Edelman Phantom Limb Reentry

Chapter 1

1. That is the subtitle of Edelman and Tononi's The Universe of Consciousness (2000).

2. For a detailed description of the history of the disembodiment of meaning within philosophy, see Lakoff and Johnson 1999.

3. For example, the influential nineteenth-century philosopher Frege (1848-1925) distinguished "ideas" and "senses." The latter was believed to have nothing to do with human psychology and to be free of subjective meaning. If one believes that "senses" are outside of psychology, it is possible to believe in an isomorphic correspondence between the mind and the world.

4. Cited by Richard Lewontin (2001, p. 383).

5. Searle (1997) famously introduced the Chinese-room thought experiment. Searle imagines himself locked in a room where he is given instructions in English for manipulating Chinese symbols. Following an algorithmic instruction, Searle answers the original questions in English in Chinese without having any knowledge of the Chinese language. His point is that the operations of a computer may be analogous to following the rules of syntax, but syntactical rules do not produce meaning, whereas the mind does.

6. For a detailed discussion of Descartes' influence upon cognitive science, see Lakoff and Johnson (1999).

7. Eccles maintained the Cartesian split between brain and mind by postulating the existence of millions of mental "psychons" that are linked to the brain's dendrons. "Psychons" are thus postulated mental units that are symmetrical to and ontologically separate from the brain's dendrons.

8. Keijzer states, "The organism does not represent its environment in a static and well-defined way. Instead there is a continuous mutual influence which is too complex to allow description in the impoverished language of representations" (2001, p. 179).

9. Koch and Laurent state, "The dendritic trees in mollusks and insects are as profusely branched and varied as in a primate's brain. The dynamics of firing of a lobster's neurons are at least as rich as those in the mammalian thalamus or neocortex. And neither can be reduced to canonical integrate-andfifire models. Exquisite molecular machines endow neurons with complex nonlinear dynamical properties regardless of the animal's size or evolutionary lineage. Moreover these properties are not static, but adap-tively tunable" (1999).

10. Edelman's view of the brain is radically different. He has steadfastly opposed, in all of his publications, informational and computational assumptions regarding the neurodynamics of the brain.

11. Freeman's view of the brain in How Brains Make Up Their Minds (1999b) includes the uncertainty of nonlinear dynamical systems.

12. Lakoff and Johnson in their recent book Philosophy in the Flesh (1999) argue against the metaphor of mind as disembodied, formal symbolic language.

13. I refer to information theory as it is customarily construed: as a discrete symbolic code. Kelso suggests an alternative view: that pattern dynamics is also informational (1999, p. 408). Information theory may then have relevance regarding events within the brain but not as a means of finding a correspondence between events in the world and events in the brain.

14. For a criticism of mentalese, see Edelman 1992.

15. Ramachandran and Blakeslee (1998) describe an experiment with a patient who had the illusion that a hand was telescoped to the end of his phantom limb. Ramachandran placed a coffee cup in front of the patient and asked him to grab it with his phantom limb. "Just as he said he was reaching out, I yanked away the cup. 'Ow!' he yelled. 'Don't do that! I had just got my fingers around the cup handle when you pulled it. It really hurts!' "

16. The psychologist Jerome Bruner has observed that as the child enters language, there are biological constraints that select certain classes of mean ing to which human beings are innately tuned and for which they actively search. For this reason he has used the expression the biology of meaning. He is, as far as I know, the first to introduce this term.

17. Freud here was arguing for the "mentalization" of the unconscious, as opposed to the idea that the unconscious is only a neurophysiological process and therefore cannot be called "mental." This issue today remains unclear and controversial as there is no satisfactory solution to the mind/body problem: how does a physical process in the brain become subjective experience? This mind/body problem will be discussed in chapter 10.

Chapter 2

1. Rycroft (1996) observed that in Darwin's text one reads "art of poetry," which he thinks was a mistranslation of the German "Art," meaning "kind."

2. For an extensive discussion of the function of metaphor in mathematical thought, see English 1997.

3. The theory of neuronal group selection (TNGS) can be viewed as an example of a "Darwin machine." Edelman was guided by the assumption that some elements of Darwin's theory of evolution—competitive selection within a large population of unique individuals—are operative in the brain. TNGS is a theory of somatic selection. Somatic selection does not, of course, alter the DNA, though it may do so indirectly by modifying the phenotype—the so-called "Baldwin effect." For a discussion of the Baldwin effect, see Depew 2000.

