Instructor: Stevan Harnad
The course is divided into 12 modules, one for each lecture, plus 5 optional ones. You will get to choose the modules we do when we discuss it during the first lecture.
The readings consist of several BBS (Behavioral and Brain Sciences) treatments (usually about 4) per module. Each treatment consists of a target article, 20-30 commentaries, and the Author's Repsonse. You are not expected to read all or even most of the 82 BBS treatments! You need only read one full treatment (more if you wish) for the paper on the topic you choose, plus parts of those treatments that the class decides it is interested in.
The topics are the controversial ones in Psychology. Some are very current, some long-standing, recurrent ones. The purpose of the course is to introduce you to these debates and to have you sample and appreciate the diversity of prespectives that may exist on a given question. Here are the contents of the 12 modules. Substitutions are possible, the final blend governed by the interests of the class; we can dwell longer on some topics, pass over to others more quickly, and recombine some of the ingredients to suit the taste of the class.
MODULE 1: "Spooks and Spoilsports." Some nonstandard phenomena will be reviewed (psychic phenomena, hyponotic phenomena) and methodological critiques will be considered (demand characteristics, expectancy effects). (Rao/Palmer, Alcock, Spanos, Rosenthal/Rubin)
MODULE 2: "Shrinks and Cranks." Do therapies - both psychic and somatic -- work? What counts as evidence for and against? Other problems of the evaluation of human efforts (peer review) are also examined, (Grunbaum, Prioleau et al., Ader/Cohen, Peters/Ceci)
MODULE 3: "Sex: What's the Difference?" Apart from the concavities/convexities, which male/female differences, if any, are real? Evidence will be weighed from brain asymmetry to dating preferences. (Benbow, McGlone, Buss, Kenrick/Keefe Symons)
MODULE 4: "The Devil Made Me Do It": The dark sides of human nature: rape, incest, violence. Does sociobiology explain them? Is it all our evolutionary heritage? First the case for the sociobiologists, in this MODULE and the next. The case against will be made in the 6th MODULE. (Thornhill/Thornhill, van den Berghe, Mealey, Plomin, Plomin/Daniels)
MODULE 5: "Me and My Selfish Genes": Is it all about getting power, property and progeny? (Vining, Perusse, Hartung, Rushton)
MODULE 6: "Or Do We Each Have Minds After All?" The critiques of sociobiology and behavior genetic analysis: psychological, statistical, biological. (Kitcher, Wahlsten, Caporael et al., Wilson/Sober)
MODULE 7: "When Science Tampers With Feelings" Intelligence testing, electroshock therapy, animal experiments: Science and human values. (Jensen, Weiner, M. Dawkins)
MODULE 8: "The Universe and Dr. Skinner" What is/was behaviorism? What has taken its place? (Skinner (6), Rachlin, Lubinski/Thompson, Chomsky)
MODULE 9: "Babbleluck I." The origins of language, during our lifetimes, and during the lifetime of our species. (Pinker/Bloom, Crain, Lightfoot, Bickerton)
MODULE 10: "Babbleluck II." Children, animals: Continuities? Parallels? or Overinterpretation? (Baker, Johnston, Greenfield, Williams/Wilkins)
MODULE 11: "The Mind's Eye" The Imagery Debate: Are there mental images? Or is it just your imagination? (Haber, Kosslyn et al., Pylyshyn (2), Jeannerod, Premack)
MODULE 12: "Is Cognition Just Computation?" The heart of the current cognitive Science Debate, featuring philosopher John Searle's "Chinese Room Argument" and mathematician Roger Penrose on "The Emperor's New Mind". (Fodor (2), Newell, Searle (2), Penrose)
MODULE 13: "Or Is Cognition What a Neural Net Does?" Connectionism Vs Computationalism. (Smolensky, Shastri, Amit, Freeman)
MODULE 14: "What About the Real Brain?" Can cognition and brain functon be studied in normal, uninjured people? From ERPs to PETs and MRIs. (Verleger, Donchin/Coles, Naatanen, Posner/Raichle)
MODULE 15: "Who's Running the Show, Anyway? Consciousness II." Brain-injury in which you can "see" without being aware of it (blindsight); and normal states that are rather like that too. (Campion/Latto, Holender, Velmans, Shanks/St.Jorn)
MODULE 16: "A Question of Timing: Consciousness II" Can we time the instant of consciousness? And can we explain its brain basis? (Libet, Dennett/Kinsbourne, Block, Gray
MODULE 17: "Consciousness of Consciousness" Do animals know others have minds? Do children? How can you tell? What is it for? (Premack, Gopnik, Goldman, Tomasello, Cheney/Seyfarth, Whiten/Byrne)
Rao, K. Ramakrishna; Palmer, John. The anomaly called psi: Recent research and criticism. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1987 Dec, v10 (n4):539-551.
ABSTRACT: Reviews the background of "psi" phenomena, the apparent ability to receive information shielded from the senses and to influence systems outside the sphere of motor activity, and reports on a series of psi experiments by H. Schmidt (1969). The objections of critics of these experiments are discussed in some depth. It is concluded that the possibility of sensory cues, machine bias, cheating by Subjects, and experimenter error or incompetence cannot reasonably account for the significant results. In addition, less detailed reviews of the experimental results in several broad areas of psi research indicate that psi results are statistically replicable and that significant patterns exist across a large body of experimental data. Commentaries on the present article follow in the same edition of this journal.
Alcock, James E. Parapsychology: Science of the anomalous or search for the soul? Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1987 Dec, v10 (n4):553-565.
ABSTRACT: Argues that although there has been over a century of formal empirical inquiry, parapsychologists have failed to produce a single reliable demonstration of paranormal, or psi, phenomena. Although many parapsychological research projects have been conducted under what have been described as well-controlled conditions, this does not by itself make a science, for until it can be demonstrated that paranormal phenomena really exist, there is no subject matter around that a science can develop. Indeed, parapsychologists have not even succeeded in developing a reasonable definition of paranormal phenomena that does not involve, or imply, some aspect of mind-body dualism. It is concluded that parapsychological inquiry reflects the attempt to establish the reality of a nonmaterial aspect of human existence rather than a search for explanations for anomalous phenomena. Comments on the present article follow in the same issue of this journal.
Spanos, Nicholas P. Hypnotic behavior: A social-psychological interpretation of amnesia, analgesia, and "trance logic.". Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1986 Sep, v9 (n3):449-467.
ABSTRACT: Examines research on 3 hypnotic phenomena--suggested amnesia, suggested analgesia, and "trance logic" (referring to behaviors that purportedly reflect changes in cognitive functioning unique to hypnosis). For each case, a social-psychological interpretation of hypnotic behavior as a voluntary response strategy is compared with the traditional special-process view that "good" hypnotic Subjects have lost conscious control over suggestion-induced behavior. It is argued that although amnesics present themselves as unable to remember, they in fact retain control over retrieval processes and accommodate their recall (or lack of it) to the social demands of the test situation. Hypnotic suggestions of analgesia do not produce a dissociation of pain from phenomenal awareness. It is concluded that data fail to support the view that a tolerance for logical incongruity (i.e., trance logic) uniquely characterizes hypnotic responding.
Rosenthal, Robert; Rubin, Donald B. Interpersonal expectancy effects: The first 345 studies. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1978 Sep, v1 (n3):377-415.
ABSTRACT: The research area of interpersonal expectancy effects originally derived from consideration of the effects of experimenters on the results of their research. One of these is the expectancy effect, the tendency for experimenters (Es) to obtain results they expect, not simply because they have correctly anticipated nature's response but rather because they helped to shape that response through their expectations. In recent years, the research has been extended from Es to teachers, employers, and therapists whose expectations for their pupils, employees, and patients might also come to serve as interpersonal self-fulfilling prophecies. The results of 345 experiments investigating interpersonal expectancy effects are summarized. These studies fall into 8 broad categories of research: reaction time, inkblot tests, animal learning, laboratory interviews, psychophysical judgments, learning and ability, person perception, and everyday life situations. For the entire sample of studies, as well as for each specific research area (a) the overall probability that interpersonal expectancy effects do in fact occur is determined, (b) their average magnitude is estimated to evaluate their substantive and methodological importance, and (c) methods that may be useful to others wishing to summarize quantitatively entire bodies of research are illustrated. 30 peer comments and a reply by the authors are included.
Grunbaum, Adolf. Precis of The Foundations of Psychoanalysis: A Philosophical Critique. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1986 Jun, v9 (n2):217-228.
ABSTRACT: In this selected summary of the present author's (1984) work appraising psychoanalysis, the following topics are addressed: the hermeneutics' reconstruction of Freud's theory and therapy as an alternative to what neorevisionists claim was a "scientific" misconstrual of the psychoanalytic enterprise; the clinical method of psychoanalytic investigation, the Freudian theory of repression, and the method of free association. Psychic conflict's causal role in producing neuroses, dreams, and bungled action is rejected because (1) free association has failed to support the psychoanalytic theory of unconscious motivation and (2) clinical data tend to be artifacts of the analyst's self-fulfilling expectations.
Prioleau, Leslie; Murdock, Martha; Brody, Nathan. An analysis of psychotherapy versus placebo studies. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1983 Jun, v6 (n2):275-310.
