Glossary F-K

Word Definition Other
Feature A distinctive arrangement that comprises a part of the overall pattern. Not just of pictures or sensory data, also of sequences and regularities A long, thin dark shape is a feature that might be a snake. Our reaction may be jump back immediately. That is a reaction deeper than a cortical decision. It comes from the limbic system’s thalamus preliminary analysis. With additional time, the cortex may decide that the shape is actually a branch and we relax.
Fidelity The degree of exactness with which something is copied or reproduced Fidelity is the percentage of the input signal that is necessary to cause the threshold to fire. Fidelity is a measure of the maximum commonality that the threshold will communicate.
fMRI. functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Neuroimaging technique used in biomedical research and in diagnosis that detects changes in blood flow in the brain. This technique compares brain activity under resting and activated conditions. It combines the high-spatial-resolution noninvasive imaging of brain anatomy offered by standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with a strategy to distinguish between the magnetic resonance states of hemoglobin in the presence or absence of oxygen. fMRI impressive resolution of 1 mm still means that hundreds of thousands of neurons with millions of interconnections are summarized in its image.
Folk Psychology Ways of conceptualizing mind and the mental that are implicit in ordinary, everyday attributions of mental states to oneself and others. Philosophers have adopted different positions about the extent to which folk psychology and its generalizations (e.g., those portraying human actions as governed by intention) are supported by the findings of scientific psychology. Some consider it indispensible to understanding human conduct. Others (e.g., “eliminative materialists”) think that it can and perhaps will be replaced by scientific psychology. Perspective embedded in commonly used terms of language. Wants, drives, needs, free will explain conscious decisions. For example, “voluntary muscles” implies free will.
Fundamental Attribution Error Your mistakes are caused by the situation. Other people’s mistakes are caused by their personality traits. Assume other’s behavior is due to innate disposition, ignoring situation that may be causing it. Road rage. For those who think that IQ is everything (I’m a Mensa member), fundamental attribution error is one of many traits of the human brain, which is not measured in IQ tests.
GABA. gamma amino butyric acid The brain’s main inhibitory transmitter. Activated by pyramidal cells and cause inhibition of other pyramidal cells located at a distance. With excitatory neurons support the center-surround structure. Most purkinje cells (in the cerebellum, not the cortex) release GABA. relaxation chemical in casual language+E84 The onset of the critical period is associated with relatively higher levels of GABA. Also Fields (p 154) calls GABA athe brake on arousal.
Gestalt A structure, configuration, or pattern of physical, biological, or psychological phenomena so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by summation of its parts. Emphasizes that the whole of anything is greater than its parts. Overdone, but explains some emergent properties Organization of perception elements is by proximity, similarity, continuity, closure, and symmetry (strikingly reminescent of self-organized maps). Gestalt explains some emergent qualities – for instance, the brain converts 15 images/sec into smooth motion.
Glutamate A salt or ester of levorotatory glutamic acid that functions as an excitatory neurotransmitter. Beyond its role in neural signal processing, Fields (p 154) contrasts it with GABA, calling glutamate the accelerator for arousal.
Goals The end toward which effort is directed. Basic drivers are Satisfaction, Sex, and Safety. Manifest goals – Where you live, what you do as work, how you relate to potential partners. There are 2 parts to one’s goals. First are the 3S Imperatives from the brainstem and limbic system – safety, satisfaction, sex. Second are the particular ways your genetic complement and perssonal experience shape your 3S’s through goals and personality into behaviors.
Gray Matter Neural tissue esp. of the brain and spinal cord that contains nerve-cell bodies as well as nerve fibers and has a brownish-gray color. Unmyelinated neurons. Sites of processing in brain Gray, non-myelinated neurons are where active integration of signals take place. Up to the critical period that is where rapid learning places inputs into categories and after the critical period, when inputs are placed into learned categories.
Gyrus A protuberance on the surface of the brain. The precentral gyrus (in front of the central sulcus) is the site of the primary motor map. The postcentral gyrus (behind, closer to the back of the head, relative to the central sulcus) is the site of the primary touch and bodily sensation map.
Habit A behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance. An acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary. Habits are mainly stored in the putamen, a non-cortical limbic structure. In computer science terms, the behavior has become a subroutine that only needs to be invoked by cortical processing. Once invoked, very limited attention is paid to the behavior.
