Massive Redeployment and the Brain

Big Think, Kayt Sukel on April 1, 2012

Philosophers once dominated the field of brain/mind/body studies having observation the primary tool. With development of technologies such as positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) make possible neuroimaging that connects blood flow in the brain to a particular behavior or collection of behaviors 

Evolution of the brain may involve reusing existing behavior competence then adding more bits as Homo sapiens evolved;  a “massive redeployment” to a “more holistic idea of brain evolution and development.”



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Brain Evolution and Human Neuropsychology: The Inferential Brain Hypothesis.

 a new theoretical proposal, the Inferential Brain Hypothesis, whereby the human brain is thought to be characterized by a shift from perceptual processing to inferential computation, particularly within the social realm. This shift is believed to be a driving force for the evolution of the large human cortex. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1-8).

Perceptual processing: 

Inferential computation 

From Steve Keen

Dualism is a dead concept...


Brain/Mind/Body = One thing.

Here is another three-legged stool: brain connected to mind connected to body. Take away any one and balance becomes a problem. 

Observing how Steve Keen develop his model of economic theory was fascination. He showed how debt is not factored into classical, neo-classical, liberal, neo-liberal model and therefore cannot predict booms and busts. 

He factors debt, private, personal, national debt into his model and the booms and busts show up. Perhaps the evolution of human brain function will go to an inferential computation model for such complex things and economic theory and then policy. Human factors can't be ignored; from my point of view, debt can be measured and can be included in model building. 

"Here is another three-legged stool: brain connected to mind connected to body. Take away any one and balance becomes a problem."


Heh heh, though it reminds me of a drummer joke.

"What has three legs and an asshole on top?"

…a drum throne.

What instruments do you play? 

Um, that's a long list, but more accurately stated: "did" I play. I played music from the age of 5 until around 2.5 years ago when I played my lest recording session and also stopped teaching. A partial list of my old "line card" is here, I may have missed a few...

That is quite a list, and varied. I'm looking up some of them. 

Do you miss not recording or teaching? Do you continue playing as a hobby? Here is an example of an unmeasurable variable that complicates our philosophies. The focus on profit motive dues not support "liking" or "being skilled at" something that brings pleasure to the performer, and sometimes the people who hear. One of my closest friends is a percussionist with the Spokane symphony, belongs to a dance band, and volunteers with a group to play at retirement centers dances. He supports his talent by construction jobs. 

I don't miss it Joan. The fact is, I quit playing regular gigs before I quit doing studio and support work. I continued to do studio work for 3 or 4 years; not because I enjoyed it, but because of a sense of obligation to a few peers I'd worked with for a long time.

Like a lot of things, art also involves acquiring skills and setting goals, I kept up with the former for 4+ decades, as for the latter, I guess I lost interest and with it, the sheer joy of just playing. No, I don't play at all, even though I do have two instruments with me here in the U.S. 

I still admire fine instruments though, and will sometimes "kick the tires" if I see something really nice, especially old tube amps.

Full disclosure; I'm much more comfortable in the physical sciences than the biological ones.  Having said that, one statement in the article stood out for me,

  “Maybe the brain instead evolved along something more like a component reuse model.  A model where you develop the neural supports for a particular behavioral competence but then, later, as your behavioral repertoire becomes more complex, you reuse some of the stuff that’s already there and add a little bit to it.  It’s a lot like the way big pieces of software get developed.”

From my understanding of evolution, that just makes perfect sense.  Fins develop into legs, gill bones develop into ear bones.  If those developments can happen in bone structures which are far less plastic in nature than neural functions (neurons having multiple synapses they can interact with at any given moment).  Why wouldn't something as plastic as a brain have a much more rich environment to co-opt previous functionality into new?

BTW, my daughter wants to become a neuroscientist so I made her deal:  I'll support her through college, she makes me smarter in biology during the summers. 

J J, that is a great deal with your daughter! Everyone benefits and has some fun. Your daughter is wise to develop her interest in neuroscience, some really wonderful research going on, and therapy protocols have changed as a result of what they find using fMRI and other brain studies. Keep me posted on how you both are doing. 

By the way, I too am intrigued by the reuse of brain stuff already there and adding to it. Kind of like a hydra, I suppose. 




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