ABSTRACT: Reanalyzed a subset of 32 of the studies meta-analyzed by M. L. Smith et al (1980) that contained a psychotherapy and a placebo treatment. Smith et al reported that when over 500 studies were averaged over all dependent measures of outcome, psychological therapy was .85 standard deviations better than the control treatment. The median of the mean effect sizes for the 32 studies examined by the authors was .15. There was a nonsignificant inverse relationship between mean outcome and the following: sample size, duration of therapy, use of measures of outcome other than undisguised self-report, measurement of outcome at follow-up, and use of real patients. A qualitative analysis of the studies in terms of the type of patient involved indicated that those using psychiatric outpatients had essentially zero effect sizes and that none using psychiatric inpatients provided convincing evidence for psychotherapeutic effectiveness. The only studies clearly demonstrating significant effects of psychotherapy were the ones that did not use real patients. Generally, these studies involved small samples and brief treatments, occasionally described in quasibehavioristic language. For real patients, there was no evidence that the benefits of psychotherapy are greater than those of placebo treatment. 23 commentaries are included, to which the author responds further.
Engel, Bernard T. An essay on the circulation as behavior. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1986 Jun, v9 (n2):285-295.
ABSTRACT: Suggests that the responses of circulation (i.e., cardiovascular responses) are conditional components of the animal's behavior regardless of whether the response is an elicited reflex or the eliciting stimulus acquired its properties as a result of the genetic inheritance of the animal or through experience. It is asserted that (1) behavior is an integrated set of responses and the circulation is one of the response systems comprising behavior; (2) behavior is, in part, determined by its functional significance within a context; and (3) the contextual factors operative at the time of the behavior have a major role in determining which behavior will be the effective response and which other behaviors
Ader, Robert; Cohen, Nicholas. CNS-immune system interactions: Conditioning phenomena. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1985 Sep, v8 (n3):379-426.
ABSTRACT: Reviews recent studies documenting behaviorally conditioned suppression and enhancement of immunity. The biological impact of conditioned alterations in immune function is illustrated by studies in which conditioning operations were applied in the pharmacotherapy of autoimmune disease in New Zealand mice. The hypothesis that such conditioning effects are mediated by elevations in adrenocortical steroid levels is not supported by the data. Despite its capacity for self-regulation, it appears that the immune system is integrated with other psychophysiological processes and subject to modulation by the brain. 24
Peters, Douglas P.; Ceci, Stephen J. Peer-review practices of psychological journals: The fate of published articles, submitted again. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1982 Jun, v5 (n2):187-255.
ABSTRACT: 12 research articles were resubmitted to the journals that had published them 18-32 mo previously, with ficticious names and institutions substituted for the original ones. Only 3 of the resubmissions were detected, and 8 of the remaining articles were rejected--primarily for "serious methodological flaws." Author-reviewer accountability is discussed, and recommendations for improving the peer review system are presented. Commentary on this article is provided by 56 authors along with the original authors' response.
Symons, Donald. The Evolution of Human Sexuality (Book Precis and Multiple Book Review). Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1980, Jun, v3 (n2) 171-214. NO ABSTRACT AVAILABLE
Benbow, Camilla P. Sex differences in mathematical reasoning ability in intellectually talented preadolescents: Their nature, effects, and possible causes. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1988 Jun, v11 (n2):169-232.
ABSTRACT: Describes sex differences favoring males in mathematical reasoning ability, as measured by the mathematics section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT-M). The present author studied classical environmental hypotheses accounting for this sex difference (e.g., attitudes toward mathematics, perceived usefulness of mathematics, confidence, expectations/encouragement from parents and others, sex-typing, and differential course-taking), and identified physiological correlates of extremely high mathematical reasoning ability (left-handedness, allergies, myopia, and perhaps bilateral representation of cognitive functions and prenatal hormonal exposure). It is proposed that the sex difference in SAT-M scores among intellectually talented students, which may be related to greater male variability, results from both environmental and biological factors. 42 peer commentaries are included.
McGlone, Jeannette. Sex differences in human brain asymmetry: A critical survey. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1980 Jun, v3 (n2):215-263.
ABSTRACT: Dual functional brain asymmetry refers to the notion that in most individuals the left cerebral hemisphere is specialized for language, whereas the right hemisphere is important for perception, construction, and recall of stimuli that are difficult to verbalize. In the last 20 yrs there have been reports of sex differences in degree of hemispheric specialization. The present review provides a framework within which 2 related topics are discussed: Do meaningful sex differences in verbal or spatial cerebral lateralization exist? If so, is the brain of one sex more symmetrically organized than the other? Data gathered on right-handed adults are examined from clinical studies of patients with unilateral brain lesions; from dichotic listening, tachistoscopic, and sensorimotor studies of functional asymmetries in nonbrain-damaged Subjects; from anatomical and electrophysiological investigations; and from developmental literature. There is an accummulation of evidence suggesting that the male brain may be more asymmetrically organized than the female brain, both for verbal and nonverbal functions. 33 peer commentaries and the author's response are included.
Buss, David M. Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1989 Mar, v12 (n1):1-49.
ABSTRACT: Collected data from 4,601 males and 5,446 females (all aged 16.96-28.71 yrs) from 33 countries located on 6 continents and 5 islands, using measures that determined factors in choosing a mate and preferences concerning potential mates. Results show that females valued the financial capacity of potential mates more than males. Ambition and industriousness and cues to resource acquisition also tended to be valued more highly by females than males across cultures. Males valued physical attractiveness and relative youth in potential mates more than females across cultures. Comments and a reply by D. M. Buss follow.
Kenrick, Douglas T.; Keefe, Richard C. Age preferences in mates reflect sex differences in human reproductive strategies. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1992 Mar, v15 (n1):75-133.
ABSTRACT: Hypothesized that men prefer women around their own age, but that as they grow older, men develop a preference for women who, although not absolutely younger, are progressively younger than themselves and that women begin with a preference for older men, and compared with men, show less variation in that preference over their life span. Six studies support this gender-differentiated prediction in age preferences expressed in 218 personal advertisements, 1,189 marriages from 2 US cities, 100 marriages in 1923, matrimonial advertisements from 2 European countries and India, 1,789 marriages recorded from 1913-1939 on a small island in the Philippines, and 213 singles advertisements placed by financially successful American women and men. Limitations of normative and evolutionary explanations of age preferences are considered.
Thornhill, Randy; Thornhill, Nancy W. The evolutionary psychology of men's coercive sexuality. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1992 Jun, v15 (n2):363-421.
ABSTRACT: Discusses whether sexual coercion by men arises from a rape-specific psychological adaptation or from a side effect of a more general psychological adaptation not directly related to rape. The authors predict with reference to existing data that coercive sex (CSX) and non-CSX and achieving physical control of a sexually unwilling woman would be associated with high levels of sexual arousal and performance in men. Young men and men with low SES would use CSX more than would older men and men with higher SES, respectively. A man's motivation to use CSX would be influenced by its effects on his social image. Men in long-term relationships would use CSX when their mates showed a lack of interest in or resistance to sex. These predictions are consistent with both the rape-specific and the side-effect hypotheses.
Thornhill, Nancy W. An evolutionary analysis of rules regulating human inbreeding and marriage. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1991 Jun, v14 (n2):247-293.
ABSTRACT: Suggests that incest rules do not exist primarily to regulate close-kin mating but to regulate inbreeding between more distant kin and sexual relations between affinal relatives. Three evolutionary hypotheses about cousin marriage and affinal kin mating are explored. The first hypothesis concerns the control of adultery between specific categories of kin and refers to a special adultery category. The other 2 hypotheses address marital alliances between categories of kin and refer to nonincestuous inbreeding. Tests comparing a worldwide sample of 129 societies supported the hypotheses. Two alternative anthropological hypotheses derived from Freudian theory and alliance theory were not supported.
Van den Berghe, Pierre L. Human inbreeding avoidance: Culture in nature. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1983 Mar, v6 (n1):91-123.
ABSTRACT: Much clinical and ethnographic evidence suggests that humans, like many other organisms, are selected to avoid close inbreeding because of the fitness costs of inbreeding depression. The proximate mechanism of human inbreeding avoidance seems to be precultural and to involve the interaction of genetic predispositions and environmental conditions. As first suggested by E. Westermarck (1891) and supported by evidence from Israeli kibbutzim, Chinese sim-pua marriage, and convergent ethnographic and clinical evidence, humans negatively imprint on intimate associates during a critical period of early childhood (between 2 and 6 yrs of age). There is also much evidence that humans, like other social animals, do not seek to maximize outbreeding, but rather to maintain an optimal balance between outbreeding and inbreeding. Close inbreeding reduces fitness through inbreeding depression, but some inbreeding brings the benefits of nepotism. For simple, stateless, horticultural societies, the optimal balance seems to be achieved by a combination of precultural inbreeding avoidance of relatives and cultural rules of preferential marriage. Adjustment of the coefficient of inbreeding to other ecological settings seems to be largely cultural. An interactive model of "culture in nature" is presented in which culture is seen as co-evolving with genes to produce the maximization of individual inclusive fitness. Commentaries on the article and the author's response are included.
Mealey, Linda THE SOCIOBIOLOGY OF SOCIOPATHY: AN INTEGRATED EVOLUTIONARY MODEL BBS 18(4) (forthcoming, December 1995)
ABSTRACT: Sociopaths are "outstanding" members of society in two senses: politically, they command attention because of the inordinate amount of crime they commit, and psychologically, they elicit fascination because most of us cannot fathom the cold, detached way they repeatedly harm and manipulate others. Proximate explanations from behavior genetics, child development, personality theory, learning theory, and social psychology describe a complex interaction of genetic and physiological risk factors with demographic and micro-environmental variables that predispose a portion of the population to chronic antisocial behavior. Recent evolutionary and game theoretic models have tried to present an ultimate explanation of sociopathy as the expression of a frequency-dependent life history strategy which is selected, in dynamic equilibrium, in response to certain varying environmental circumstances. This target article tries to integrate the proximate, developmental models with the ultimate, evolutionary ones. Two developmentally different etiologies of sociopathy emerge from two different evolutionary mechanisms. Social strategies for minimizing the incidence of sociopathic behavior in modern society should consider the two different etiologies and the factors which contribute to them.
