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Semanticizing the brain: Reiteration as a key concept in understanding representation and behavior

Geerse, Roos (2023) Semanticizing the brain: Reiteration as a key concept in understanding representation and behavior. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In the past decade neuroscientists have arrived at an understanding of neural representation that potentially sheds a whole new light on a range of phenomena in philosophy as well as psychology. Concretely, I argue that their work on so called engrams suggests that semantic representations are involved in almost all behavior seen in humans and other animals that are sensitive to reward and punishment. Although in the brain there is a division of tasks, the way information is processed at the level of neurons is the same throughout the system. Part of the information that a neural element codes for ‘carries over’ to the neural elements it is connected to. Moreover, it is thanks to this phenomenon, that I propose to call reiteration, that the various mental (and somatic) subsystems can cooperate as readily as they do without the help of a central system to regulate their activity. I further argue that this reconceptualization of representation can be combined with insights from the predictive processing and semantic roles approaches and outline the resulting model of intelligent behavior. I submit that the reiteration model shows promise in that it suggests new explanations for important (though maybe not uncontroversial) phenomena such as innate concepts, unconscious reasoning, and reactive attitudes, and offers a novel way to harmonize embodied and representationalist approaches to cognition. I conclude by arguing that my analysis shows how empirically informed philosophy can help naturalize the mind by semanticizing the brain.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Geerse, Roosroosgeerse@gmail.com0009-0009-9143-1335
Keywords: representation; engrams; reiteration; mental processing
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Action
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Consciousness
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Learning and Memory
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Roos Geerse
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2023 02:46
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2023 02:46
Item ID: 22802
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Action
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Consciousness
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Learning and Memory
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Date: 27 November 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22802

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