Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Published by Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Online ISSN: 1469-1825
Publications
Article
The mere fact that a particular aspect of mind could offer an adaptive advantage is not enough to show that that property was in fact shaped by that adaptive advantage. Although it is possible that the tendency towards positive illusion is an evolved misbelief, it it also possible that positive illusions could be a by-product of a broader, flawed cognitive mechanism that itself was shaped by accidents of evolutionary inertia.
 
Article
Since the BBS article in which Premack and Woodruff (1978) asked "Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind?," it has been repeatedly claimed that there is observational and experimental evidence that apes have mental state concepts, such as "want" and "know." Unlike research on the development of theory of mind in childhood, however, no substantial progress has been made through this work with nonhuman primates. A survey of empirical studies of imitation, self-recognition, social relationships, deception, role-taking, and perspective-taking suggests that in every case where nonhuman primate behavior has been interpreted as a sign of theory of mind, it could instead have occurred by chance or as a product of nonmentalistic processes such as associative learning or inferences based on nonmental categories. Arguments to the effect that, in spite of this, the theory of mind hypothesis should be accepted because it is more parsimonious than alternatives or because it is supported by convergent evidence are not compelling. Such arguments are based on unsupportable assumptions about the role of parsimony in science and either ignore the requirement that convergent evidence proceed from independent assumptions, or fail to show that it supports the theory of mind hypothesis over nonmentalist alternatives. Progress in research on theory of mind requires experimental procedures that can distinguish the theory of mind hypothesis from nonmentalist alternatives. A procedure that may have this potential is proposed. It uses conditional discrimination training and transfer tests to determine whether chimpanzees have the concept "see." Commentators are invited to identify flaws in the procedure and to suggest alternatives.
 
(a) Standard evolutionary perspective: Populations of organisms transmit genes from one generation to the next, under the direction of natural selection. (b) With niche construction: Phenotypes modify their local environments (E) through niche construction. Each generation inherits both genes and a legacy of modified selection pressures (ecological inheritance) from ancestral organisms.
Article
We propose a conceptual model that maps the causal pathways relating biological evolution to cultural change. It builds on conventional evolutionary theory by placing emphasis on the capacity of organisms to modify sources of natural selection in their environment (niche construction) and by broadening the evolutionary dynamic to incorporate ontogenetic and cultural processes. In this model, phenotypes have a much more active role in evolution than generally conceived. This sheds light on hominid evolution, on the evolution of culture, and on altruism and cooperation. Culture amplifies the capacity of human beings to modify sources of natural selection in their environments to the point where that capacity raises some new questions about the processes of human adaptation.
 
Article
Does the psychological and neurological evidence concerning three-dimensional localization and navigation fly in the face of optimality? This commentary brings a computational and robotic engineering perspective to the question of “optimality” and argues that a multicoding manifold model is more efficient in several senses, and is also likely to extend to “volume-travelling” animals, including birds or fish.
 
(Ferber). Truth Table for XOR gate 
(Anderson). Continued.  
Article
In this response, we consider four main issues arising from the commentaries to the target article. These include further details of the theory of interactive specialization, the relationship between neuroconstructivism and selectionism, the implications of neuroconstructivism for the notion of representation, and the role of genetics in theories of development. We conclude by stressing the importance of multidisciplinary approaches in the future study of cognitive development and by identifying the directions in which neuroconstructivism can expand in the Twenty-first Century.
 
