• What makes a person Go? ◦ Feedback systems: returning a part of the output signal to the control device for pur- poses of “fine tuning” behaviors. ◦ Feed - forward systems: control behaviors or processes by providing advance infor- mation instead of feedback. • What makes a person Grow? ◦ Pribram did not specify developmental stages, but we can assume that biological maturity and growth fine-tune the feedback and feed-forward neural mechanisms, possibly providing a foundation of experiencing one’s self. • Is it testable? ◦ At higher levels of analysis, the task of demonstrating that the human brain encodes information holographically becomes extraordinarily difficult. ◦ The brain as a “wet” supercomputer : numerous cognitive scientists agree with Pri- bram’s perspective that the brain is “wet” (biologically-based) information proces- sor. • Is it useful? ◦ Pribram’s theory is both practically and heuristically useful. His holographic hypothe- sis is based on neurobiology but he ascends several levels to explain high-order psychological functions. Steven Pinker • Computational Theory of the Mind ◦ For Pinker the mind is neither intangible nor socially constructed. According to his theory, the mind consists of mental modules supported by multiple layers of bio- chemical machinery, capable of processing memory, thoughts, emotions, desires and other information.
◦ Although Pinker sees the mind as arising out of biological “machinery”, this machin- ery specially organized to process information. ◦ What makes a person Go? ▪ For cognitive scientists information, does not function as a motive or an in- stinct. Information is built into the environment much as “wetness: is built into the ocean. ▪ Motivation is already built into cognitive science’s foundational assumption: the human mind received, retrieves, stores, transforms and transmits infor- mation. ▪ Laboratory research has shown that most people use four major formats for representing and processing information. 1. Visual image: a two-dimensional, picturelike mosaic in the “mind’s eye” 2. Phonological representation: stretches of syllables that enable us to hold four to seven chunks of information in short term memory for three to five seconds. 3. Grammatical representation: hierarchical trees of verbs, phrases, phonemes and syllables that determine how we compose sentences and communicate through language. 4. Mentalese: language of thought ◦ What makes a person Grow? ▪ Pinker’s views on personality development as well his computational theory of mind both grow out of his evolutionary perspective of adaptation. ▪ Pinker believes that 50% of the variation in personality is due to genetic causes, 45% results from other environmental events impinging on the grow- ing brain and only 5% of personality differences among people can be attrib- uted to parental influence. ▪ The work of Judith Harris says that children are primarily socialized by the peer group rather than parents. ◦ Is it testable?