Uniting and Freeing the Mind

Michael Spivey

in The Continuity of Mind

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780195170788
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199786831 | DOI:
 Uniting and Freeing the Mind

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This chapter argues that the “divide and conquer” approach for understanding how the mind works (advocated by the traditional modular information-processing framework) has already provided about as much scientific advancement as it can. Further progress in the cognitive sciences is likely to require a more integrative dynamical and ecological approach to cognition that acknowledges not only the continuous and recurrent flow of information between different neural subsystems, but also the continuous and recurrent flow of information between the organism and the environment. Findings in change blindness, external memory use, and eye movements during imagery and memory are marshaled to support a visualization of mental content as something that spreads out beyond the body, sometimes overlapping with the mental content of other minds. The mind and its inextricable causes naturally extend to environmental forces (e.g., sensory, social, cultural, evolutionary) that operate at multiple interdependent time scales.

Keywords: modularity; interactionism; ecological psychology; externalism; external memory; change blindness; imagery; visual memory

Chapter.  9397 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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