Diagram indicating the information flow routes and competitive pathways in saccade generation
(Beauvillain). (Top) Distributions of second saccade amplitude to the word n1 (left) or the word n (right) for displacements of the two word sequence in opposite direction (OD) (white diamond and triangle) or same direction (SD) (black diamond and triangle) to the primary saccade, and for the no displacement condition (ND) (black square). The amplitude of the displacement was one (diamond) or two letter-spaces (triangle). (Bottom) Respective distributions of second-fixation position in the word n1 (left) or the word n (right).
(Chou & Schiller). (A) Percent of saccades made to the left target as a function of the temporal offset between paired targets presented with various temporal asynchronies. Data collected preoperatively and 2, 3, and 16 weeks after a left FEF lesion are shown. (B) Records of saccadic eye movements made to targets presented with various temporal asynchronies and a 40% angular separation. The data are from an intact animal and from an animal with a left FEF lesion. (C) Percent correct performance on the temporal discrimination task following a lesion of the left FEF. Eight identical stimuli were presented, one of which (the target) appeared prior to the others by the times indicated on the abscissa. Data are plotted separately for the conditions in which the target appeared ipsilaterally or contralaterally to the lesion.
(McPeek et al.). Dotted trace shows an example of a two-saccade response in visual search. Initial fixation is in the center and is marked by a plus-sign. The first saccade is directed up, toward a distractor. After a 45-msec fixation, a second saccade is made to the target. Note that the first saccade falls slightly short of the distractor and is curved toward the goal of the second saccade. For comparison, the solid trace shows a typical saccade to a single target at the same position as the distractor stimulus. (Rhesus monkey, magnetic search coil sampled at 1,000 Hz.)
Article
During active vision, the eyes continually scan the visual environment using saccadic scanning movements. This target article presents an information processing model for the control of these movements, with some close parallels to established physiological processes in the oculomotor system. Two separate pathways are concerned with the spatial and the temporal programming of the movement. In the temporal pathway there is spatially distributed coding and the saccade target is selected from a "salience map." Both pathways descend through a hierarchy of levels, the lower ones operating automatically. Visual onsets have automatic access to the eye control system via the lower levels. Various centres in each pathway are interconnected via reciprocal inhibition. The model accounts for a number of well-established phenomena in target-elicited saccades: the gap effect, express saccades, the remote distractor effect, and the global effect. High-level control of the pathways in tasks such as visual search and reading is discussed; it operates through spatial selection and search selection, which generally combine in an automated way. The model is examined in relation to data from patients with unilateral neglect.
 
Article
Autistic-spectrum conditions and psychotic-spectrum conditions (mainly schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression) represent two major suites of disorders of human cognition, affect, and behavior that involve altered development and function of the social brain. We describe evidence that a large set of phenotypic traits exhibit diametrically opposite phenotypes in autistic-spectrum versus psychotic-spectrum conditions, with a focus on schizophrenia. This suite of traits is inter-correlated, in that autism involves a general pattern of constrained overgrowth, whereas schizophrenia involves undergrowth. These disorders also exhibit diametric patterns for traits related to social brain development, including aspects of gaze, agency, social cognition, local versus global processing, language, and behavior. Social cognition is thus underdeveloped in autistic-spectrum conditions and hyper-developed on the psychotic spectrum.;>We propose and evaluate a novel hypothesis that may help to explain these diametric phenotypes: that the development of these two sets of conditions is mediated in part by alterations of genomic imprinting. Evidence regarding the genetic, physiological, neurological, and psychological underpinnings of psychotic-spectrum conditions supports the hypothesis that the etiologies of these conditions involve biases towards increased relative effects from imprinted genes with maternal expression, which engender a general pattern of undergrowth. By contrast, autistic-spectrum conditions appear to involve increased relative bias towards effects of paternally expressed genes, which mediate overgrowth. This hypothesis provides a simple yet comprehensive theory, grounded in evolutionary biology and genetics, for understanding the causes and phenotypes of autistic-spectrum and psychotic-spectrum conditions.
 
Article
Most people who are regular consumers of psychoactive drugs are not drug addicts, nor will they ever become addicts. In neurobiological theories, non-addictive drug consumption is acknowledged only as a "necessary" prerequisite for addiction, but not as a stable and widespread behavior in its own right. This target article proposes a new neurobiological framework theory for non-addictive psychoactive drug consumption, introducing the concept of "drug instrumentalization." Psychoactive drugs are consumed for their effects on mental states. Humans are able to learn that mental states can be changed on purpose by drugs, in order to facilitate other, non-drug-related behaviors. We discuss specific "instrumentalization goals" and outline neurobiological mechanisms of how major classes of psychoactive drugs change mental states and serve non-drug-related behaviors. We argue that drug instrumentalization behavior may provide a functional adaptation to modern environments based on a historical selection for learning mechanisms that allow the dynamic modification of consummatory behavior. It is assumed that in order to effectively instrumentalize psychoactive drugs, the establishment of and retrieval from a drug memory is required. Here, we propose a new classification of different drug memory subtypes and discuss how they interact during drug instrumentalization learning and retrieval. Understanding the everyday utility and the learning mechanisms of non-addictive psychotropic drug use may help to prevent abuse and the transition to drug addiction in the future.
 