Plomin, Robert; Bergeman, C. S. The nature of nurture: Genetic influence on "environmental" measures. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1991 Sep, v14 (n3):373-427.
ABSTRACT: Examines evidence for genetic influence on environmental measures used in quantitative genetic analysis. Results of twin and adoption studies indicate substantial genetic influence when measures of the environment are treated as phenotypes in genetic analysis. Genetic influence is documented for environmental measures as diverse as videotaped observations of parental behavior toward children; ratings by parents and children of their family environment; and ratings of peer groups, social support, and life events. Instruments discussed include the Home Observation of the Environment, the Family Environment Scales, and the Social Readjustment Rating Scale. 29 commentaries follow.
Plomin, Robert; Daniels, Denise. Why are children in the same family so different from one another? Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1987 Mar, v10 (n1):1-16.
ABSTRACT: Describes quantitative genetic methods and research that lead to the conclusion that nonshared environment is responsible for most environmental variation relevant to psychological development; discusses specific nonshared environmental influences that have been studied to date; and considers relationships between nonshared environmental influences and behavioral differences between children in the same family. It is concluded that environmental differences between children in the same family represent the major source of environmental variance for personality, psychopathology, and cognitive abilities.
Vining, Daniel R. Social versus reproductive success: The central theoretical problem of human sociobiology. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1986 Mar, v9 (n1):167-216.
ABSTRACT: The fundamental postulate of sociobiology is that individuals exploit favorable environments to increase their genetic representation in the next generation. It is argued that the data on fertility differentials among contemporary humans are not consistent with this postulate. Evidence showing an inverse relationship between reproductive fitness and endowment in contemporary, urbanized societies and the existing sociobiological models of this inverse relationship is reviewed. Comments by C. J. Bajema, J. H. Barkow, H. Caton, M. Daly and M. Wilson, R. Dawkins, I. Eibl-Eibesfeldt, J. R. Flynn, R. Fox, S. J. Gaulin, M. I. Ghiselin and F. M. Scudo, J. Hartung, J. Hill, W. Irons, H. Kaplan and K. Hill, P. Kitcher, J. A. Kurland, R. Lynn and S. Hampson, E. M. Macphail, J. V. Neel, R. D. Retherford, J. Silverberg and J. P. Gray, R. J. Sternberg, D. Symons, L. M. Van Halen and V. C. Maiorana, J. D. Weinrich, K. M. Weiss, and B. J. Williams are included.
Perusse, Daniel. Cultural and reproductive success in industrial societies: Testing the relationship at the proximate and ultimate levels. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1993 Jun, v16 (n2):267-322.
ABSTRACT: Tested ultimate and proximate hypotheses formulated to explain the absence of a positive relationship between social status and fertility in industrial societies. Data were collected through questionnaires distributed by French-Canadian (French speaking) university students to adults they knew. The responses of 433 males were used in the present study. Male reproductive success was not related to cultural success. The corresponding proximate component of mating success, when measured independently of novel environmental factors, was shown to be positively and strongly related to cultural success. It is concluded that evolutionary explanations of human behavior remain relevant to modern societies. 31 comments and the author's reply are included. (An erratum concerning this article appears in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1993, Vol 16(3), 625. Sentences on pages 314 and 315 are corrected.)
Hartung, John. Matrilineal inheritance: New theory and analysis. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1985 Dec, v8 (n4):661-688.
ABSTRACT: Discusses the advantages for women of and circumstances surrounding matrilineal inheritance--the transfer of wealth by men to their sisters' sons. Family dynamics, extramarital sex, patrilineality, the probability that a man's putative offspring by his wife are also his biological offspring, degrees of relatedness of benefactor to heir, female variance beyond the 1st generation in the reproductive sense, and son vs daughter inheritance are considered. Results of cultural research are discussed. Commentary by 14 authors and a response by the original author are presented.
Rushton, J. Philippe. Genetic similarity, human altruism, and group selection. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1989 Sep, v12 (n3):503-559.
ABSTRACT: Proposes a biological basis for human altruism in that genetically similar people tend to seek one another out and to provide mutually supportive environments such as marriage, friendship, and social groups. This tendency may represent a biological factor underlying ethnocentrism and group selection. Genetic similarity has correlated with (1) the ability of heterosexual couples to produce children; (2) anthropometric, cognitive, and personality characteristics of marriage partners; (3) intensity of parental grief for the loss of a child; (4) long-term male friendship pairs; and (5) attitudinal, personality, and anthropometric characteristics of best friends. 33 commentaries follow.
Wahlsten, Douglas. Insensitivity of the analysis of variance to heredity-environment interaction. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1990 Mar, v13 (n1):109-161.
ABSTRACT: Compares simple models of nonadditive, interactive relationships between heredity and environment and argues that an analysis of variance (ANOVA) often fails to detect nonadditivity because it has less power in tests of interaction than in tests of main effects. Data transformations that reduce interaction effects also change the properties of the causal model and may conceal theoretically interesting and practically useful relationships. If the goal of partitioning variance among mutually exclusive causes and calculating "heritability" is abandoned, interactive relationships can be examined more seriously and can enhance the understanding of the ways living things develop. 26 comments and a response follow.
Kitcher, Philip. Precis of Vaulting Ambition : Sociobiology and the quest for human nature. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1987 Mar, v10 (n1):61-71.
ABSTRACT: In a precis of his book, Vaulting Ambition, the author suggests that the image of sociobiology has suffered from (1) a failure to distinguish the varieties of sociobiology and (2) neglect of the details of the arguments supporting provocative claims about human social behavior. It is suggested that some nonhuman animal behavior studies meet methodological standards appropriate to evolutionary research, while the efforts of many human nature researchers are flawed because they apply evolutionary ideas in an unrigorous fashion and use dubious assumptions to connect their evolutionary analyses with their conclusions.
Caporael, Linnda R.; Dawes, Robyn M.; Orbell, John M.; Van de Kragt, Alphons J. Selfishness examined: Cooperation in the absence of egoistic incentives. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1989 Dec, v12 (n4):683-739.
ABSTRACT: A variety of "egoistic incentive" (EI) theories have been proposed to account for the minimal amount of cooperation necessary for group living in terms of the individual selfish payoffs it affords. These EI notions are untested metatheories. Experimental evidence is presented that (1) human cooperation can be controlled by manipulating variables unrelated to self-interest and that (2) satisfying self-interest is not necessary to elicit this cooperation. These results cannot be explained by EI theories. The cognitive and affective mechanisms underlying the observed cooperation may have evolved from selection pressures exerted under small-group living conditions for developing and maintaining group membership. According to this "sociality hypothesis," human nature is basically social rather than selfish. This article is accompanied by 30 commentaries and a reply by the authors.
Wilson, David Sloan & Sober, Elliott RE-INTRODUCING GROUP SELECTION TO THE HUMAN BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES BBS 17(4) 1994 (December, in press)
ABSTRACT: In both biology and the human sciences, social groups are sometimes treated as adaptive units whose organization cannot be reduced to individual interactions. This group-level view is opposed by a more individualistic view that treats social organization as a byproduct of self-interest. According to biologists, group-level adaptations can evolve only by a process of natural selection at the group level. During the 1960's and 70's most biologists rejected group selection as an important evolutionary force but a positive literature began to grow during the 70's and is rapidly expanding today. We review this recent literature and its implications for human evolutionary biology. We show that the rejection of group selection was based on a misplaced emphasis on genes as "replicators" which is in fact irrelevant to the question of whether groups can be like individuals in their functional organization. The fundamental question is whether social groups and other higher-level entities can be "vehicles" of selection. When this elementary fact is recognized, group selection emerges as an important force in nature and ostensible alternatives, such as kin selection and reciprocity, reappear as special cases of group selection. The result is a unified theory of natural selection that operates on a nested hierarchy of units. The vehicle-based theory makes it clear that group selection is an important force to consider in human evolution. Humans can facultatively span the full range from self-interested individuals to "organs" of group-level "organisms." Human behavior not only reflects the balance between levels of selection but it can also alter the balance through the construction of social structures that have the effect of reducing fitness differences within groups, concentrating natural selection (and functional organization) at the group level. These social structures and the cognitive abilities that produce them allow group selection to be important even among large groups of unrelated individuals.
Jensen, Arthur R. The nature of the Black-White difference on various psychometric tests: Spearman's hypothesis. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1985 Jun, v8 (n2):193-263.
ABSTRACT: Examines the differences between Black and White populations on standard IQ tests in terms of C. Spearman's (1927) hypothesis that the varying magnitude of the mean difference between Blacks and Whites is directly related to the size of the test's loading on g, the general factor common to all complex tests of mental ability. The g factor is correlated with measures of information-processing speed. Spearman's hypothesis was tested with 11 large-scale studies, each of which included 6-13 tests of mental ability that were administered to Blacks and Whites. In accord with Spearman's hypothesis, the average Black-White difference on mental tests may be interpreted as a difference in g rather than as a difference in knowledge, skill, or type of test. Results suggest that the differences between Blacks and Whites in the rate of information processing may account for a part of the average Black-White difference on standard IQ tests and their educational and occupational correlates. 29 peer commentaries are offered by 32 authors on such topics as information processing, minority assessment, and artificial intelligence; the author responds.
