Challenge to “Cognitive” Models of Behavior

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Traditional assumptions of cognitive psychology are increasingly questioned by neurophysiology, casting doubt on the classic framework of serial information processing…

  • The brain’s ability to predict the consequences of actions
  • enables it to link across levels of abstraction
  • and to bias immediate actions by the predicted long- term opportunities they make possible
  • hence supporting intentional action.The organization of the brain, including the cerebral cortex, is increasingly viewed in terms of the species-typical activities that it evolved to support, as opposed to the hypothetical modules of cognitive psychology theory. Continue reading

“What are commonly called emotion functions in humans and animals are not emotional functions at all. They do not exist to make feelings. They are survival functions essential for the continued life of the individual or the species. And in humans, survival functions are sometimes–perhaps often–associated with feelings. But the systems that underlie these functions op erate in – dependently from feelings in humans.”

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“Traditional assumptions of cognitive psychology are increasingly questioned by neurophysiology, casting doubt on the classic framework of serial information processing…”

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even human cognition is best understood within the context of the feedback control theoretical principles that govern all biological systems

Epigenetics is Mainly Pop Science Bunk

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Yet another journalist seems to have fallen for the epigenetics mavens: those revisionists who think that a form of Lamarckian inheritance can be important in evolution. These people claim that the environment itself directly changes the DNA, not by altering the sequences of bases, but by somehow placing methyl groups on some of the DNA bases (“methylation”). Such changes can be passed on to the next generation, and so the revisionists (aka “careerists”) argue that the inherited epigenetic changes could be subject to natural selection, leading to a form of evolutionary change that is, roughly, the inheritance of acquired characters. Continue reading