The Origin of the Human Mind - Brain Imaging and Evolution
How to map a 1GB per mm2 intracranial mushdrive and other empirically based explanatory spelunking.
Don’t worry, there will be no quiz, because we can tell whether or not you’re paying attention and fMRI whether or not you get it. ;-)<blockquote>Marty Sereno: “The strange sort of reality of the visual system, from which you reconstruct and construct this static feeling of stuff out there is this sequence of [really bizarre, fisheye lens distorted looking, scanning, zooming] glances. Somehow, you actually assemble that series of glances into a meaningful, coherent, representation of the room.”</blockquote>So what differentiates our brains from animal brains, which are otherwise so strikingly, anatomically similar?<blockquote>Marty Sereno: “They don’t have a productive way of attaching up a symbol stream to this visual scene assembler, that they otherwise just use for assembling the current visual scene. So the theory is basically that, this final stage just requires some more rapid way of allowing auditory symbols which didn’t mean anything, or evolved for essentially meaninglessness and just sort of because they sounded good, essentially attaching them up to the higher level parts of the visual system where this scene assembly process goes on normally, with respect to the current scene. So that’s my theory.”</blockquote>Conclusions:
- Preadaptation 1: vocal control by sexual selection
- Preadaptation 2: serial assembly of glances
- Language is not an isolated organ in the brain, but instead largely built upon existing functionality
- The ability to evoke fictive scenes leads to a great increase in cognitive power (evoking past, future)
- The final stage in this scenario only requires the development of stronger auditory/visual mapping