Aron Gurwitsch’s theory of the structure and dynamics of consciousness has much to offer contemporary theorizing about consciousness and its basis in the embodied brain. On Gurwitsch’s account, as we develop it, the field of consciousness has a variable sized focus or "theme" of attention surrounded by a structured periphery of inattentional contents. As the field evolves, its contents change their status, sometimes smoothly, sometimes abruptly. Inner thoughts, a sense of one’s body, and the physical environment are dominant field contents. (...) These ideas can be linked with (and help unify) contemporary theories about the neural correlates of consciousness, inattention, the small world structure of the brain, meta-stable dynamics, embodied cognition, and predictive coding in the brain. (shrink)
Successful face‐to‐face communication involves multiple channels, notably hand gestures in addition to speech for spoken language, and mouth patterns in addition to manual signs for sign language. In four experiments, we assess the extent to which comprehenders of British Sign Language (BSL) and English rely, respectively, on cues from the hands and the mouth in accessing meaning. We created congruent and incongruent combinations of BSL manual signs and mouthings and English speech and gesture by video manipulation and asked participants to (...) carry out a picture‐matching task. When participants were instructed to pay attention only to the primary channel, incongruent “secondary” cues still affected performance, showing that these are reliably used for comprehension. When both cues were relevant, the languages diverged: Hand gestures continued to be used in English, but mouth movements did not in BSL. Moreover, non‐fluent speakers and signers varied in the use of these cues: Gestures were found to be more important for non‐native than native speakers; mouth movements were found to be less important for non‐fluent signers. We discuss the results in terms of the information provided by different communicative channels, which combine to provide meaningful information. (shrink)
Through theoretical discussion, literature review, and a computational model, this paper poses a challenge to the notion that perspective-taking involves a fixed architecture in which particular processes have priority. For example, considerable work has shown that egocentric perspectives can arise more quickly, with other perspectives (such as of task partners) emerging only secondarily. This theoretical dichotomy is challenged here, and we propose a general view of perspective-taking as an emergent phenomenon governed by the interplay among several cognitive mechanisms. We first (...) describe the pervasive relevance of perspective-taking to cognitive science. A dynamical systems model is then introduced which explicitly formulates the timescale interaction proposed. Implications are discussed, with ideas for future empirical research. (shrink)
The first research report of the APDA project. Findings include that "gender is a significant predictor of type of placement (i.e. permanent versus temporary). The intercept tells us that the odds for male participants to have a permanent academic placement within the first two years after graduation are statistically significant at .37, p < 0.001 when year of graduation is held constant. The odds for female participants to have a permanent academic placement are 1.85, p < 0.001 when graduation year (...) is held constant. In terms of differences, the odds of having a permanent (versus temporary) academic placement are 85% greater for females as compared to males.". (shrink)
Academic Placement Data and Analysis (APDA), a project funded by the American Philosophical Association (APA) and headed by Carolyn Dicey Jennings (UC Merced), aims “to make information on academic job placement useful to prospective graduate students in philosophy.” The project has just been updated to include new data, which Professor Jennings describes in a post at New APPS. She also announces a new interactive data tool with which one can sift through and sort information. (from Daily Nous).
Previous studies show that reading sentences about actions leads to specific motor activity associated with actually performing those actions. We investigate how sign language input may modulate motor activation, using British Sign Language sentences, some of which explicitly encode direction of motion, versus written English, where motion is only implied. We find no evidence of action simulation in BSL comprehension, but we find effects of action simulation in comprehension of written English sentences by deaf native BSL signers. These results provide (...) constraints on the nature of mental simulations involved in comprehending action sentences referring to transfer events, suggesting that the richer contextual information provided by BSL sentences versus written or spoken English may reduce the need for action simulation in comprehension, at least when the event described does not map completely onto the signer's own body. (shrink)
A crucial aspect of Gilead and colleagues’ ontology is the dichotomy between tangible and intangible representations, but the latter remains rather ill-defined. We propose a fundamental role for interoceptive experience and the statistical distribution of entities in language, especially for intangible representations, that we believe Gilead and colleagues’ ontology needs to incorporate.