Article
Augmenting and supplementing the arguments of Crespi & Badcock (C&B), I show that digit ratio (2D:4D), a putative marker of prenatal androgen action, indeed appears differentially altered in autism-spectrum disorders (lower/masculinized) versus schizophrenic-spectrum disorders (higher/feminized). Consistent with C&B's framework, some evidence (substantial heritability, assortative mating, sex-specific familial transmission) points to possible sex chromosome and imprinted genes effects on 2D:4D expression.
 
Article
The Sociosexual Orientation Inventory (SOI; Simpson & Gangestad 1991) is a self-report measure of individual differences in human mating strategies. Low SOI scores signify that a person is sociosexually restricted, or follows a more monogamous mating strategy. High SOI scores indicate that an individual is unrestricted, or has a more promiscuous mating strategy. As part of the International Sexuality Description Project (ISDP), the SOI was translated from English into 25 additional languages and administered to a total sample of 14,059 people across 48 nations. Responses to the SOI were used to address four main issues. First, the psychometric properties of the SOI were examined in cross-cultural perspective. The SOI possessed adequate reliability and validity both within and across a diverse range of modem cultures. Second, theories concerning the systematic distribution of sociosexuality across cultures were evaluated. Both operational sex ratios and reproductively demanding environments related in evolutionary-predicted ways to national levels of sociosexuality. Third, sex differences in sociosexuality were generally large and demonstrated cross-cultural universality across the 48 nations of the ISDP, confirming several evolutionary theories of human mating. Fourth, sex differences in sociosexuality were significantly larger when reproductive environments were demanding but were reduced to more moderate levels in cultures with more political and economic gender equality. Implications for evolutionary and social role theories of human sexuality are discussed.
 
Article
Toward illuminating the structure of Llewellyn's dream theory, I compare it in formal terms to Freud's dream theory. An alternative to both of these dream machines, grounded in the distribution of cholinergic activation in the central nervous system, is presented. It is suggested that neither "high" nor "low" dream theory is sufficient to account for the properties of dreams.
 
Article
Cramer et al.'s critique of latent variables implicitly advocates a type of scientific anti-realism which can be extended to many dispositional constructs in scientific psychology. However, generalizing Cramer et al.'s network model in this way raises concerns about its applicability to psychopathology. The model could be improved by articulating why a given cluster of symptoms should be considered disordered.
 
Article
Mercier & Sperber (M&S) argue for their argumentative theory in terms of communicative abilities. Insights can be gained by extending the discussion beyond human reasoning to rodent and robot navigation. The selection of arguments and conclusions that are mutually reinforcing can be cast as a form of abductive reasoning that I argue underlies the construction of cognitive maps in navigation tasks.
 
Article
Most people hold overly (though not excessively) positive self-views of themselves, their ability to shape environmental events, and their future. These positive illusions are generally (though not always) beneficial, promoting achievement, psychological adjustment, and physical well-being. Social processes conspire to produce these illusions, suggesting that affiliation patterns may have evolved to nurture and sustain them.
 
Article
Carey's superb discussion of the origin of concepts is extended into the field of cognitive ethology. I also suggest that agency may be a default mechanism, often leading to over-attribution. The problem therefore becomes one of specifying the conditions in which agency is not attributed. The significance of attentional/focusing abilities on conceptual development is also emphasized.
 
Article
From our deep interest in the neuroconstructivist framework, we would like to comment on two fundamental aspects of Mareschal et al.'s work: the role of neuroconstructivism for clinical work with people suffering from developmental disorders; and the relation between the process of progressive specialization and the increasing abstraction of representations in development.
 
Article
The target article's important point is easily misunderstood to claim that all revenge is adaptive. Revenge and forgiveness can overstretch (or understretch) the bounds of utility due to misperceptions, minimization of costly errors, a breakdown within our evolved revenge systems, or natural genetic and developmental variation. Together, these factors can compound to produce highly abnormal instances of revenge and forgiveness.
 
