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2005 - Volume 26, Numbers 1 and 2, Winter and Spring

Brain-Inspired Conscious Computing Architecture

The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter and Spring 2005, Volume 26, Numbers 1 and 2, Pages 1–22, ISSN 0271–0137 

What type of artificial systems will claim to be conscious and will claim to experience qualia? The ability to comment upon physical states of a brain-like dynamical system coupled with its environment seems to be sufficient to make claims. The flow of internal states in such systems, guided and limited by associative memory, is similar to the stream of consciousness. A specific architecture of an artificial system, termed articon, is introduced that by its very design has to claim being conscious. Non-verbal discrimination of the working memory states of the articon gives it the ability to experience different qualities of internal states. Analysis of the flow of inner states of such a system during typical behavioral process shows that qualia are inseparable from perception and action. The role of consciousness in learning of skills — when conscious information processing is replaced by subconscious — is elucidated. Arguments confirming that phenomenal experience is a result of cognitive processes are presented. Possible philosophical objections based on the Chinese room and other arguments are discussed, but they are insufficient to refute articon’s claims that it is conscious. Conditions for genuine understanding that go beyond the Turing test are presented. Articons may fulfill such conditions and in principle the structure of their experiences may be arbitrarily close to human. 

Requests for reprints should be sent to Wlodzislaw Duch, Department of Informatics, Nicolaus Copernicus University, ul. Grudziadzka 5, 87–100 Torun, Poland. Email: wduch@phys.uni.torun.pl

Visual Search and Quantum Mechanics: A Neuropsychological Basis of Kant’s Creative Imagination 

The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter and Spring 2005, Volume 26, Numbers 1 and 2, Pages 23–34, ISSN 0271–0137 

This study analyzes the triple relation between cognitive biological psychology, philosophy and quantum mechanics. It discusses the findings of Treisman according to which there exists a pre-conscious cerebral mechanism that manipulates the sensory input and transfers it to our consciousness only after correcting it to suit our logic and expectations. This experimental finding was predicted two centuries ago by Kant. It is observed that during the primary pre-conscious level of perception the macroscopic physical world is not perceived as behaving according to the laws of classical physics but rather according to the laws of quantum mechanics, like the microscopic world. 

Requests for reprints should be sent to Uri Fidelman, Ph.D., Department Humanities and Arts, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel. Email: uf@tx.technion.ac.il

Selectivity, Integration, and the Psycho-Neuro-Biological Continuum 

The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter and Spring 2005, Volume 26, Numbers 1 and 2, Pages 35–64, ISSN 0271–0137 

An important insight derived from Kant about the workings of the mind is that conscious activity involves both the selection of relevant information, and the integration of that information, so as to form mental coherency. The conscious mind can then utilize this coherent information to solve problems, invent tools, synthesize concepts, produce works of art, and the like. In this paper, it will be suggested that just as biological processes, in general, exhibit selective and integrative functions, and just as visual integration performs the function of selecting and integrating visual module areas, so too, consciousness emerged as a property of the brain to act as a kind of meta-cognitive process that selects and integrates relevant information from psychological modules. The upshot is to establish a psycho-neuro-biological continuum by suggesting that the conscious psychological properties of selectivity and integration are possible because of similar properties that other neurobiological and biological processes exhibit.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Robert Arp, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, Saint Louis University, 3800 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri 63108. Email: arpr@slu.edu

Some Historical and Conceptual Background to the Development of B.F. Skinner’s “Radical Behaviorism” — Part 1 

The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter and Spring 2005, Volume 26, Numbers 1 and 2, Pages 65–94, ISSN 0271–0137 

The present article is the first in a series of three that outlines the historical and conceptual background of B.F. Skinner’s radical behaviorism. The series seeks to identify milestones in the development of Skinner’s position, as well as assess the impact of particular factors and events on Skinner himself. Of special interest in this article are the biographical details of Skinner’s life between June, 1926, when he received his undergraduate degree, and September, 1928, when he entered graduate school. The article also examines the intellectual climate at the start of the second quarter of the twentieth century that led Skinner to become interested in the empirical study of behavior. Overall, Skinner’s views during this period were significantly influenced by (a) such literary figures in the modernist tradition as H.G. Wells and Sinclair Lewis; and (b) such scientific/philosophical figures as Francis Bacon, Jacques Loeb, Ivan Pavlov, Bertrand Russell, and John B. Watson. 

Requests for reprints should be sent to J. Moore, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201. Email: jcm@uwm.edu

Some Historical and Conceptual Background to the Development of B.F. Skinner’s “Radical Behaviorism” — Part 2 

The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter and Spring 2005, Volume 26, Numbers 1 and 2, Pages 95–124, ISSN 0271–0137 

The present article is the second in a series of three that outlines the historical and conceptual background of B.F. Skinner’s radical behaviorism as a philosophy of science. Of special interest in this article are Skinner’s academic and research experiences between 1928, when he entered graduate school at Harvard, and the late 1930s, when he had assumed his first academic position. The article also examines the intellectual climate that emerged during the second quarter of the twentieth century, which is the context out of which radical behaviorism developed as a unique position. Overall, the views for which Skinner is recognized were significantly influenced by such figures as Francis Bacon, Percy Bridgman, William Crozier, Jacques Loeb, Ernst Mach, Ivan Pavlov, Bertrand Russell, and John B. Watson. 

Requests for reprints should be sent to J. Moore, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201. Email: jcm@uwm.edu

Book Review

Chronicles: Volume One
Book Author: 

The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Winter and Spring 2005, Volume 26, Numbers 1 and 2, Pages 125–136, ISSN 0271–0137 

[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] In Chronicles: Volume One, Bob Dylan has stunningly come forth, from what has long been his remarkably unyielding inwardness, to illuminate segments of his life in a voice that is fluent, candidly self-revealing, at times self-depreciating and humorous, and yet revelatory as well of the extent to which Dylan has always been and remains self-possessed, purposeful, and driven. Dylan narrates his recollections of particular situations with an immediacy that brings to mind an aspect of what he admired in Robert Johnson’s songwriting: “The compositions seemed to come right out of his mouth and not his memory . . .” (p. 284). Chronicles has the intensity and fullness of a novel. Three of the book’s five sections recall his early days in Minneapolis and New York City. Two additional sections are drawn from later periods of Dylan’s life. In each of its five sections, Chronicles is structurally complex, consisting of shorter narratives within which Dylan’s authorial consciousness roams from minute recollections to relevant reflections and back again. As a result, Dylan’s first serious book, though limited in scope to a few selected episodes of his life, paints a surprisingly large canvas. 

Requests for reprints should be sent to James Bense, Ph.D., Department of English, Minnesota State University, Moorhead, Moorhead, Minnesota 56563. Email: bense@mnstate.edu


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