This website, Mental Construction, focuses on:
- The maintenance of a stable internal reality in the face of an ever-changing world.
- Abstraction, categories, and association: prime sources of creativity.
- The mechanism by which logic arises from neural properties.
- The integration of associative and logical thoughts.
- The mechanism by which two sensible people can disagree yet both be logical.
The human body is immensely complex—billions of cells are organized into highly interdependent organs and systems. Restricting the focus to the human brain allows me to settle on the predominant form of the neurons that reside in the cortex and particularly the prefrontal cortex, where thinking and consciousness that define humans occur.
The brain sub-structures (brainstem, cerebellum, limbic system, corpus callosum, olfactory bulb) are discussed functionally in this website. Their unique neural structures are not explored, but their observed actions are used to form the basis from which higher thought starts. The cortical hemispheres, where human conscious thought resides, has the regularities in its neural structure used to explain association and progress of thoughts.
Using a combination of artificial neural networks and neuroscience discoveries, memory formation appears to mediated by the hippocampus, in which a duplication of current neural information is saved for subsequent use and comparison. A natural analog of the Elman artificial neural network (copy of existing neural connections to another site) would be worth exploring.
Memory is a given (observed, rather than derived) in this essay. Extremely interesting memory traits like visual scratchpad and the audio loop are not explored.
Personality and its relation to emotions is not developed. Although a theory of morality is implicit in decision-making, it is not developed further than needed to carry the argument from associations and logic to thought.and behavior.
That leaves out of scope many very interesting ideas which arise in the discussion of neural functioning and the phenomena of thought. These points aren’t essential to the integrity of the Mental Construction ideas, but deal with consequences of its point of view. This are or will be addressed in posts.
- Right-Left brain myths
- Nature-Nurture dispute
- Brain or Mind
- Finite Mind. Additional ideas on physiological constraints which show in mental processing
- Facts Disentangled from Explanations, Evaluations, and Predictions
- Emotions, stable traits yield personality
Time to start. Pick from the Table of Contents what topic interests you most.