Article
The notion of internalization put forth by Roger Shepard continues to be appealing and challenging. He suggests that we have internalized, during our evolutionary development, environmental regularities, or constraints. Internalization solves one of the hardest problems of perceptual psychology: the underspecification problem. That is the problem of how well-defined perceptual experience is generated from the often ambiguous and incomplete sensory stimulation. Yet, the notion of internalization creates new problems that may outweigh the solution of the underspecification problem. To support this claim, I first examine the concept of internalization, breaking it down into several distinct interpretations. These range from well-resolved dynamic regularities to ill-resolved statistical regularities. As a function of the interpretation the researcher selects, an empirical test of the internalization hypothesis may be straightforward or it may become virtually impossible. I then attempt to cover the range of interpretations by drawing on examples from different domains of visual event perception. Unfortunately, the experimental tests regarding most candidate regularities, such as gravitational acceleration, fail to support the concept of internalization. This suggests that narrow interpretations of the concept should be given up in favor of more abstract interpretations. However, the latter are not easily amenable to empirical testing. There is nonetheless a way to test these abstract interpretations by contrasting internalization with the opposite concept: externalization of body dynamics. I summarize evidence for such a projection of body constraints onto external objects. Based on the combined evidence of well-resolved and ill-resolved regularities, the value of the notion of internalization has to be reassessed.
 
Article
The neural realization of number in abstract form is implausible, but from this it doesn't follow that numbers are not abstract. Clear definitions of abstraction are needed so they can be applied homogeneously to numerical and non-numerical cognition. To achieve a better understanding of the neural substrate of abstraction, productive cognition--not just comprehension and perception--must be investigated.
 
Article
Our commentary is focused on the idea that "freedom" takes on its full significance whenever its relativistic nature, in the short- and long terms, is taken into account. Given the transformations brought about by "globalization," application of a general model of freedom based on ecological-economic factors clearly seems to be rather untimely. We examine this idea through egocentric and ethnocentric views of the social and environmental analyses of "freedom."
 
Article
The goal of the present commentary is to show that past results on automatic numerical processing in different notations are consistent with the idea of an abstract numerical representation. This is done by reviewing the relevant studies and giving alternative explanations to the ones proposed in the target article.
 
Article
We challenge the arguments of Cohen Kadosh & Walsh (CK&W) on two grounds. First, interactions between number form (e.g., notation, format, modality) and an experimental factor do not show that the notations/formats/modalities are processed separately. Second, we discuss evidence that numbers are coded abstractly, also when not required by task demands and processed unintentionally, thus challenging the authors' dual-code account.
 
Article
The issue of abstractness raises two distinct questions. First, is there a format-independent magnitude representation? Second, does analogue magnitude really play a crucial role in the development of human mathematics? We suggest that neither developmental nor cultural studies support this notion. The field needs to redefine the properties of the core number representation as used in human arithmetic.
 
Article
We argue that Cohen Kadosh & Walsh's (CK&W's) definitions of neural coding and of abstract representations are overly shallow, influenced by classical cognitive psychology views of modularity and seriality of information processing, and incompatible with the current knowledge on principles of neural coding. As they stand, the proposed dichotomies are not very useful heuristic tools to guide our research towards a better understanding of the neural computations underlying the processing of numerical quantity in the parietal cortex.
 
Article
The theory put forward by Cohen Kadosh & Walsh (CK&W) proposing that semantic representations of numerical magnitude in the parietal cortex are format-specific, does not specify how these representations might be constructed over the course of learning and development. The developmental predictions of the non-abstract theory are discussed and the need for a developmental perspective on the abstract versus non-abstract question highlighted.
 
Article
The target article undermines the existence of a shared unitary numerical format, illustrating a variety of representations. The "abstract"/"not-abstract" dichotomy does not capture their specific features. These representations are "supramodal" with respect to the sensory modality of the stimulus, and independent of its specific notation, with a main role of spatial codes, both related and unrelated to the mental number line.
 
Article
We agree that the default numerical representation is best accessed by probing automatic processing. The locus of this representation is apparently at the horizontal intraparietal sulcus (HIPS), the convergence zone of magnitude information. The parietal lobes are the right place to look for non-abstract representation of magnitude, yet the proof for that is still to be found.
 
