Here is yet another recent EMT or HEC book that I chanced upon.
Here is a handy summary of Vittorio Gallese’s highly influential work.
Mirror neurons (MNs) and embodied simulation (ES)
Intersubjectivity can be proﬁtably understood if framedwithin a phylogenetic perspective. The discovery of MNs enabled establishing a relation between human intersubjectivity, the inter-individual relations of other animal species and their underpinning neural mechanisms.
MNs are motor neurons ﬁrst discovered in macaques’ premotor area F5 and, later on, also in a sector of the posteriorparietal cortex reciprocally connected with area F5 (see Gallese, Gernsbacher, Heyes, Hickock, & Iacoboni,2011), in the primary motor cortex (see Vigneswaran, Philipp, Lemon, & Kraskov, 2013) and in the anterior cingulate cortex (see deAraujo et al., 2012). MNs have been interpreted as the expression of direct form of action understanding, hence their potential relevance for social cognition (Rizzolatti, Fogassi, &Gallese, 2001).
The existence of a mirror mechanism (MM) is now ﬁrmly established also in the human brain (see Kilner, Neal, Weiskopf, Friston, & Frith, 2009; Mukamel, Ekstrom, Kaplan, Iacoboni, & Fried, 2010). Motor goal detection, action anticipation and the hierarchical representation of action can be viewed as the direct consequence of the functional architecture of the motor system, organized in terms of goal-directed motor acts. Such perspective was qualiﬁed as “motor cognition” (Gallese, Rochat, Cossu, & Sinigaglia, 2009).
The motor system, together with its connections to viscero-motor and somatosensory cortical areas, structures action execution and action perception, action imitation and imagination. When the action is executed or imitated, the cortico-spinal pathway is activated, leading to movement. When the action is observed or imagined, its actual execution is inhibited. The cortical motor network is activated, however, not in all of its components and not with the same intensity: action is not produced, it is only simulated.
ES aims at providing a unitary account of basic aspects of intersubjectivity showing that people reuse their own mental states or processes represented in bodily format to functionally attribute them to others (Gallese, 2003; Gallese &Sinigaglia, 2011). Mental states or processes are embodied primarily because of their bodily format. ES theory neither provides a general Theory of Mind (ToM) reading, nor of mental simulation covering all types of simulation-based mindreading. ES aims at explaining the MM and related phenomena. For sake of concision, I will not deal here with emotions and sensations.
It was proposed that MM-driven ES plays a constitutive role in forms of mindreading, not requiring propositional attitudes, mapped onto mental representations with a bodily format (Gallese, 2007; Gallese & Sinigaglia, 2011). I am not implying that we experience the speciﬁc contents of others’ experiences, but only that we experience others as having experiences similar to ours.
ES posits that the capacity to understand others’ intentional behavior also relies on a more basic functional mechanism, which exploits the intrinsic organization of the motor system of primates. More simply put, there are several ways of understanding others: ES is one of them.
The latest issue of JMB is now available. Two articles have caught my attention:
“Deep Naturalism: Patterns in Art and Mind” by Liz Stillwaggon Swan
“Problematizing Tye’s Intentionalism: The Content of Bodily Sensations, Emotions, and Moods” by Juan J. Colomina
At the beginning of this year Evan Thompson whose thinking has been very influential upon me gave this lecture. Bumping into Evan the other day reminded me of the forthcoming book he mentioned then, which upon its publication, I’ll have reviewed in The Journal of Mind and Behavior where his superb Mind in Life was reviewed by Dorothée Legrand. Anyway, Evan has posted some details of the new book on his website including the introduction and the toc. I also notice that Evan’s co-authored classic The Embodied Mind is being reissued.
The central idea of this book is that the self is a process, not a thing or an entity. The self isn’t something outside experience, hidden either in the brain or in some immaterial realm. The self is an experiential process and it’s subject to constant change. We enact a self in the process of awareness and this self comes and goes depending on how we are aware.
This from Philosophy of Brains.
In this age of histrionics, he was a thoughtful, honest, and thorough thinker. He was often more thorough in discussing the weaknesses of his position than the people who thought they were providing original critiques of his work.
Keynote talk by Andy for the 9th International Symposium of Cognition, Logic and Communication. Andy appears @ 11:57
Here is Searle, still the master performer after all these years. He hasn’t dimmed an iota since I saw him in London in 1989.