Brain, Behaviour and Extensionalism

Yeti yeti at
Sat Apr 10 11:27:30 EST 2004


>and when we find ourselves in configurations which share 
>characteristics, we talk about "similarities" between situations or 
>contexts. This can be verbal, visual, auditory, motor - anything in 
>fact, but these are just verbal operants, for discriminations. Even more 
>important than the switches or state of configuration is the fact that 
>this is all a function of environmental contingencies. 


>There's no reason why we shouldn't frequently find ourselves in 
>configurations where the original conditions are not *directly* 
>stimulating us. That's what we call "conditioned seeing" etc 
>("imagining" etc). Our brains are configured by direct environmental 
>stimulation, and our brains therefore stay in those configurations even 
>when we are no longer being directly simulated. 


>It's those enduring "states" or "configurations" which account for *why* 
>we talk about "recognition" when we change state, because instead of the 
>states having to be set anew, they're already set from last time. We can 
>even instantiate those configurations of behaviour when we close our 
>eyes or fall asleep, ie when other active, dominating more salient 
>behaviours don't overshadow our conditioned behaviours. Try doing it 
>when you're highly stimulated.

Are you familiar with attractor neural network models? A lot of what
you are saying fits directly into that framework.

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