Left and Right Brain

Left brain, language areas with connecting neural bundle. Motor cortex shown to orient view

The left-right brain distinction is exaggerated, yet language has a preference. That results in a difference between immediate and planned responses.

Complexity in Environment

Simple person facing many simple challenges

People exhibit a vast behavioral repertoire. How do we explain this wide range of choices? Should we limit ourselves to differences between people? Normally, we think of people as being very complicated and each of us different from everybody else. Complex Personality Our typical presumption is that each person has a complex personality, which explains…

Memory and Levels of Explanation

Memory Types. Sensory, Short-term, Long-term. More in text

Memory is an essential component to understanding our behavior. Learning associated with experience provides the clearest model. Memory is coincident with the formation of semantic maps of experiences. Higher learning, as by instruction in school, is described experience, not direct experience; nevertheless, the process of remembering the ideas, theories, and facts are also semantic maps,…

Facts Defined. Distinguished from Explanations, Evaluations, and Predictions

Person engrossed in evaluating a situation

Knowledge is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education. I’m going to focus on fact and informational aspects in this post. Skills are important, but unless they are verbal, I’m not concerned with them here. In conversation, we use the word knowledge for…

Pattern-Matching and Invariance

A seawall lets only some waves beyond

In neuroscience, the process I call pattern-matching is sometimes referred to as an invariant operation. Yohan John in Quora raises the question How does your brain discover association in the midst of so much disassociation? and suggests the form of the answer. That’s a question that has nagged at me for thirty plus years. His…