Evidence of non-abstract representations from recent neuroimaging studies. (A) From the left, the recovery effect following the adaptation period for dot arrays and digits due to numerical deviations (Far, Close), was modulated by notation in the left IPS (turquoise circle). (B) The right IPS shows an adaptation effect (different quantity minus same quantity) for digits, but not for words or mixed notation adapted from (Cohen Kadosh, Cohen Kadosh, Kaas et al. 2007, Piazza et al. 2007) with permission. 
Article
The study of neuronal specialisation in different cognitive and perceptual domains is important for our understanding of the human brain, its typical and atypical development, and the evolutionary precursors of cognition. Central to this understanding is the issue of numerical representation, and the question of whether numbers are represented in an abstract fashion. Here we discuss and challenge the claim that numerical representation is abstract. We discuss the principles of cortical organisation with special reference to number and also discuss methodological and theoretical limitations that apply to numerical cognition and also to the field of cognitive neuroscience in general. We argue that numerical representation is primarily non-abstract and is supported by different neuronal populations residing in the parietal cortex.
 
Article
The target article by Cohen Kadosh & Walsh (CK&W) raises questions as to the precise nature of the notion of abstractness that is intended. We note that there are various uses of the term, and also more generally in mathematics, and suggest that abstractness is not an all-or-nothing property as the authors suggest. An alternative possibility raised by the analysis of numerical representation into automatic and intentional codes is suggested.
 
Article
I challenge two points in Cohen Kadosh & Walsh's (CK & W) argument: First, the definition of abstraction is too restricted; second, the distinction between representations and operations is too clear-cut. For example, taking Jean Piaget's "conservation of number task," I propose that another way to avoid orthodoxy in the field of numerical cognition is to consider inhibition as an alternative idea of abstraction.
 
Article
Here, I support and augment the argument put forth by Cohen Kadosh & Walsh (CK&W) that numerical representations are not abstract. I briefly review data that support the nonabstract nature of the representation of numbers between zero and one, and I discuss how a failure to test alternative hypotheses has led researchers to erroneously conclude that numerals automatically activate their semantic meaning.
 
(Petrov). Demonstration of the importance of the available responses in a proportional analogy. Different response sets (R1-R2 vs. R1-R3) produce different analogies when paired w i t ht h es a m ep r e m i s e s( A : B : : C : ? ) .C o m p a r ew i t hF i g u r e1 1i n the target article. 
Article
Analogy by priming learned transformations of (causally) related objects fails to explain an important class of inference involving abstract source-target relations. This class of analogical inference extends to ad hoc relationships, precluding the possibility of having learned them as object transformations. Rather, objects may be placed into momentarily corresponding, symbolic, source-target relationships just to complete an analogy.
 
Article
We need not propose, as Carey does, a radical discontinuity between core cognition, which is responsible for abstract structure, and language and "Quinian bootstrapping," which are responsible for learning and conceptual change. From a probabilistic models view, conceptual structure and learning reflect the same principles, and they are both in place from the beginning.
 
Article
Cohen Kadosh & Walsh (CK&W) argue that numerical representation is primarily non-abstract. However, in their target article they failed to consider recent behavioral priming experiments. These priming experiments provide evidence for an abstract numerical representation under automatic conditions.
 
Article
The target article develops a computational connectionist model for analogy-making from a developmental perspective and evaluates this model using simple analogies. Our commentary critically reviews the advantages and limits of this approach, in particular with respect to its expressive power, its capability to generalize across analogous structure and analyze systematicity in analogies.
 
Article
The dual-code proposal of number representation put forward by Cohen Kadosh & Walsh (CK&W) accounts for only a fraction of the many modes of numerical abstraction. Contrary to their proposal, robust data from human infants and nonhuman animals indicate that abstract numerical representations are psychologically primitive. Additionally, much of the behavioral and neural data cited to support CK&W's proposal is, in fact, neutral on the issue of numerical abstraction.
 
Article
Like number representation, basic arithmetic seems to be a natural candidate for abstract instantiation in the brain. To investigate this, researchers have examined effects of numeral format on elementary arithmetic (e.g., 4+5 vs. four+five). Different numeral formats often recruit distinct processes for arithmetic, reinforcing the conclusion that number processing is not necessarily abstracted away from numeral format.
 