4. Indeterminism is also implied in the variability of functional interactions between neuronal groups. Tononi and Edelman (Tononi and Edelman 1998, Edelman and Tononi 2000) introduced what they call the dynamic core hypothesis as an explanation of the neural correlates of consciousness. Unconscious processes are understood to be outside of the dynamic core. This description of a functional interaction, the functional linking of anatomically separate brain structures, avoids the problem cerebral localization. The hypothesis illustrates "the role of functional interactions among distributed groups of neurons rather than their local properties. The same group of neurons may at times be part of the dynamic core and underlie conscious experience, while at other times it may not be part of it and thus not be involved in unconscious process."

5. Freud's meaning was unfortunately obscured by Strachey's translation of Nachträglichkeit as "deferred action."

6. Jerome Kagan (1998) has belittled such explanations as having "the allure of infant determinism."

Chapter 3

1. For a further discussion of Freud's conception of "quality," see Pribram and Gill 1976.

2. This would be consistent with Edelman and Tononi's (2000) dynamic-core hypothesis of the neural correlates of consciousness. However, Edel-man and Tononi would not agree that thoughts can be unconscious.

3. If one believes repression to be a universal impersonal mechanism, repression could then be explained as a neurophysiological process. Edelman and Tononi (2000) suggest such a neural correlate of repression. Within their description of the dynamic-core hypothesis of the neural correlate of consciousness, they suggest the possibility of the formation of autonomous "splinter cores" as an explanation for repression.

4. I am intentionally leaving to one side the problem of the veridical nature of unconscious memory, which has become the subject of the "memory wars." For a balanced review of this subject, see Prager 1998.

5. I have been maintaining that individual differences are significant at the level of complexity of the self. However, different brain functions may follow different "rules." Where the function of the brain is not concerned with meaning construction, the complexity of the self is not at issue, and individual differences do not make a difference. An example is the visual perception of objects. Here object perception is a brain function in which the self is not a partner and variations among individuals have little or no significance. Donald Hoffman (1998), a cognitive scientist, has show that brains construct visual images in accordance with specified "rules" and "laws."

6. The sleep researcher J. Allan Hobson (1988), who has used cats in his experiments, has a been in the forefront in the attack on Freud's theory of dreams. This is a quote from the conclusion of a recent review in which Hobson compared his theory of dreams to that of Freud's: "In my opinion the new dream theory is so different from Freud's as to make the use of a word like revision a euphemism. Because there is essentially nothing left of the Freudian hypothesis, what is needed is not a revision but complete overhaul. Instead, what we see is a tenacious adherence to a faith in the interpretability of dreams using vague and unscientific terms like metaphor and hermeneutics or, what is worse, we see recourse to the relativistic claim of narrative truth. This limits psychoanalysis to a literary exercise with no claim to the scientific legitimacy that Freud dreamed of his 1895 'Project for a Scientific Psychology'." If Solms is correct, Hobson cannot infer anything about human dreams from animal investigations of REM sleep.

7. Lacan was one of the first to identify condensation in dreams as a meta-phoric process (Roudinesco 1997). The unconscious metaphoric process that characterizes dreaming has also been described from the standpoint of cognitive linguistics by Lakoff (1993).

8. In describing the dreams day residue, I've made use of the summary in Anzieu 1986.

9. In discussing the relation between metonymy and metaphor in chapter 4, I suggest a synergistic interaction rather than an antagonist interaction.

Chapter 4

1. Castoriadis made the same point when he said, "An image must hold together; it brings together 'determinate' elements, presentable elements, and these elements always are found caught up in a certain organization and in a certain order—otherwise, there would be no image, there would simply be chaos" (1997).

2. For a detailed demonstration of this process, see Arnheim 1974.

3. The paradox of the constant flux of the sense of self, which at the same time is both continuous and coherent, was seen by William James as a fundamental enigma. James (1890) asks us to imagine a herd of cattle whose owner recognizes their "brand" as his own. These cattle (thoughts) may go their own way; the herd's unity is only a potential one until the owner arrives. The owner actively provides the coherence that underlies the sense of identity of the herd. But how does the owner impose unity and coherence upon the herd? If consciousness is ever changing, how does one establish a continuity between past and present? James suggests that "title" to the herd (sense of self) is passed on from one owner to the another, or to a succession of others (former selves). The succession of "titles" that James describes may be a function of metaphor. At a neural level, as I noted in Modell 1993, Edelman's concept of reentry may also explain this James-ian paradox.

4. That Libido theory could be recast as metaphoric transformations was also noted by Melnick (1997).

5. I have discussed Freud's concept of beating fantasies in Modell 1997. Chapter 5

1. Others have proposed theories of a biological self. The psychologist James Gibson, in his Ecological Approach to Visual Perception (1986), observed that proprioception may also be the source of a nucleus of the self: "In my view, proprioception can be understood as ego reception, as sensitivity to the self."

