Volume 14, Number 1, Winter
Altered Sensory Environments, Altered States of Consciousness and Altered-State Cognition
Joseph Glicksohn, Tel Aviv University and The Open University of Israel
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Spring 1993, Volume 14, Number 1, Pages 1-12, ISSN 0271-0137
The concept of an altered state of consciousness (ASC) may be clarified when three major issues are discussed: (a) the phenomenon, (b) its method of induction, and criteria for evaluating the phenomenon. An ASC is a mental state, but it is not clear how such a mental state is related to subjective experience and cognitive functioning. The relationship between the method of induction and the resulting ASC is also unclear at present. Finally, criteria for determining and evaluating the ASC are indistinguishable from the phenomenon itself, leaving the latter ill-defined. These are the basic issues which are addressed in the theoretical formulation here presented. I propose that the cognitive mode distinguishing the normal waking state from an ASC is the mode of meaning employed.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Joseph Glicksohn, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, 69978, Israel.
CPU or Self-Reference: Discerning Between Cognitive Science and Quantum Functionalist Models of Mentation
Kim McCarthy, University of Oregon and Columbia College Chicago, and Amit Goswami, University of Oregon
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Spring 1993, Volume 14, Number 1, Pages 13-26, ISSN 0271-0137
The quantum functionalist model of mentation provides an explanation of conscious and unconscious perception without the postulation of a central processing unit (CPU). Based on Goswami’s (1989, 1990) idealist interpretation of quantum mechanics, the quantum model posits a dual quantum/classical system for the mind-brain with which consciousness is linked via self-reference. A comparative analysis of word-sense disambiguation data is conducted with a cognitive science model derived from the Posner and Snyder (1975b) facilitation and inhibition and the Rummelhart, McClelland, and PDP group’s (1986) parallel-distributed-processing theories. A new line of experiments is proposed which distinguishes between the two models.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Kim McCarthy, Ph.D., Department of Liberal Science, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60605.
The Naturalists versus the Skeptics: The Debate Over a Scientific Understanding of Consciousness
Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Spring 1993, Volume 14, Number 1, Pages 27-50, ISSN 0271-0137
There are three basic skeptical arguments against developing a scientific theory of consciousness: (1) theory cannot capture a first person perspective; (2) consciousness is causally inert with respect to explaining cognition; and (3) the notion “consciousness” is too vague to be a natural kind term. Although I am sympathetic to naturalists’ counter-arguments, I also believe that most of the accounts given so far of how explaining consciousness would fit into science are incorrect. In this essay, I indicate errors my colleagues on both sides of the fence make in thinking about this issue, as well as outline data relevant to distinguishing conscious states from unconscious ones empirically.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0126
Relativism in Gibson’s Theory of Picture Perception
David M. Boynton, University of Maine
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Spring 1993, Volume 14, Number 1, Pages 51-70, ISSN 0271-0137
Gibson’s ecological approach to depiction is compared with Nelson Goodman’s relativist theory of representation. Goodman’s commitment to radical relativism and Gibson’s to direct realism would make these thinkers unlikely candidates for comparison if Goodman himself had not indicated a substantial body of agreement with Gibson in the area of picture perception. The present study analyzes this agreement through systematic discussion of the following theses: realism in representation is not a function of geometrical optics, physical similarity to what is depicted, or deception; pictures differ in density and articulation from words, so that picturing has no explicit vocabulary; and artists can teach us new ways to see the world. The agreement between Goodman and Gibson has wide-ranging implications for the further development of what might be called a Gibsonian relativism.
Requests for reprints should be sent to David M. Boynton, Psychology Department, University of Maine, 5742 Little Hall, Orono, Maine 04469-5742.
A New Kind of Transference
Lauren Lawrence, The New School for Social Research
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Spring 1993, Volume 14, Number 1, Pages 71-76, ISSN 0271-0137
This paper advances a demythologization of transference to undermine the confidence of its process. Herein, it is viewed as an alienating mechanism of illegitimate proportion. Self-transferency is exemplified as an alternate to the transference event which may present itself during third person analysis wherein the analysand refrains from using the first person construct in favor of the third person pronoun in an attempt to broaden the range of consciousness and objectivity. A transference here will be aimed at the third person pronoun of whom the analysand speaks.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Lauren Lawrence, 31 East 72nd Street, New York City, New York 10021.
The Psychology of Consciousness
Book Author: G. William Farthing. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1992
Reviewed by Andrzej Kokoszka, Copernicus School of Medicine, Krakow, Poland
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1993, Volume 14, Number 1, Pages 77-80, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] G. William Farthing’s book could become a classic text in the psychology of consciousness. The author designed to write a comprehensive textbook on the psychology of consciousness from a natural science and cognitive psychology viewpoint and he has done so. Though Farthing assumes a very conservative, skeptical position in his selection of literature, he unequivocally demonstrates that, during the 23 years since the spectacular book Altered States of Consciousness edited by Tart (1969), the psychology of consciousness has acquired a substantial body of empirical evidence. Whereas the book by Tart consists of thought-provoking ideas about consciousness, The Psychology of Consciousness primarily describes research findings.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Andrzej Kokoszka, M.D., Department of Pschiatry, Copernicus School of Medicine, ul. Kopernika 21B, 31-501, Krakow, Poland.
Adult Play: A Reversal Theory Approach
Book Author: John H. Kerr and Michael J. Apter (Editors). Amsterdam: Swets and Zeitlinger, 1991
Reviewed by William E. Roweton, Chadron State University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1993, Volume 14, Number 1, Pages 81-84, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Is play natural? Explanations vary, of course, but most psychologists of human behavior would agree, more or less, that play is natural. Many trace the common heritage on play and other issues to a single publication, William James’ 1890 textbook classic, The Principles of Psychology.
Requests for reprints should be sent to William E. Roweton, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Chadron State College, Chadron, Nebraska 69337.
Powers Which We Do Not Know: The Gods and Spirits of the Inuit
Book Author: Daniel Merkur. Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho Press, 1991
Reviewed by Jordan Paper, York University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1993, Volume 14, Number 1, Pages 85-88, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Because the traditional Inuit way of life was a successful adaptation to the harshest environment in which humans reside, their religion is of considerable importance in understanding the potentialities of culture and is often cited in general studies of comparative religion. Yet prior to the work of Daniel Merkur, there have been no monograph-length studies of Inuit religion, and journal articles have been few and far between. In part, this is due to the immense difficulty of the task. The considerable ethnographic material is of varying, often poor quality with regard to Inuit religion, and there are virtually no recordings of relevant material in the various dialects of the Inuit language.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Jordan Paper, Ph.D., Department of Humanities, 242 Vanier College, York University, Downsview, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3.
Human Motives and Cultural Models
Book Authors: Roy D’Andrade and Claudia Strauss (Editors). New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992
Reviewed by Carl Ratner, Humboldt State University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1993, Volume 14, Number 1, Pages 89-94, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] This book is the latest in the Cambridge University Press series on psychological anthropology. Like the others (including Culture Theory and Cultural Psychology) it is a bell-wether of the state of the discipline. Consequently it is essential reading for anyone interested in the field. While the book is commendable as state of the art, the trends it reflects are disturbing. For psychological anthropologists seem to be retreating from the cultural psychological perspective they have championed.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Carl Ratner, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Humboldt State University, Arcata, California 95521.