(Algom). The time needed to decide the numerical magnitude (larger or smaller than the standard) as a function of target notation and congruity. [Con: congruent, Incon: incongruent].
(Falter et al.). Temporal generalisation gradients (mean proportion of "same duration" responses plotted against duration differences between standard and probe stimuli) for comparing filled and unfilled auditory durations. Upper panel: Comparison of filled durations (black circles) versus comparison of unfilled durations (white circles). Lower panel: Filled standards followed by unfilled probes (black circles) versus unfilled standards followed by filled probes (white circles). (Figure from Wearden et al. 2007.)
Article
Abstraction is instrumental for our understanding of how numbers are cognitively represented. We propose that the notion of abstraction becomes testable from within the framework of simulated cognition. We describe mental simulation as embodied, grounded, and situated cognition, and report evidence for number representation at each of these levels of abstraction.
 
Article
Understanding the perceived benefits of using drugs to achieve specific mental states will provide novel insights into the reasons individuals seek to use drugs. However, the precision of attempts to instrumentalize drugs is unclear both across drugs and individuals. Moreover, mis-instrumentalization, defined as discrepancies between such endpoints, may have relevance to understanding the relation among use, abuse, and addiction.
 
Article
The behavioral sciences have come under attack for writings and speech that affront sensitivities. At such times, academic freedom and tenure are invoked to forestall efforts to censure and terminate jobs. We review the history and controversy surrounding academic freedom and tenure, and explore their meaning across different fields, at different institutions, and at different ranks. In a multifactoral experimental survey, 1,004 randomly selected faculty members from top-ranked institutions were asked how colleagues would typically respond when confronted with dilemmas concerning teaching, research, and wrong-doing. Full professors were perceived as being more likely to insist on having the academic freedom to teach unpopular courses, research controversial topics, and whistle-blow wrong-doing than were lower-ranked professors (even associate professors with tenure). Everyone thought that others were more likely to exercise academic freedom than they themselves were, and that promotion to full professor was a better predictor of who would exercise academic freedom than was the awarding of tenure. Few differences emerged related either to gender or type of institution, and behavioral scientists' beliefs were similar to scholars from other fields. In addition, no support was found for glib celebrations of tenure's sanctification of broadly defined academic freedoms. These findings challenge the assumption that tenure can be justified on the basis of fostering academic freedom, suggesting the need for a re-examination of the philosophical foundation and practical implications of tenure in today's academy.
 
Article
This commentary describes another variety of self-deception, highly relevant to von Hippel & Trivers's (VH&T's) project. Drawing on dual-process theories, I propose that conscious thinking is a voluntary activity motivated by metacognitive attitudes, and that our choice of reasoning strategies and premises may be biased by unconscious desires to self-deceive. Such biased reasoning could facilitate interpersonal deception, in line with VH&T's view.
 
Article
This commentary highlights the distinction between belief and pragmatic acceptance, and asks whether the positive illusions discussed in section 13 of the target article may be judicious pragmatic acceptances rather than adaptive misbeliefs. I discuss the characteristics of pragmatic acceptance and make suggestions about how to determine whether positive illusions are attitudes of this type.
 
Schematic representation of the inherence heuristic. 
Article
Recent experimental evidence indicates that intuitions about inherence and system justification are distinct psychological processes, and that the inherence heuristic supplies important explanatory frameworks that are accepted or rejected based on their consistency with one's motivation to justify the system.
 
Article
Neural reuse demonstrates preadaptation. In accord with Rozin (1976), the process is an increase in accessibility of an originally dedicated module. Access is a dimension that can vary from sharing by two systems to availability to all systems (conscious access). An alternate manifestation is to reproduce the genetic blueprint of a program. The major challenge is how to get a preadaptation into a "position" so that it can be selected for a new function.
 
Article
Carruthers considers and rejects a mixed position according to which we have interpretative access to unconscious thoughts, but introspective access to conscious ones. I argue that this is too hasty. Given a two-level view of the mind, we can, and should, accept the mixed position, and we can do so without positing additional introspective mechanisms beyond those Carruthers already recognizes.
 
