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Place cells and human consciousness: a force-dynamic account


Stocker, Kurt (2016). Place cells and human consciousness: a force-dynamic account. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 23(3-4):146-165.

Abstract

How does conscious thought occur? In the scene 'The cat is next to the dog', the cat is within a proximal distance to the left or right of the dog. This probabilistic proximal left/right cognitive space is an example of a mental 'place field'. A place field -- also in humans presumably represented by place cells in the hippocampus -- represents latent and thus potentially unconscious thought. Mentally 'seeing' the cat to the left or right is an example of a 'localized point' within a place field. A localized point represents manifest and thus conscious thought. As proposed, this field-to-point reduction is naturally described in terms of force dynamics, a prominent theory of causal cognition. Possible generalizations from spatial mental imagery to all conscious occurrences of thought and emotion are discussed.

Abstract

How does conscious thought occur? In the scene 'The cat is next to the dog', the cat is within a proximal distance to the left or right of the dog. This probabilistic proximal left/right cognitive space is an example of a mental 'place field'. A place field -- also in humans presumably represented by place cells in the hippocampus -- represents latent and thus potentially unconscious thought. Mentally 'seeing' the cat to the left or right is an example of a 'localized point' within a place field. A localized point represents manifest and thus conscious thought. As proposed, this field-to-point reduction is naturally described in terms of force dynamics, a prominent theory of causal cognition. Possible generalizations from spatial mental imagery to all conscious occurrences of thought and emotion are discussed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:16 Feb 2017 10:09
Last Modified:19 Feb 2017 08:33
Publisher:Imprint Academic
ISSN:1355-8250
Official URL:http://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/imp/jcs/2016/00000023/F0020003/art00007

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