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[Xmca-l] Re: Thought and language as oscillating and pulsing [or not]

Message from Francine Smolucha:

Larry, Greg, Martin, et al

Everything I have been reading on this thread is consistent with the 
neuroscience of the prefrontal cortex. This is no surprise since it was
Vygotsky's colleague Luria whose pioneering research into the prefrontal
cortex is the basis for the contemporary research.

Joaquin Fuster's book The Prefrontal Cortex (2009) is the reference point for
research in this area. I have been doing a thorough read of it  and the 2014 
Oxford University publication the Neurobiology of the Prefrontal Cortex 
(authored by Passingham and Wise.)

Here's the gist of it: Neurological systems (akin to Vygotsky's concept of
psychological systems) connect the neocortical layers of the prefrontal cortex 
with other areas of the cerebral cortex and with deep structures like the 
hippocampus (working memory) and the amygdula (drives and emotions). 
These neurological systems (or pathways or webs) are more physiological than anatomical. 

When a thought occurs neurochemicals released along these pathways connect
prefrontal goal directed activations with sensory association areas, memories, emotions, 
and behavioral (motor) outcomes. Even rats (in a Skinner box) have a prefrontal cortex
that initiates goal directed behavior. But rats do not have the six top layers that make up 
the neocortex. It is the neocortex of the prefrontal that  enables humans to self-consciously
reflect upon (and self-consciously direct) abstract thought, imagination, analytical
thinking, and emotions. Action plans can be played out mentally (in the imagination)
before or after being executed. The discussions, I have read, consistently regard 
self-consciously directed thought, emotions, and behavior as the result of internalized
speech (a la Vygotsky.)

Thoughts are not ready made -  instead they are fluid, exiting for the moment.
As in I have a thought (at this moment) or I had a thought (but now its gone) 
or it occurs to me or you know what I'm thinking? (at this moment).
                                         Thought seems to be a verb.

                         (i.e., thought is a temporal sequence of neural activation.)

> From: mpacker@uniandes.edu.co
> To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:06:14 +0000
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Thought and language as	oscillating	and	pulsing	[or	not]
> Yes, I had the same response, Greg. A 'gap' is essential for freedom, Sartre suggests: the gap between who we are and who we could be. That gap is what gives us freedom to act. And I think that imagination would be central to filling it (historical and cultural variations notwithstanding).
> And yes, ontology is central, in various ways. One is the view that appearances lead us to how things are, to what exists: there is not, for phenomenology, a complete rupture between things-in-themselves and things-for-us. This connects with the view that humans play a role in the 'constitution' of reality. For Husserl this was a matter of the activity of subjectivity; while for Heidegger it was a matter of participation in public practices. But both saw a link between human activity and the world we live in. To me there are clear connections to Marx, on the one hand, and to Vygotsky, on the other.
> Martin
> On Jan 26, 2015, at 10:33 AM, greg.a.thompson@gmail.com wrote:
> > Thanks for this Martin. A lovely explanation that helps me to see how questions of ontology naturally flow out of phenomenology (something that many anthropologists doing ontology and/or phenomenology have missed!).
> > 
> > I also noticed remarkable resonances between etienne and mikes mind the gap paper and Sartre's argument locating freedom in the gap between the perception of the thing and our awareness of our perception of the thing. It makes sense but I hadn't thought of mike and etienne's paper in this relation before.
> > Cheers,
> > Greg
> > 
> > Sent from my iPhone
> > 
> >> On Jan 25, 2015, at 7:15 PM, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co> wrote:
> >> 
> >> This time, the BBC has come up with quite a good discussion of phenomenology, from Husserl to Heidegger and onwards (though not to Spet, unfortunately)!
> >> 
> >> <http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04ykk4m>
> >> 
> >> Martin
> >> 
> >>> On Jan 24, 2015, at 10:19 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:
> >>> 
> >>> Hi Martin,
> >>> 
> >>> I would be interested in the "intro to Husserl" by Shpet, as I have long been curious how the Husserl got to LSV.
> >>> 
> >>> Is it possible/doable to get some scans of chapter(s) from Appearance & Sense? you know, the ones you believe to be most juicy?
> >>> 
> >>> You may at any time hermeneutically determine what is "most juicy."
> >>> 
> >>> Kind regards,
> >>> 
> >>> Annalisa
> >> 
> >> 
> >