Summary with Decision Model

The neural Almost Gate gives allows and demands a fixing of multi-various reality into a set of discrete categories. This creative assignment goes on in all people, although at their own idiosyncratic level and greatly influenced by their own particular local experiences. The Decision model diagram condenses the architecture of our behavioral decision-making. Although adults, the vestiges of our march through developmental steps to maturity form the base of each succeeding step. They may superficially disappear, but they remain in action, internally, shaping our decision-making.

Decision Model

Decision model

Decision model

The biological substrate, neurons and neurological processing, of our brain dramatically affects how we think. The Almost Gate helps us deal with incomplete and conflicting data. Self-organizing maps, built upon Almost Gates and Hebb’s Neuron Learning Rule, allow us to fix the flux of reality into simplified patterns (and words) which we can cogitate on. at the same time that simplification and generalization allow creativity they also permit jumping to false conclusions.

Reiterating and adding some implications that weren’t stressed.

  • Creativity: completion of partial data, is an important aspect of everyone’s response to the slice of reality they are exposed to.
  • Different genetic makeup amplify the differing mental images which people think with.
    • Different neural thresholds lead to different patterns as much as different experiences do.
  • Creativity, with its inductive nature, inevitably allows some notions used to be wrong.
    • That is, unsuccessful in handling the reality the holder is trying to affect.
    • I am basically a pragmatist. What works is paramount. Theoretical purity is useless if it doesn’t increase success.
  • Our most basic manner of thought is abstraction (loss of detail) to categories to association within categories and use with other streams of thought.
  • Memory is not a tape recording, but an abstraction that it is rebuilt for recall using our internal worldview.
  • We have dual thought streams in the separate halves of our cortical brain.
    • One deterministic, exact, logical, and mediated by words.
      • If one sticks too closely to this mode, it is hard to adjust to change, because one’s premises never change.
    • The other creative, inexact, analogical, and organized by features
      • If one relies too heavily on creatively interpreting reality, one can easily jump to false conclusions and become superstitious.
    • Each stream exchanges its view with the other, so that a symbiosis of exactness and creativity underlies an individual’s manifest thoughts.
      • Across the corpus callosum, approximately 75–100 times in the path from sense reception through merge with memory to prefrontal determination of action.
    • The Mental Construction Model has dual processes atop the emotional and survival parts of the triune brain.
  • Just as we have two ways of thinking, we should encourage two ways of teaching.
    • Axiomatic – subject matter from premises, logic, and experiments. Typical for academic material. It’s word-oriented style allows vast amounts of organized information to be learned. Its perspective may be stated as – don’t reinvent the wheel. Learn what others have discovered.
      • A path that relies on deductive reasoning
    • Example-based – subject matter data is presented again and again, with variation, until students extract pattern from material. A good way to discover by exploration and master artistic skills. Its perspective may be stated as – you must strike your own path to make a discovery.
      • A path that relies on inductive thinking

Go to the Table of Contents for an axiomatic development of Mental Construction. Or click on the words Mental Construction on the top of this page to go to the front page and click on links that interest you.

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