Weiner, Richard D. Does electroconvulsive therapy cause brain damage? Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1984 Mar, v7 (n1):1-53.
ABSTRACT: Contends on the basis of a careful assessment of data covering the areas of pathology, radiology, electrophysiology, biochemistry, and neuropsychology that ECT is not a purveyor of detectable brain damage. However, subtle undetectable deficits, especially in the area of autobiographic memory function, may occur; in addition, a rarely occurring syndrome of more pervasive persistent deficits relating to ECT may be present. It is concluded that ECT must continue to be available for conditions of anguish, misery, suicide, starvation, or debilitation associated with severe depressive illness. Comments on the author's contention are included by T. G. Bidder, T. G. Bolwig, P. R. Breggin, A. Cherkin, A. M. Dam, M. Fink, R. G. Heath, L. B. Kalinowsky, B. Lerer and M. Stanley, J. P. Pinel, T. R. Price, H. A. Sackeim, L. Salzman, J. G. Small and I. F. Small, L. R. Squire, A. A. Sugerman, C. M. Swartz, J. R. Taylor, D. I. Templer, L. A. Weaver Jr, S. F. Zornetzer, and J. Zubin. The author responds to the comments.
Dawkins, Marian S. From an animal's point of view: Motivation, fitness, and animal welfare. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1990 Mar, v13 (n1):1-61.
ABSTRACT: Suggests that to study animal welfare empirically, an objective basis is needed for deciding when an animal is suffering. Suffering includes a range of unpleasant emotional states (e.g., fear, pain) that appear to have evolved to avoid danger or restore physiological defects resulting from the natural environment. Suffering occurs when otherwise healthy animals are prepared to pay a price to attain or to escape from a particular situation. Withholding conditions or commodities for which animals show "inelastic demand" (i.e., for which they continue to work despite increasing costs) may cause suffering. In designing animal environments in zoos, farms, and laboratories, priority should be given to features for which animals show inelastic demand. 42 comments and a reply follow.
Skinner, B. F. Selection by consequences. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1984 Dec, v7 (n4):477-510.
ABSTRACT: Describes human behavior as the joint product of (1) contingencies of survival responsible for natural selection and (2) contingencies of reinforcement responsible for the repertoires of individuals, including (3) the special contingencies maintained by an evolved social environment. Reproduction under a wide range of consequences became possible with the evolution of processes through which organisms acquired behavior appropriate to novel environments. One of these, operant conditioning (OC), was a 2nd kind of selection by consequences. New responses could thus be strengthened by events that followed them. When the selecting consequences were the same, OC and natural selection worked together redundantly. But because a species that quickly acquired behavior appropriate to an environment had less need for an innate repertoire, OC could replace as well as supplement the natural selection of behavior. The human species presumably became more social when its vocal musculture came under operant control. Verbal behavior greatly increased the importance of a 3rd kind of selection by consequences, the evolution of social environments or cultures. The effect on the group, and not the reinforcing consequences for individual members, was responsible for the evolution of culture. 24 commentaries and the author's response to each of them are appended.
Skinner, B. F. Methods and theories in the experimental analysis of behavior. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1984 Dec, v7 (n4):511-546.
ABSTRACT: Contends that it is possible that the most rapid progress toward an understanding of learning may be made by research that is not designed to test theories. An adequate impetus is supplied by the inclination to obtain data showing orderly changes characteristic of the learning process. An acceptable scientific program is to collect data of this sort and to relate them to manipulable variables, selected for study through a commonsense exploration of the field. The theories to which the author raises objection are not the basic assumptions essential to any scientific activity or statements that are not yet facts, but rather explanations that appeal to events taking place somewhere else, at some other level of observation, described in different terms, and measured, if at all, in different dimensions. It is argued that 3 types of learning theories satisfy this definition: physiological theories attempting to reduce behavior to events in the nervous system, mentalistic theories appealing to inferred inner events, and theories of the conceptual nervous system offered as explanatory models of behavior. Experimental material in 3 areas is offered to illustrate the function of theory more concretely. 17 peer commentaries and the author's replies to each of them are included.
Skinner, B. F. The operational analysis of psychological terms. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1984 Dec, v7 (n4):547-581.
ABSTRACT: Proposes that the major contributions of operationism have been negative, largely because operationists have failed to distinguish logical theories of reference from empirical accounts of language. Behaviorism never finished an adequate formulation of verbal reports and therefore could not convincingly embrace subjective terms. But verbal responses to private stimuli can arise as social products through the contingencies of reinforcement arranged by verbal communities. In order to analyze traditional psychological terms, it is necessary to know their stimulus conditions and why each response is controlled by that condition. Verbal responses to private stimuli may be maintained through appropriate reinforcement based on public accompaniments, or through reinforcements accorded responses made to public stimuli, with private cases then occurring by generalization. It is emphasized that it is impossible to establish rigorous vocabularies of private stimuli for public use because differential reinforcement cannot be made contingent upon the property of privacy. The language of private events is anchored in the public practices of the verbal community, which make individuals aware only by differentially reinforcing their verbal responses with respect to their own bodies. The treatment of verbal behavior in terms of such functional relations between verbal responses and stimuli provides a radical behaviorist alternative to the operationism of methodological behaviorists. 21 comments and the author's response to each of them are appended.
Skinner, B. F. An operant analysis of problem solving. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1984 Dec, v7 (n4):583-613.
ABSTRACT: Proposes that behavior that solves a problem is distinguished by the fact that it changes another part of the solver's behavior and is strengthened when it does so. Problem solving typically involves the construction of discriminative stimuli. Verbal responses produce especially useful stimuli, because they affect other people. As a culture formulates maxims, laws, grammar, and science, its members behave more effectively without direct or prolonged contact with the contingencies thus formulated. The culture solves problems for its members and does so by transmitting the verbal discriminative stimuli called rules. Induction, deduction, and the construction of models are ways of producing rules. Behavior that solves a problem may result from direct shaping by contingencies or from rules constructed either by the problem solver or by others. Because different controlling variables are involved, contingency-shaped behavior is never exactly like rule-governed behavior. The distinction must take account of (1) a system that establishes certain contingencies of reinforcement, such as some part of the natural environment, a piece of equipment, or a verbal community; (2) the behavior shaped and maintained by these contingencies; (3) rules, derived from the contingencies, which specify discriminative stimuli, responses, and consequences; and (4) the behavior occasioned by the rules. Peer comments by 18 authors and the present author's responses to each of them are appended.
Skinner, B. F. Behaviorism at fifty. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1984 Dec, v7 (n4):615-667.
ABSTRACT: Contends that each individual is uniquely subject to certain kinds of stimulation from a small part of the universe within his/her skin. Mentalistic psychologies insist that other kinds of events, lacking the physical dimensions of stimuli, are accessible to the owner of the skin within which they occur. One solution often regarded as behavioristic has not been successful. A science of behavior must face the problem of privacy by dealing with events within the skin in their relation to behavior, without assuming they have a special nature or must be known in a special way. The search for copies of the world within the body (e.g., the sensations and images of conscious content) has also had discouraging results. The organism does not create duplicates. Seeing does not imply something seen. Mentalistic formulations create mental way stations. Where experimental analyses examine the effects of variables on behavior, mentalistic psychologies deal first with the effects of these entities on behavior. Mental states thus seem to bridge gaps between dependent and independent variables, and mentalistic interpretations are particularly attractive when these are separated by long time periods. Comments by 36 peers and the author's reply to them are appended.
Skinner, B. F. The phylogeny and ontogeny of behavior. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1984 Dec, v7 (n4):669-711.
ABSTRACT: Proposes that responses are strengthened by consequences having to do with the survival of individuals and species. With respect to the provenance of behavior, more is known about ontogenic than phylogenic contingencies. Behavior exhibited by most members of a species is often accepted as inherited if all members were not likely to have been exposed to relevant ontogenic contingencies. When contingencies are not obvious, it is perhaps unwise to call any behavior either inherited or acquired, as the examples of churring in honey guides and following in imprinted ducklings show. Nor can the relative importance of phylogenic and ontogenic contingencies be argued from instances in which unlearned or learned behavior intrudes or dominates. Intrusions occur in both directions. Behavior influenced by its consequences seems directed toward the future, but only past effects are relevant. The mere fact that behavior is adaptive does not indicate whether phylogenic or ontogenic processes have been responsible for it. Examples include the several possible provenances of imitation, aggression, and communication. The generality of such concepts limits their usefulness. It is suggested that a more specific analysis is needed if the 2 kinds of contingencies and their products are to be dealt with effectively. 26 peer commentaries and the author's response to each of them are included.
Rachlin, Howard. Pain and behavior. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1985 Mar, v8 (n1):43-83.
ABSTRACT: Discusses sensory pain (a direct function of the intensity of pain stimuli) and psychological pain (modifiable by hypnotism, placebos, and the sociocultural setting). According to physiological and cognitive theory, psychological and sensory pain are both internal processes, with the former influencing the latter as central processes influence peripheral processes. According to behavior theory, sensory pain is a reflex, while psychological pain is an instrumental act; both are overt behaviors. It is suggested that there is no basis for the claim by antibehaviorist philosophers and psychologists that behaviorism, because it cannot explain pain, is less capable of explaining mental phenomena than physiology or cognition. Comments are offered by G. Ainslie, J. H. Atkinson and E. F. Kremer, D. J. Bernstein, K. Campbell, W. C. Clark, W. E. Fordyce, J. Foss, M. Genest, G. Graham, G. Harman, J. Jaynes, P. Kitcher, H. Lacey, J. D. Loeser, A. W. Logue, W. I. Matson, R. Melzack, H. Merskey, T. R. Miles, G. Pepeu, U. T. Place, K. G. Shaver and J. J. Herrman, C. P. Shimp, D. C. Turk and P. Salovey, and P. D. Wall. A response from the author is included.
