Brain-Mind: From Neurons to Consciousness and Creativity (Treatise on Mind and Society)
How do brains make minds? Paul Thagard presents a unified, brain-based theory of cognition and emotion with applications to the most complex kinds of thinking, right up to consciousness and creativity. Neural mechanisms are used to explain mental operations for analogy, action, intention, language, and the self. Brain-Mind develops a brilliant account of mental operations using promising new ideas from theoretical neuroscience. Single neurons cannot do much by themselves, but groups of neurons work together to accomplish powerful kinds of mental representation, including concepts, images, and rules. Minds enable people to perceive, imagine, solve problems, understand, learn, speak, reason, create, and be emotional and conscious. Competing explanations of how the mind works have identified it as soul, computer, brain, dynamical system, or social construction. This book explains minds in terms of interacting mechanisms operating at multiple levels, including the social, mental, neural, and molecular. Unification comes from systematic application of Chris Eliasmith's powerful Semantic Pointer Architecture, a highly original synthesis of neural network and symbolic ideas about how the mind works. This book belongs to a trio that includes Mind-Society: From Brains to Social Sciences and Professions and Natural Philosophy: From Social Brains to Knowledge, Reality, Morality, and Beauty. They can be read independently, but together they make up a Treatise on Mind and Society that provides a unified and comprehensive treatment of the cognitive sciences, social sciences, professions, and humanities.
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abductive inference actions amygdala analogy animals artificial intelligence aspects behavior brain areas Cambridge causal changes cognitive appraisal cognitive architectures cognitive science complex concepts conceptual blending conceptual combination constraint satisfaction contribute cortex creativity CRISPR described in chapter discussed Eliasmith example explain Facebook functions genes giraffe goals groups of neurons Hebbian learning human if–then imagery images implementation intentions important inference innate intentions interactions kinds language learning linguistic mental representations metaphor Mind–Society molecular motor multimodal Natural Philosophy neural firing neural groups neural mechanisms neural networks neural processes neural representations neuroscience neurotransmitters nonverbal nucleus accumbens operations parallel constraint satisfaction patterns of firing patterns of neural people’s phenomena prefrontal cortex problem solving produce psychological recursive binding relevant requires result role rules Semantic Pointer Architecture semantic pointer competition semantic pointer theory sensations sentences social mechanisms structure syntax Thagard theory of emotions thinking transbodied typical features understanding verbal visual words