality or emotion and measures of brain activation obtained using fMRI These correlations often exceed what is statistically possible assuming (evidently rather limited) reliability of both fMRI and personality/emotion measures. Such correlations are impossible high


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