Lubinski, David; Thompson, Travis. Species and individual differences in communication based on private states. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1993 Dec, v16 (n4):627-680.
ABSTRACT: Explores the process and mechanisms responsible for individual differences in communicative behavior based on private stimulation (e.g., emotional or feeling states). A laboratory animal model is presented in which 2 pigeons were trained to exchange arbitrary cues based on drug-induced variations in the internal environment in one of them. The model is discussed using concepts and methods derived from the study of discriminative stimulus effects of drugs and recent research on interanimal communication. The authors discuss how humans acquire the capacity to identify and report private stimulation and analyze intra- and interspecies differences in neurochemical mechanisms for transducing interoceptive stimuli, enzymatic and other metabolic factors, learning ability, and discrimination learning histories and their relation to psychiatric and developmental disabilities. 27 comments and the authors' response follow this article.
Chomsky, Noam. Rules and representations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3: 1-61 (1980)
ABSTRACT: not available
Pinker, Steven; Bloom, Paul. Natural language and natural selection. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1990 Dec, v13 (n4):707-784.
ABSTRACT: Examines arguments that the evolution of human language cannot be explained by Darwinian natural selection. Language may have evolved as the by-product of selection for other abilities or as a consequence of as-yet unknown laws of growth and form, and a biological specialization for grammar seems incompatible with Darwinian theory: It shows no genetic variation, could not exist in any intermediate forms, confers no selective advantage, and would require more evolutionary time and genomic space than is available. However, these arguments depend on inaccurate assumptions about biology and/or language. Evolutionary theory offers clear criteria for when a trait should be attributed to natural selection: complex design for some function, and the absence of alternative processes capable of explaining such complexity. Human language appears to meet these criteria. 31 peer commentaries appear with authors' response.
Crain, Stephen. Language acquisition in the absence of experience. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1991 Dec, v14 (n4):597-650.
ABSTRACT: Describes some recent findings on how learners acquire syntactic knowledge for which there is little, if any, decisive evidence from the environment. The 1st section presents several general observations about language acquisition that linguistic theory has tried to explain and discusses the thesis that certain linguistic properties are innate because they appear universally and in the absence of corresponding experience. A 3rd diagnostic for innateness, early emergence, is the focus of the 2nd section of the paper, in which linguistic theory is tested against recent experimental evidence on children's acquisition of syntax. 26 commentaries respond to this article, and S. Crain responds to the commentaries.
Lightfoot, David. The child's trigger experience: Degree-0 learnability. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1989 Jun, v12 (n2):321-375.
ABSTRACT: In selective models of human language capacity, the discrepancy between experience and eventual capacity is bridged by genetically provided information, or universal grammar (UG). It is argued that the trigger experience that actually affects a child's linguistic development must be a subset of the child's total linguistic experience and that much of what a child hears has no consequence for the form of the eventual grammar. UG filters experience and provides an upper bound on the triggering experience. Children only need access robust structures of minimal ("degree-0") complexity and learn grammar from simple, unembedded "domains." 27 commentaries and the author's response follow.
Bickerton, Derek. The language bioprogram hypothesis. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1984 Jun, v7 (n2):173-221.
ABSTRACT: Hypothesized that creole languages were largely invented by children and show fundamental similarities that derive from a biological program for language. The structures of Hawaiian Pidgin and Hawaiian Creole are contrasted, yielding evidence that the latter derived from a single generation. Similarities of creole languages derive from a single grammar with a restricted list of categories and operations. However, grammars of individual creoles differ from this grammar to a varying extent: The degree of difference will correlate closely with the quantity of dominant-language input controlled by extralinguistic factors. Alternative explanations (substratum theory and monogenesis) are surveyed, but both fail to account for the facts. On the basis of an examination of primary acquisition in light of the hypothesis, the bioprogram provides a skeletal model of language that the child can readily convert into the target language. Comments on the hypothesis by E. Bates, L. Bloom, M. Cartmill, C. Corne, R. F. Cromer, M. Goodman, M. Gopnik, N. Hornstein, L. Jenkins, F. C. Keil, D. W. Lightfoot, A. Marantz, M. Maratsos, J. C. Marshall, R. P. Meier, S. S. Mufwene, P. Muysken, R. Posner, P. A. Roberts, W. J. Samarin, G. Sampson, P. A. Seuren, D. I. Slobin, W. S.-Y. Wang, and E. Woolford are included, followed by a response by the present author.
Baker, Myron C.; Cunningham, Michael A. The biology of bird-song dialects. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1985 Mar, v8 (n1):85-133.
ABSTRACT: Contends that no single theory gives a satisfactory account of the origin and maintenance of bird-song dialects and that this failure is a consequence of a weak comparative literature that precludes careful comparisons among species or studies and of the complexities involved. Evolution of vocal learning, experimental findings on song ontogeny, dialect descriptions, female and male reactions to differences in dialect, and population genetics and dispersal are discussed. A synthetic theory of the origin and maintenance of song dialects is proposed. It is suggested that subdialect formation is linked to a theory of the evolution of repertoire size, but data are too fragmentary to examine this idea critically. Comments are offered by R. J. Andrew, L. F. Baptista, E. A. Brenowitz, J. K. Chambers, R. W. Fasold, G. Gottlieb, P. J. Greenwood, A. D. Grimshaw, J. H. Hill, P. F. Jenkins, D. E. Kroodsma, R. E. Lemon, P. K. McGregor, W. G. Moulton, P. C. Mundinger, F. Nottebohm, L. Petrinovich, W. M. Shields, P. J. Slater, C. T. Snowdon, P. M. Waser, M. J. West and A. P. King, and R. M. Zink. A response from the authors is included.
Johnston, Timothy D. Developmental explanation and the ontogeny of birdsong: Nature/nurture redux. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1988 Dec, v11 (n4):617-663.
ABSTRACT: Argues that the dichotomous approach to the study of birdsong development, which suggests a genetic blueprint to guide song learning and emphasizes structural rather than functional aspects of song development, may flaw the interpretation of existing data. Evidence for a genetic origin of behavioral differences is frequently interpreted as evidence for the genetic determination of behavioral characters. An alternative approach, based on D. S. Lehrman's (1953, 1970, 1974) interactionist theory, may provide a more secure conceptual foundation for theories of bird song development. 25 commentaries and a response by the present author follow.
Greenfield, Patricia M. Language, tools and brain: The ontogeny and phylogeny of hierarchically organized sequential behavior. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1991 Dec, v14 (n4):531-595.
ABSTRACT: During the first 2 yrs of human life, a common neural substrate (roughly Broca's area) underlies the hierarchical organization of elements in the development of speech and the capacity to combine objects manually, including tool use. Subsequent cortical differentiation creates distinct, relatively modularized capacities for linguistic grammar and more complex combinations of objects. An evolutionary homologue of the neural substrate for language production and manual action is hypothesized to have provided foundation for evolution of language before the divergence of hominids and apes. Support comes from discovery of a Broca's area homologue and related neural circuits in contemporary primates. In addition, chimpanzees have an identical constraint on hierarchical complexity in tool use and symbol combination. 24 commentaries respond to this article, and P. M. Greenfield responds to the commentaries.
Wilkins, Wendy K. & Wakefield, Jennie BRAIN EVOLUTION AND NEUROLINGUISTIC PRECONDITIONS BBS 18(1) (forthcoming, March 1995)
ABSTRACT: This target article presents a plausible evolutionary scenario for the emergence of the neural preconditions for language in the hominid lineage. In pleistocene primate lineages there was a paired evolutionary expansion of frontal and parietal neocortex (through certain well-documented adaptive changes associated with manipulative behaviors) resulting, in ancestral hominids, in an incipient Broca's region and in a configurationally unique junction of the parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes of the brain (the POT). On our view, the development of the POT in our ancestors resulted in the neuroanatomical substrate consistent with the ability for representations in modality-neutral association cortex and, as a result of structure-imposing interaction with Broca's area, the hierarchically structured "conceptual structure." Evidence from paleoneurology and comparative primate neuroanatomy is used to argue that Homo habilis (2.5-2 million years ago) was the first hominid to have the appropriate gross neuroanatomical configuration to support conceptual structure. We thus suggest that the neural preconditions for language are met in H. habilis. Finally, we advocate a theory of language acquisition that uses conceptual structure as input to the learning procedures, thus bridging the gap between it and language.
Haber, Ralph N. Twenty years of haunting eidetic imagery: Where's the ghost? Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1979 Dec, v2 (n4):583-629.
ABSTRACT: Presents a theoretical analysis of eidetic imagery based on a 10-yr study of elementary-school children. Research has failed to demonstrate consistent correlates between the presence of eidetic imagery and any cognitive, intellectual, neurological, or emotional measure. The negative correlation between eidetic imagery and age has prompted hypotheses to explain eidetic imagery as a developmentally less mature memorial representation, which is gradually replaced by more abstract representations as the child acquires abstract thought, reading, and more advanced cognitive abilities. The evidence in the present review casts doubt on this hypothesis on numerous grounds: An extensive longitudinal study over the span of elementary school years found that eidetic abilities remain remarkably stable; there is no correlation between eidetic imagery and abstract thinking or reading performance; there is no higher incidence in preschool ages, among retarded or brain-injured Subjects, or among illiterate Subjects in cross-cultural studies. It is concluded that work on the phenomenological indicators of perception and memory must be expanded. 28 peer comments and a final response by the author are included.