Compare this with Figure 4 without looking at the two figures side by side. There is a difference between the two pictures that can be hard to be aware of, a fact that motivates the appellation (a misnomer in my view) “Change Blindness”. 
Landman, et.al.’s paradigm combining change “blindness” with Sperling’s experiments on iconic memory. The rectangles are displayed here as line drawings but the actual stimuli were defined by textures. From Lamme, 2003 
Random-dot stereograms (Thanks to Júlio M. Otuyama) You start with a grid of say 100 by 200 tiny squares. You place a dot in a random location within each square in the grid. The result is something that looks bit like snow on an old black and white TV-- like one of the rectangles in Figure 3. Then you copy the grid dot by dot, but you make a certain change in the copy. You pick some region of it and move every dot in that region slightly to the left, leaving the rest of the dots alone. The rightmost rectangle in the picture above is the result of moving a square shaped region in the middle horizontally. The resulting figure looks to the untrained naked eye just like the first rectangle, but since the visual system is very sensitive to slight disparities, if each eye is presented with one of the two rectangles in a stereo viewer (or if you can “free fuse” the images), the viewer sees a protruding square. The illusion of depth requires the two rectangles to be presented to the two eyes, but if the presentations to the two eyes are at different times, there will be no loss of the experience of depth so long as the two presentations are not separated by too much time. Suppose the left stereogram is presented to the left eye for 10 msecs, and then the right stereogram is presented to the right eye 50 msecs later. No problem: there is an experience of depth. Indeed, one can present the second stereogram up to 80 msecs later and still get the experience 
Compare this with Figure 1 without looking at the two figures side by side. There is a difference that can be hard to see. 
The Attentional Blink . A sequence of visual stimuli in which the first target is a white string of letters, either XOOX or OXXO and the second target is the name of a number. At the end of the series the subject is asked to indicate (Q2) how visible target 2 was and whether target 1 was present and if so in which form. 
Article
How can we disentangle the neural basis of phenomenal consciousness from the neural machinery of the cognitive access that underlies reports of phenomenal consciousness? We see the problem in stark form if we ask how we can tell whether representations inside a Fodorian module are phenomenally conscious. The methodology would seem straightforward: Find the neural natural kinds that are the basis of phenomenal consciousness in clear cases--when subjects are completely confident and we have no reason to doubt their authority--and look to see whether those neural natural kinds exist within Fodorian modules. But a puzzle arises: Do we include the machinery underlying reportability within the neural natural kinds of the clear cases? If the answer is "Yes," then there can be no phenomenally conscious representations in Fodorian modules. But how can we know if the answer is "Yes"? The suggested methodology requires an answer to the question it was supposed to answer! This target article argues for an abstract solution to the problem and exhibits a source of empirical data that is relevant, data that show that in a certain sense phenomenal consciousness overflows cognitive accessibility. I argue that we can find a neural realizer of this overflow if we assume that the neural basis of phenomenal consciousness does not include the neural basis of cognitive accessibility and that this assumption is justified (other things being equal) by the explanations it allows.
 
Article
I take up the challenge of why false beliefs are better than "cautious action policies" (target article, sect. 9) in navigating adaptive problems with asymmetric errors. I then suggest that there are interactions between supernatural beliefs, self-deception, and positive illusions, rendering elements of all such misbeliefs adaptive. Finally, I argue that supernatural beliefs cannot be rejected as adaptive simply because recent experiments are inconclusive. The great costs of religion betray its even greater adaptive benefits - we just have not yet nailed down exactly what they are.
 
Article
Von Hippel & Trivers (VH&T) interpret belief in God and belief in strong government as the outcome of an active process of self-deception on a worldwide scale. We propose, instead, that these beliefs might simply be a passive spin-off of efficient cognitive processes.
 
Article
Reason aims at truth, so normative considerations are a proper part of the study of reasoning. Excluding them means neglecting some of what we know or can discover about reasoning. Also, the normativist position we are asked to reject by Elqayam & Evans (E&E) is defined in attenuated and self-contradictory ways.
 
Article
Cook et al. propose that mirror neurons emerge developmentally through a domain-general associative mechanism. We argue that experience-sensitivity does not rule out an adaptive or genetic argument for mirror neuron function, and that current evidence suggests that mirror neurons are more specialized than the authors' account would predict. We propose that future work integrate behavioral and neurophysiological techniques used with primates to examine the proposed functions of mirror neurons in action understanding.
 
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