2. A point also made by LeDoux (1996).

3. The philosopher John Searle (2000) has also described the self as a system property of consciousness.

4. For discussion of this subject, see Tomasello 1999, p. 323. Tomasello believes that we are the only primate who has a "theory of other minds." This contention is contested by Savage-Rumbaugh, Fields, et al. (2001), who present observations confirming that bonobos do have a theory of other minds.

5. In a nearly identical experiment (without the use of anesthesia), before exposing the infant to the mirror, the mother wipes the human infant's face with a washcloth and covertly marks it with a red spot. The infant is then exposed to the mirror and the observer notes whether or not the infant discovers the red spot.

6. The term social self should not suggest that I would emphasize the social origins of the self. For I believe, as I explained in Modell 1993, that to a large measure we "bootstrap ourselves" from within.

7. From a very different perspective, Damasio has attributed the triggering effect that I had claimed for metonymy to "somatic markers," containing the memory of former affective states. He refers to the evocation of these somatic memories that bypass actual bodily arousal as "as if" states (Da-masio 1994).

8. Eva Brann (1991) has offered a comprehensive review of philosophical commentary on images and imagination.

9. For further examination of Freud and the imagination, see Castoriadis 1987 and Laplanche and Pontalis 1968.

10. I am indebted to Walter Freeman, who provided these citations from Aristotle's De Anima: "As sight is the most highly developed sense, the name phantasia (imagination) has been formed from phaos (light) because it is not possible to see without light. And because imaginations remain in the organs of sense and resemble sensations, animals in their actions are largely guided by them" (bk. 3, chap. 3, p. 217). "All imagination is either (1) calculative or (2) sensitive. . . . Sensitive imagination is found in all animals, deliberate imagination only in those that are calculative: for whether this or that shall be enacted is already a task requiring calculation. ... It follows that what acts in this way must be able to make a unity out of several images" (bk. 3, chap. 11, p. 231).

11. Scarry (1999) has observed that the remembered face of a loved one may be pale and lifeless compared to the vivacity of a scene that one was led to imagine in a novel or poem. Scarry may have demonstrated the degree to which individuals differ in their imagining.

Chapter 6

1. James Wood, in a critical review of Scarry's thesis (2000), found it to be not entirely convincing. He correctly observes that the visual is not the only modality used to create scenes in novels. Dostoevsky, for example, does not create visual scenes, yet we retain a vivid impression of character.

2. Others have also noted that Vermeer had an uncanny ability to depict the visual process itself. Sanford Schwartz, in an essay on Vermeer, states, "You feel looking at a picture of his that you are seeing atmosphere itself defining the object of your sight" (2001).

3. Freud (1923b, 1933a) had previously assumed that there is a communication between the patient's unconscious and the unconscious of the analyst and also speculated that unconscious affective communication may have been the original, archaic method of communication between individuals.

4. This is true in ordinary usage as well as in the psychoanalytic use of the term.In Kleinian psychoanalysis, fantasy is spelled as "phantasy" to indicate the assumption that "phantasy" underlies all mental processes (Britton 1998). This assumption is in accord with my hypothesis of an unconscious metaphoric process. For Klein, unconscious fantasy is the prime mover of the mind. For further discussion of the Kleinian theory of fantasy, see Spillius 2001.

5. Walter Freeman (1999b) has illustrated the application of nonlinear dynamics to neurophysiological events.

6. Johnson (1987) has provided an excellent account of Kant's ideas on imagination.

7. The philosopher Simon Blackburn, in a recent review (2000), referred to Wittgenstein's criticism of Kant's idea of applying rules to experience as involving an infinite regress of rules.

8. A recent commentary on Kant's philosophy of imagination by the philosopher Rudolf Makkreel (1990) does find a place for personal imagination. Makkreel believes that Kant's theory of the imagination can be seen as hermeneutic in that, he claims, Kant viewed imagination to be fundamentally a form of interpretation. If this is so, this would be consistent with my own conception.

Chapter 7

1. I am indebted to Nauta and Feirtag (1986) for providing a very succinct history of this development.

2. Joseph LeDoux (1996), in an otherwise excellent account, attempts to maintain this distinction between emotion and cognition.

3. For an extensive discussion of Freud on sublimation, see Loewald 1988.

4. Walter Freeman (1999b) and the neuropsychologist Nicholas Humphrey (2000b) have revived interest in the old distinction made by facultative psychology between sensation and perception.

5. Nicholas Humphrey (2000a, 2000b) distinguishes sensation and unconscious perception but does so in a very different fashion. I see unconscious perception as a process that interprets sensation, whereas Humphrey attributes sensation to the bodily self yet views perception not as an interpretation but as an impersonal cognitive process.