Kosslyn, Stephen M.; Pinker, Steven; Smith, George E.; Shwartz, Steven P. On the demystification of mental imagery. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1979 Dec, v2 (n4):535-581.
ABSTRACT: Discusses the formulation of a theory of mental imagery. The 1st section outlines the general research direction taken and provides an overview of the empirical foundations of a theory of image representation and processing. Four issues are considered, and results of experiments are presented. The 2nd section discusses the proper form for a cognitive theory, and the distinction between a theory and a model is developed. The present theory and computer simulation model are then introduced. This theory specifies the nature of the internal representations (data structures) and the processes that operate on them when one generates, inspects, or transforms mental images. In the 3rd section, 3 kinds of objections to the present research program are considered, one hinging on the possibility of experimental artifacts in the data, and the others turning on metatheoretical commitments about the form of a cognitive theory. 26 peer comments on the theory are included, along with a final response by the authors.
Pylyshyn, Zenon W. Computation and cognition: Issues in the foundations of cognitive science. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1980 Mar, v3 (n1):111-169.
ABSTRACT: The computational view of mind rests on certain intuitions regarding the fundamental similarity between computation and cognition. Some of these intuitions are examined, and it is suggested that they derive from the fact that computers and human organisms are both physical systems whose behavior is described as being governed by rules acting on symbolic representations. The paper elaborates various conditions that need to be met if a literal view of mental activity as computation is to serve as the basis for explanatory theories. The coherence of such a view depends on a principled distinction between functions whose explanation requires internal representations and those that can appropriately be described as merely instantiating causal physical or biological laws. Functions are said to be cognitively impenetrable if they cannot be influenced by such purely cognitive factors as goals, beliefs, and inferences. Several commentaries are included.
Pylyshyn, Zenon W. Computational models and empirical constraints. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1978 Mar, v1 (n1):93-127.
ABSTRACT: Contends that the traditional distinction between artificial intelligence and cognitive simulation amounts to little more than a difference in style of research. Both enterprises are constrained by empirical considerations and both are directed at understanding classes of tasks that are defined by essentially psychological criteria. The different ordering of priorities, however, causes them to occasionally take different stands on such issues as the power/generality trade-off and the relevance of the data collected in experimental psychology laboratories. Computational systems are ways of empirically exploring the adequacy of methods and of discovering task demands. For psychologists, computational systems should be viewed as functional models independent of neurophysiological systems. As model objects, however, they present a serious problem of interpretation and communication, since the task of extracting relevant theoretical principles from a complex program may be formidable. Methodologies (intermediate state, relative complexity, and extendability) for validating computer programs as cognitive models are briefly described. 30 commentaries and the author's response are also presented.
Jeannerod, Marc THE REPRESENTING BRAIN: NEURAL CORRELATES OF MOTOR INTENTION AND IMAGERY BBS 17(2) (June 1994)
ABSTRACT: This target article concerns how motor actions are neurally represented and coded. Action planning and motor preparation can be studied using motor imagery. A close functional equivalence between motor imagery and motor preparation is suggested by the positive effects of imagining movements on motor learning, the similarity between the neural structures involved, and the similar physiological correlates observed in both imagining and preparing. The content of motor representations can be inferred from motor images at a macroscopic level: from global aspects of the action (the duration and amount of effort involved) and from the motor rules and constraints which predict the spatial path and kinematics of movements. A microscopic neural account of the represenation of object-oriented action is described. Object attributes are processed in different neural pathways depending on the kind of task the subject is performing. During object-oriented action, a pragmatic representation is activated in which object affordances are transformed into specific motor schemata independently of other tasks such as object recognition. Animal as well as clinical data implicate posterior parietal and premotor cortical areas in schema instantiation. A mechanism is proposed that is able to encode the desired goal of the action and is applicable to different levels of representational organization.
Premack, David. The codes of man and beasts. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1983 Mar, v6 (n1):125-167.
ABSTRACT: Previous findings indicate that exposing the chimpanzee to language training appears to enhance the animal's ability to perform some kinds of tasks but not others. The present author characterizes the language training and reviews some of the evidence for the effects of this training on the chimpanzee. The abilities that are enhanced involve abstract judgment, as in analogical reasoning; matching proportions of physically unlike exemplars; and completing incomplete (external) representations of action. The abilities that do not improve concern the location of items in space and the inferences one might make in attempting to obtain them. Representing items in space and making inferences about them can be done with an imaginal code, but representing relations and judging the relations between them, as in analogies, require a more abstract code. Language training cannot instil such an abstract code, but for species that have the code to start with, it may enhance the animal's ability to use it.
Fodor, Jerry A. Precis of The Modularity of Mind. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1985 Mar, v8 (n1):1-42.
ABSTRACT: Suggests that modularity theory, which argues for the distinctness of perceptual and cognitive processes, is an alternative to interactionism, which has dominated cognitive science. According to modularity theory, perceptual processes are computationally isolated from much of the background knowledge to which cognitive processes have access. Modularity theory is connected with faculty psychology. Comments are offered by D. Caplan, J. B. Carroll, J. D. Fodor, K. I. Forster, C. R. Gallistel and K. Cheng, H. Gardner, S. Glucksberg, C. Glymour, C. G. Gross, S. Grossberg, E. Hunt, P. W. Jusczyk and A. Cohen, J. Kagan, P. R. Killeen, M. Kinsbourne, J. C. Marshall, I. G. Mattingly and A. M. Liberman, J. Morton, G. Rey, D. N. Robinson, S. Scarr, R. Schank and L. Hunter, B. Schwartz, M. S. Seidenberg, and R. J. Sternberg. The author replies to the comments.
Fodor, J. A. Methodological solipsism considered as a research strategy in cognitive psychology. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1980 Mar, v3 (n1):63-109.
ABSTRACT: Explores the distinction between 2 doctrines, both of which inform theory construction in much of modern cognitive psychology: the representational theory of mind and the computational theory of mind. According to the former, propositional attitudes are viewed as relations that organisms bear to mental representations. According to the latter, mental processes have access only to formal (nonsemantic) properties of the mental representations over which they are defined. The following claims are defended: (1) The traditional dispute between rational and naturalistic psychology is plausibly viewed as an argument about the status of the computational theory of mind. (2) To accept the formality condition is to endorse a version of methodological solipsism. (3) The acceptance of some such condition is warranted, at least for that part of psychology that concerns itself with theories of the mental causation of behavior. A glossary and several commentaries are included.
Newell, Allen. Precis of Unified Theories of Cognition. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1992 Sep, v15 (n3):425-492.
ABSTRACT: Summarizes the book Unified Theories of Cognition (A. Newell, 1990) and asserts that unifying theories of cognition is a worthy goal. An exemplar candidate is put forth to illustrate concretely what a unified theory of cognition means and why it should be a goal for cognitive science. The candidate is a theory (and system) called SOAR (J. E. Laird et al, 1987). The book is the written version of the William James Lectures, delivered at Harvard University in Spring 1987. Discussed are foundations of cognitive science; human cognitive architecture; symbolic processing for intelligence; immediate behavior; and memory, learning, and skill. 26 comments follow, and the author responds.
Searle, John R. Minds, brains, and programs. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1980 Sep, v3 (n3):417-457.
ABSTRACT: Discusses the consequences of 2 propositions: (a) Intentionality in human beings (and animals) is a product of causal features of the brain. (b) Instantiating a computer program is never by itself a sufficient condition of intentionality. The main argument of this paper is directed at establishing this claim. Attempts are made to show how a human agent could instantiate the program and still not have the relevant intentionality. These 2 propositions have the following consequences: (1) The explanation of how the brain produces intentionality cannot be that it does it by instantiating a computer program. This is a strict logical consequence of (a) and (b). (2) Any mechanism capable of producing intentionality must have causal powers equal to those of the brain. (3) Any attempt literally to create intentionality artificially (strong artificial intelligence (AI)) could not succeed just by designing programs but would have to duplicate the causal powers of the human brain. To the question "Could a machine think?", on the argument advanced here only a machine could think, and only special kinds of machines (brains and machines with internal causal powers equivalent to those of brains). That is why strong AI has little to tell us about thinking, since it is not about machines but about programs, and no program by itself is sufficient for thinking. Commentaries on this article are provided.
Searle, John R. Consciousness, explanatory inversion, and cognitive science. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1990 Dec, v13 (n4):585-642.
ABSTRACT: Introduces the Connection Principle. The essential point is that intrinsic intentionality has aspectual shape: Mental representations represent the world under specific aspects that are essential to a mental state's being the state that it is. Considering the Connection Principle, it is necessary to perform an inversion on the explanatory models of cognitive science analogous to the one evolutionary biology imposes on pre-Darwinian animistic modes of explanation. In place of the original intentionalistic explanations is a combination of hardware and functional explanations. This radically alters the structure of explanation, because, instead of a mental represention causing the behavior it represents, there is a neurophysiological cause of a pattern, and the pattern plays a functional role in the life of the organism. 34 peer commentaries appear with the author's response.
Penrose, Roger. Precis of The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1990 Dec, v13 (n4):643-705.
ABSTRACT: Summarizes the major points from R. Penrose's (1989) book, The Emperor's New Mind, which concerns the nature of the physics that might underlie conscious thought processes. There may well be room within physical laws for an action that is not algorithmic (i.e., that cannot be simulated by a computer), although it is likely that such nonalgorithmic actions can arise only in an area of physics where there is a gap in our present physical understanding, between quantum and classical physics. An overview is given of the physical and mathematical principles underlying the behavior of the universe. It is suggested that mental states depend on physical laws; thus, the study of mind cannot be divorced from the study of physics. 37 peer commentaries appear with author's response.
