The Cerebral Code: Thinking a Thought in the Mosaics of the Mind / Edition 1

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Overview

The Cerebral Code is a new understanding of how Darwinian processes could operate in the brain to shape mental images in only seconds, starting with shuffled memories no better than the jumble of our nighttime dreams, but evolving into something of quality,such as a sentence to speak aloud. Jung said that dreaming goes on continuously but you can't see it when you are awake, just as you can't see the stars in the daylight because it is too bright.

Calvin's is a theory for what goes on, hidden from view by the glare of waking mental operations,that produces our peculiarly human type of consciousness with its versatile intelligence.

As Piaget emphasized in 1929, intelligence is what we use when we don't know what to do, when we have to grope rather than using a standard response. Calvin tackles a mechanism for doing this exploration and improvement offline, as we think before we act or practice the art of good guessing.

Surprisingly, the subtitle's mosaics of the mind is not a literary metaphor. For the first time, it is a description of a mechanism of what appears to be an appropriate level of explanation for many mental phenomena, that of hexagonal mosaics of electrical activity that compete for territory in the association cortex of the brain. This two-dimensional mosaic is predicted to grow and dissolve much as the sugar crystals do in the bottom of a supersaturated glass of iced tea.

A Bradford Book

Discusses what happens in the brain, hidden by waking mental operations, producing consciousness & versatile intelligence

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Editorial Reviews

Supplement Times Higher Education
[A] wide-ranging and innovative theory linking the neural structure of the cortex to thought, language, and consciousness...stunningly thought provoking. -- The Times Higher Education Supplement
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262531542
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 2/6/1998
  • Series: Bradford Books Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 262
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

William H. Calvin is Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at theUniversity of Washington, Seattle. His books include The Cerebral Code (MITPress, 1996).

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Table of Contents

Prologue 1
1 The Representation Problem and the Copying Solution 11
2 Cloning in Cerebral Cortex 27
3 A Compressed Code Emerges 39
4 Managing the Cerebral Commons 51
5 Resonating with Your Chaotic Memories 63
6 Partitioning the Playfield 81
Intermission Notes 99
7 The Brownian Notion 113
8 Convergence Zones with a Hint of Sex 129
9 Chimes on the Quarter Hour 145
10 The Making of Metaphor 159
11 Thinking a Thought in the Mosaics of the Mind 175
Afterthoughts 201
Glossary and Brief Tutorials 203
Recommended Reading 215
Notes 217
Index 241
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