6. The neurologist Kurt Goldstein (1940, p. 60) described a similar loss of complex mental functions in patients with damage to the cerebral cortex. Their behavior was described as "concrete," but importantly, Goldstein noted that in "abstract" performances, action is determined directly and immediately, not by stimulus configuration, but by "the account of the situation which the individual gives to himself." In other words, the loss of the capacity for abstract thought involves a deficit of interpretation.

7. Peirce thought of interpretation, for which he coined the word interpretant, as an infinite regression, for each interpretation is based on another association. For an excellent description of Peirce's contribution to pragmatism, see Menand 2001.

Chapter 8

1. Marcia Cavell (1993) presents an expanded discussion of the construction of meaning from an "internalist" perspective, a perspective that she essentially rejects. Jerome Bruner (1990) examines the same issue from an "externalist" point of view, arguing for the overriding impact of culture. The effect of culture on categorical thought was illustrated in an article in the New York Times (Aug. 8, 2000). The report described the research of the social psychologist Richard Nisbett, who compared Americans to East Asians and found that cultural values will influence the categories of thought. For example, people in Japan, China, and Korea, appear to think more "holistically," paying greater attention to context and relationship, relying more on experienced-based knowledge than abstract logic, and showing more tolerance for contradiction. Westerners are more "analytic" in their thinking, tending to detach objects from their context, to avoid contradiction, and to rely more heavily on formal logic.

2. The many windows of consciousness are depicted in novels in which the novelist portrays the multiple inner voices of the protagonist as they shift effortlessly from past to present. This has been illustrated in the multivoiced internal dialogues of Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. These multiple inner voices are discussed in relation to theories of consciousness by Scheff (2000).

3. The psychologist Bernard Baars (1997) has enlarged on James' insight that consciousness is a selecting agency, by introducing the metaphor of a global work space.

4. I have described the function of passionately held beliefs in The Private Self (1993).

5. Kagan made a similar point in his essay Three Seductive Ideas (1998) when he criticized the application of animal models of pleasure to human beings.

6. Jonathan Lear (2000), in his commentary on Freud's death instinct, describes it as a nonexplanation, an "enigmatic signifier."

7. Walter Freeman (1995, 2000) has also emphasized the social-bonding effect of dance.

1. Peter Fonagy and Mary Target (1998) have described this process as a failure of mentalization. This inability to imaginatively construct other minds, they believe, is a poor prognostic indicator for psychoanalytic treatment when present in the mother or child.

2. Ellen Dissanayake (2000) has provided a very useful summary of current research on early mother-infant interactions.

3. Intersubjectivity has become the focus of a new "school" of psychoanalysis described as relational psychoanalysis. For an overview, see Mitchell and Aron (1999).

4. William James, in his essay "Pragmatism's conception of truth" (1908), described truth as a process.

5. For an amplification of James on truth and pragmatism, see Putnam 1997.

6. This is a theme developed by Lear (1998). Chapter 10

1. Damasio (1994) recounts that his mentor Norman Geschwind pointed out that the reason we have difficulty smiling naturally for photographers is that they ask us to control our facial muscles willfully.

Chapter 11

1. Edelman and Tononi 2000 is an example a functional analysis of consciousness. Their "dynamic-core hypothesis" states, "The activity of a group of neurons can contribute directly to conscious experience if it is part of a functional cluster, characterized by strong mutual interactions. To sustain conscious experience, it is essential that this functional cluster be highly differentiated."

2. The late cognitive scientist Franisco Varela and the philosopher Jonathan Shear, in contrast to most of their colleagues, have pleaded for recognition of the importance of this two-person relational perspective in the investigation of consciousness (see Varela and Shear 1999).

3. The British zoologist C. F. A. Pantin, in an underappreciated book The Relation between the Sciences (1968), described physics as a "restricted" science as compared to "unrestricted" biology, whose subject matter comprises all that is living.

4. In a recent essay (2001), the Nobel physicist Steven Weinberg examined the ideas of explanation and fundamental in physics. These terms are by no means self-evident. Explanation needs to be distinguished from description without involving the slippery notion of causality. There is no agreement among physicists on what are fundamental principles and what are accidents.

5. This point is elaborated by the cognitive scientist Antti Revonsuo (2001).

6. For a discussion of supervenience, see Putnam 1999 and Kim 1998. Both of these philosophers reject supervenience as a solution to the mind-brain problem. Thomas Nagel writes, "We have good grounds for believing that the mental supervenes on the physical—i.e., that there is no mental difference without a physical difference. But pure, unexplained supervenience is not a solution but a sign that there is something fundamental we don't know" (1998).

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