Smolensky, Paul. On the proper treatment of connectionism. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1988 Mar, v11 (n1):1-74.
ABSTRACT: Formulates a set of hypotheses for a connectionist approach to cognitive modeling and suggests that these hypotheses are incompatible with the theories underlying traditional cognitive models. Topics discussed include (1) the relation between the subsymbolic paradigm of cognitive modeling and neuroscience; (2) relations between analyses of cognition at the neural, subconceptual, and conceptual levels; and (3) relations between conceptual and subconceptual levels of cognition. Comments by 42 authors and a response by the present author follow.
Shastri, Lokendra; Ajjanagadde, Venkat. From simple associations to systematic reasoning: A connectionist representation of rules, variables and dynamic bindings using temporal synchrony. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1993 Sep, v16 (n3):417-494.
ABSTRACT: Shows how a connectionist network can encode millions of facts and rules involving n -ary predicates and variables and perform a class of inferences in a few hundred msec. The SHRUTI (Sanskrit reference) computational model achieves this by representing (1) dynamic bindings as the synchronous firing of appropriate nodes, (2) rules as interconnection patterns that direct the propagation of rhythmic activity, and (3) long-term facts as temporal pattern-matching subnetworks. The model is consistent with neurophysiological evidence that synchronous activity occurs in the brain and may play a representational role in neural information processing. It also makes specific psychologically significant predictions about the nature of reflexive reasoning. It identifies constraints on the form of rules, and relates the capacity of working memory to biological parameters. 30 comments and the author's response follow this article.
Amit, Daniel J. THE HEBBIAN PARADIGM REINTEGRATED: LOCAL REVERBERATIONS AS INTERNAL REPRESENTATIONS BBS 18(4) (forthcoming, December 1995)
ABSTRACT: The neurophysiological evidence from Miyashita et al.'s experiments on monkeys as well as cognitive experience common to us all suggests that local neuronal spike rate distributions might persist in the absence of their eliciting stimulus. In Hebb's cell-assembly theory, learning dynamics stabilize such self-maintaining reverberations. Quasi-quantitive modelling of the experimental data on internal representations in association-cortex modules identifies the reverberations (delay spike activity) as the internal code (representation). This leads to cognitive and neurophysiological predictions, many following directly from the language used to describe the activity in the experimental delay period, others from the details of how the model captures the properties of the internal representations.
Skarda, Christine A.; Freeman, Walter J. How brains make chaos in order to make sense of the world. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1987 Jun, v10 (n2):161-195.
ABSTRACT: Discusses EEG and olfactory bulb data suggesting that the brain uses computational mechanisms based on "connectionist" rather than digital computer concepts. A model of the neural dynamics responsible for odor recognition and discrimination is presented. The existence of sensory- and motor-specific information in the spatial dimension of EEG activity suggests the need for new physiological metaphors and techniques of analysis. It is argued that chaotic behavior forms the basis for the neural perceptual apparatus. A mechanism for acquisition of new patterned activities corresponding with new learned odors is presented. Implications for behavioral theories are discussed. 13 commentaries and a response to those commentaries by the authors are included.
Verleger, Rolf. Event-related potentials and cognition: A critique of the context updating hypothesis and an alternative interpretation of P3. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1988 Sep, v11 (n3):343-356.
ABSTRACT: Notes that according to current hypothesis, P3 (the most prominent of the electrical potentials of the human EEG that are sensitive to psychological variables) reflects the updating of working memory. It is suggested that this hypothesis cannot account for relevant portions of the available evidence and entails some basic contradictions. A more general form of the hypothesis is that P3 reflects the updating of expectancies. The alternative "context closure" hypothesis retains the concept of strategic information processing emphasized by the context updating hypothesis. P3s may be an indicator of excess activation being released from perceptual control areas. Open peer commentary follows.
Donchin, Emanuel; Coles, Michael G. Is the P300 component a manifestation of context updating? Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1988 Sep, v11 (n3):357-427.
ABSTRACT: Notes that to understand the endogenous components of the event-related potential (ERP), data about the components' antecedent conditions to form hypotheses about the information-processing function of the underlying brain activity must be used. These hypotheses generate testable predictions about the consequences of the component. The application of this approach to the analysis of the P300 component is reviewed. Certain factors suggest that P300 is a manifestation of activity occurring whenever one's model of the environment must be revised. Tests of 3 predictions based on this "context updating" model are reviewed. Open peer commentary follows.
Naatanen, Risto. The role of attention in auditory information processing as revealed by event-related potentials and other brain measures of cognitive function. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1990 Jun, v13 (n2):201-288.
ABSTRACT: Examines the role of attention and automaticity in auditory processing as revealed by event-related potential research. A model is proposed that involves task-independent (TI), basic sensory analysis and task-dependent sensory analysis, the latter subserving the rapid recognition of acoustic input meeting certain preset criteria. These 2 processing modes may be in part parallel and based on at least partially different sensory mechanisms. The TI sensory analysis of specific stimulus features may be conducted mainly by the primary-cortex and lower-level processes whereas the attentionally selective processing occurs mainly outside the primary area in the auditory cortex. Comments follow.
Posner, Michael I. & Raichle, Marcus E. Precis of IMAGES OF MIND BBS 18(2) (forthcoming, June 1995)
ABSTRACT: This volume explores how functional brain imaging techniques like positron emission tomography have influenced cognitive studies. The first chapter outlines efforts to relate human thought and cognition in terms of great books from the late 1800's through the present. Chapter 2 describes mental operations as they are measured in cognitive science studies. It develops a framework for relating mental operations to activity in nerve cells. In Chapter 3, the PET method is reviewed and studies are presented that use PET to map the striate cortex and to activate exstriate motion, color and form areas. Chapter 4 shows how top down processes involving attention can lead to activation of these same areas in the detection of targets, visual search and visual imagery. This chapter reveals complex networks of activations. Chater 5 and 6 deal with the presentation of words. Chapter 5 illustrates PET studies of the anatomy of visual word processing and shows how the circuitry used for generating novel uses of words changes as the task becomes automated. Chapter 6 applies high density electrical recording to explore these activations in real time and to show how a constant anatomy can be reprogrammed by task instructions to produce and perform different cognitive tasks. Chapter 7 shows how studies of brain lesions and PET converge on common networks underlying attentional functions such as visual orienting, target detection and maintenance of the alert state. Chapter 8 and 9 apply the network approach to examine normal development of attention in infants and pathological conditions resulting from brain damage and psychiatric pathologies of depression, schizoprenia and attention deficit disorder. In Chapter 10, new developments such as functional MRI are discussed in terms of future developments and integration of cognitive neuroscience.
Campion, John; Latto, Richard; Smith, Y. M. Is blindsight an effect of scattered light, spared cortex, and near-threshold vision? Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1983 Sep, v6 (n3):423-486.
ABSTRACT: "Blindsight" describes visually guided behavior elicited by a stimulus falling within the scotoma (blind area) caused by a lesion of the striate cortex. It is concluded from a review of the literature that blindsight studies have generally failed to control for nonblindsight interpretations partly because of poor methodology and partly because of difficulties in defining blindsight. Five experiments with 8 Subjects investigated the extent to which Subjects would exhibit performance similar to blindsight when using scattered light as a cue. This was done with 3 hemianopic Subjects (aged 24, 29, and 62 yrs) by manipulating the amount of scattered and direct light coming from a stimulus and with 5 normal Subjects by presenting targets within their blind spots. Results reveal good blindsight performance when only scattered light was available as a cue. It is concluded that an adequate case for blindsight has not been made and that it is probably impossible to demonstrate the existence of blindsight on purely behavioral grounds. It is suggested that what is required is the establishment of relationships between visual function and independent anatomical evidence. 22 peer commentaries and the present author's response to them are included.
Holender, Daniel. Semantic activation without conscious identification in dichotic listening, parafoveal vision, and visual masking: A survey and appraisal. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1986 Mar, v9 (n1):1-66.
ABSTRACT: Analysis of 3 new lines of evidence for semantic activation without conscious identification--dichotic listening, parafoveal vision, and visual masking studies--leads to the following conclusions: (1) Dichotic listening cannot provide the conditions needed to demonstrate the phenomenon. These conditions are better fulfilled in parafoveal vision and are realized ideally in pattern masking. (2) Evidence for the phenomenon is scant for parafoveal vision, but several tentative demonstrations have been reported for a pattern masking. It can be shown, however, that none of these studies had included the requisite controls to ensure that semantic activation was not accompanied by conscious identification of the stimulus at the time of presentation. (3) Based on current evidence, it is most likely that these stimuli were consciously identified.
Velmans, Max. Consciousness, causality and complementarity. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1993 Jun, v16 (n2):409-416.
ABSTRACT: Replies to the comments of J. Glicksohn (see PA, Vol 81:4399), A. Habibi and M. S. Bendele (see PA, Vol 81:4401), D. Navon (see PA, Vol 81:4404), W. T. Neill (see PA, Vol 81:4405), and R. R. Rao (see PA, Vol 81:4407) on the work of M. Velmans (see PA, Vol 79:26222). The following topics are addressed: focal attention replacing consciousness as a causal agent in processing, dissociating consciousness from human information processing, disputes about definitions, observer-relativity and the theory of relativity in physics, whether consciousness is causal, and psychological complementarity.
Shanks , David R. & St. John, Mark F. CHARACTERISTICS OF DISSOCIABLE HUMAN LEARNING SYSTEMS BBS 17(3) 1994 (September)
ABSTRACT: The proposal that there exist independent explicit and implicit learning systems is based on two further distinctions: (i) learning that takes place with versus without concurrent awareness, and (ii) learning that involves the encoding of instances (or fragments) versus the induction of abstract rules or hypotheses. Implicit learning is assumed to involve unconscious rule learning. We examine the implicit learning evidence from subliminal learning, conditioning, artificial grammar learning, instrumental learning, and reaction times in sequence learning. Unconscious learning has not been satisfactorily established in any of these areas. The assumption that learning in some of these tasks (e.g., artificial grammar learning) is predominantly based on rule abstraction is questionable. When subjects cannot report the "implicitly learned" rules that govern stimulus selection, this is often because their knowledge consists of instances or fragments of the training stimuli rather than rules. In contrast to the distinction between conscious and unconscious learning, the distinction between instance and rule learning is a sound and meaningful way of taxonomizing human learning. We discuss various computational models of these two forms of learning.
Libet, Benjamin. Unconscious cerebral initiative and the role of conscious will in voluntary action. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1985 Dec, v8 (n4):529-566.
ABSTRACT: Studied unconscious cerebral initiative and the role of conscious will in voluntary action (VOA), by measuring electromyogram (EMG) changes in a muscle after finger or wrist flexing. Data indicate that VOAs can be initiated by unconscious cerebral processes before conscious intention appears, but that conscious control over the actual motor performance of the acts remains possible. VOAs are preceded by electrophysiological "readiness potentials" (RPs). The negative RP shift for unplanned spontaneous acts was used to indicate the minimum onset times for the cerebral activity preceding a fully endogenous VOA. Subjects' initial awareness of intending or wanting to move occurred at -200 msec. The final decision to act could still be consciously controlled during the 150 msec remaining after the specific conscious intention appeared. Subjects could veto motor performance during a 100-200 msec period before a prearranged time to act. Commentary by 24 other authors and the author's own reply are provided.
Dennett, Daniel C.; Kinsbourne, Marcel. Time and the observer: The where and when of consciousness in the brain. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1992 Jun, v15 (n2):183-247.
ABSTRACT: Compared the ways in which the Cartesian Theater model (CTM) and the Multiple Drafts model (MDM) of consciousness treat subjective timing. According to CTM, there is a place in the brain where discriminations in all modalities are put into registration and presented for subjective judgment. The timing of events is thought to determine subjective order. According to the MDM, discriminations are distributed in space and time in the brain. These events are thought to have temporal properties, but those properties do not determine subjective order because there is no single, definitive stream of consciousness, only a parallel stream of conflicting and continuously revised contents. MDM does a better job of explaining such puzzling phenomena as backwards referral in time and gradual apparent motion phenomena involving abrupt color change. 29 comments follow, and the authors respond.
Gray, Jeffrey A. THE CONTENTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS: A NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL CONJECTURE BBS 18(4) (forthcoming, December 1995)
ABSTRACT: Drawing on previous models of anxiety, intermediate memory, the positive symptoms of schizophrenia and goal-directed behaviour, a neuropsychological hypothesis is proposed for the generation of the contents of consciousness. It is suggested that these correspond to the outputs of a comparator that, on a moment-by-moment basis, compares the current state of the organism's perceptual world with a predicted state. An outline is given of the information-processing functions of the comparator system and of the neural systems which mediate them. The hypothesis appears to be able to account for a number of key features of the contents of consciousness. However, it is argued that neither this nor any existing comparable hypothesis is yet able to explain why the brain should generate conscious experience of any kind at all.
Block Block, Ned ON A CONFUSION ABOUT A FUNCTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS BBS 18(2) (forthcoming, June 1995)
ABSTRACT: Consciousness is a mongrel concept: there are a number of very different "consciousnesses." Phenomenal consciousness is experience; the phenomenally conscious aspect of a state is what it is like to be in that state. The mark of access-consciousness, by contrast, is availability for use in reasoning and rationally guiding speech and action. These concepts are often partly or totally conflated, with bad results. This target article uses as an example a form of reasoning about a function of "consciousness" based on the phenomenon of blindsight. Some information about stimuli in the blind field is represented in the brains of blindsight patients, as shown by their correct "guesses," but they cannot harness this information in the service of action, and this is said to show that a function of phenomenal consciousness is somehow to enable information represented in the brain to guide action. But stimuli in the blind field are BOTH access-unconscious and phenomenally unconscious. The fallacy is: an obvious function of the machinery of access-consciousness is illicitly transferred to phenomenal consciousness.
Dennett, Daniel C. Precis of The Intentional Stance. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1988 Sep, v11 (n3):495-546.
ABSTRACT: The intentional stance is the strategy of prediction and explanation that attributes beliefs, desires, and other "intentional states" to systems (living and nonliving) and predicts future behavior from what it would be rational for an agent to do, given those beliefs and desires; such systems are intentional systems. The strategy of treating parts of the world as intentional systems is the foundation of "folk psychology" but is also exploited in artificial intelligence and cognitive science more generally, as well as in evolutionary theory. The analysis of the intentional stance grounds a theory of the mind and its relation to the body. Comments follow.
Premack, David; Woodruff, Guy. Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind? Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1978 Dec, v1 (n4):515-526.
ABSTRACT: To investigate whether the chimpanzee has a theory of mind (i.e., imputes mental states to him/herself and others), an adult female chimpanzee was shown a series of videotaped scenes of a human actor struggling with a variety of problems. Some problems were simple, involving inaccessible food; others were more complex, involving an actor unable to extricate himself from a locked cage, shivering because of a malfunctioning heater, or unable to play a phonograph because it was unplugged. With each videotape the Subject was given several photographs, one of which represented a solution to the problem. The Subject's consistent choice of the correct photographs can be understood by assuming that she recognized the videotape as representing a problem, understood the actor's purpose, and chose alternatives compatible with that purpose.
Gopnik, Alison. How we know our minds: The illusion of first-person knowledge of intentionality. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1993 Mar, v16 (n1, 1-14):29-113.
ABSTRACT: Discusses the development of the notion of intentionality and its relation to 1st- and 3rd-person knowledge. Many 3-yr-old children are consistently wrong in reporting some of their own immediately past psychological states and show similar difficulties reporting the psychological states of others. At about age 4 yrs, there is an important developmental shift to a representational model of the mind. This affects children's understanding of their own minds as well as the minds of others. Adults' sense that perception of their own minds is direct may be analogous to many cases where expertise provides an illusion of direct perception. Findings have implications for debates about the foundations of cognitive science. 43 commentaries and the author's response are included.
Goldman, Alvin I. The psychology of folk psychology. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1993 Mar, v16 (n1, 15-28):29-113.
ABSTRACT: Argues that folk psychology, the naive understanding of mental state concepts, requires a model of how people ascribe mental states to themselves. Competent speakers associate a distinctive memory representation or category representation with each mentalistic word in their lexicon. A simple functionalist model is inadequate and a qualitative model of sensation representation is presented. The introspectionist character of the proposed model does not imply that ascribing mental states to oneself is infallible or complete. Research on theory of mind does not support any strict version of functionalism but only an understanding of mentalistic words that may depend on phenomenological or experiential qualities. 38 commentaries and the author's response are included.
Tomasello, Michael; Kruger, Ann C.; Ratner, Hilary H. Cultural learning. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1993 Sep, v16 (n3):495-552.
ABSTRACT: Cultural learning manifests itself in 3 forms during human ontogeny: imitative learning, instructed learning, and collaborative learning. This progression arises from the developmental ordering of the underlying social-cognitive concepts and processes involved. Imitative learning relies on a concept of intentional agent and involves simple perspective-taking. Instructed learning relies on a concept of mental agent and involves alternating/coordinated perspective-taking (intersubjectivity). Collaborative learning relies on a concept of reflective agent and involves integrated perspective-taking (reflective intersubjectivity). A discussion comparing normal children, autistic children, and wild and enculturated chimpanzees provides further evidence for these correlations between social cognition and cultural learning. 32 comments and the author's response follow this article.
Cheney, Dorothy L.; Seyfarth, Robert M. Precis of How monkeys see the world. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1992 Mar, v15 (n1):135-182.
ABSTRACT: Examines the mechanisms that underlie social behavior and communication in East African vervet monkeys. It is suggested that vervets and other primates make good primatologists; they appear to observe social interactions, recognize the relations that exist among others, and classify relationships into types. Monkeys may use abstract concepts and have motives, beliefs, and desires; however, their mental states are apparently not accessible. Monkeys seem unable to attribute mental states to others. Their inability to examine their own mental states or to attribute mental states to others severely constrains their ability to transmit information or to deceive one another. It also limits the extent to which their vocalizations can be called semantic. The skills that monkeys exhibit in social behavior are apparently domain specific. 25 commentaries and an author response follow.
Whiten, A.; Byrne, R. W. Tactical deception in primates. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 1988 Jun, v11 (n2):233-273.
ABSTRACT: Discusses and defines tactical deception (that which occurs when an individual is able to use an honest act from his/her normal repertoire in a different context to mislead familiar individuals). Although primates have a reputation for social skill, most primate groups are so intimate that any deception is likely to be subtle and infrequent. New records from many primatologists revealed different forms of deceptive tactic, which were classified in terms of the function they perform. For each class, the present authors sketch the features of another individual's state of mind that an individual acting with deceptive intent must be able to represent, thus acting as a natural psychologist. 26 peer commentaries are included.