Haptic register Short-term retention of tactile impressions for continuity processing
Hebb’s Learning Law Hebb’s rule is a postulate proposed by Donald Hebb in 1949. It is a learning rule that describes how the neuronal activities influence the connection between neurons, i.e., the synaptic plasticity. It provides an algorithm to update the weight of synaptic connections within neural network. Learning specifically involves strengthening certain patterns of neural activity by increasing the probability (weight, efficiency) of induced neuron firing between the associated connections. Cells that fire together wire together. When an axon of cell A is near enough to excite cell B and repeatedly or persistently takes part in firing it, some growth process or metabolic change takes place in one or both cells such that A’s efficiency, as one of the cells firing B, is increased.
Hemisphere, Dominant The frontal lobe, which lies rostral to the central sulcus, is involved with many of the components of intelligence (foresight, planning, and comprehension), with mood, with motor activity on the opposite side of the body, and (in the case of the dominant hemisphere) with speech production. The hemisphere that is primary in language generation and reception. The dominant hemisphere is the lefthemisphere in 94% of people.
Hemisphere, Nondominant The hemisphere that is not primary for language. The Nondominant hemisphere is the right hemisphere in 94% of people. The nondominant hemisphere does have a role in language. It decodes metaphorical content in words, by association and similarity.
Heuristics Involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by Experimental and esp. trial-and-error methods. of or relating to exploratory problem-solving techniques that utilize self-educating techniques (as the evaluation of feedback) to improve performance. Mental shortcuts-informal, intuitive, speculative strategies that sometimes lead to effective solutions For Mental Construction heuristics are essential because people lack full information, perfect knowledge, infinite working memory, and sufficient time before some reactions must be made. Here’s an interesting heuristic where the goal is get to Pierpont Museum in NYC. Drive towards visible Empire State Bldg tower. That will get you close, but nearby other buildings hide the Empire State Building, Final guidance is needed.
Hidden Layers Hidden layers are the artificial neural network term for these layers. It connotes an ineffability relating to these layers operations. Almost all the layers in the 100-Step Rule are below consciousness and outside of external reality. Only raw sensory input and conscious decision-making steps are available for contemplation.
Hippocampus A curved elongated ridge ( 4 cm long, 1 cm wide) that extends over the floor of the descending horn of each lateral ventricle of the brain, that consists of gray matter covered on the ventricular surface with white matter, and that is involved in forming, storing, and processing memory. Part of cerebral cortex, but only 1,2, or 3 levels of cells in the pyramid versus 6 in the cerebral cortex. Memory formation, spatial awareness, and recall. It is essential for learning and long-term memory. All birds, reptiles and fish have a hippocampus-like structure.
Homeostasis A relatively stable state of equilibrium or a tendency toward such a state between the different but interdependent elements or groups of elements of an organism, population, or groupelements, especially as maintained by physiological processes. Homeostasis provides the physiological underpinings of the emotional satisfaction value of situations. The Satiety component of the 3S Imperatives.
Penfield's cortical homunculus is the mapping of our body within our brain.
Penfield’s cortical homunculus. The mapping of our body within our brain.
SOMs (self-organizing maps) remove some urgency from the criticism that an internal entity is needed to perform operations for consciousness. The distinct and discredited idea of a little person (homunculus) listening and acting on sensory input is not being invoked here.
Hypothalamus A basal part of the diencephalon that lies beneath the thalamus on each side, forms the floor of the third ventricle, and includes vital autonomic regulatory centers. Integrates the brain and the endocrine system, across all mammals. Maintains homeostasis and expression of emotions.
Induction Inference of a generalized conclusion from particular instances. A conclusion arrive at in this manner. Method of reasoning from a part to a whole, from particulars to generals, or from the individual to the universal. 1. Inexact matching/categorization possible; missing data does not forbid categorization. 2. Inference of a generalized conclusion from particular instances. Induction can generates new premises; however they can be wrong Almost Gate leads to abstraction which categorizes. Particular instances get grouped together. This occurs from raw sense data through intermediate merging with memories and with desires onto final behavioral options. That final step is a generalized conclusion.
Instinct A largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason. (most typical, fight-or-flight) – quick reaction to stimulus, brain stem up to amygdala to hypothalamus thence to pituitary. Emotional reaction, stimulus threatens safety. More broadly stimulus weighed against in-place desires (to satiate hunger, sex, safety) A general internal state (hunger) causes a general response. Internal state (homeostasis) goes through the lower brain which prompts higher level mental activity to identify potential behaviors that will restore homeostasis. Below level of conscious effort or mental awareness.
Internal Worldview Metastable understanding of the world we have come to, upon which we make decisions that result on actions or behaviors Contents of internal worldview
Intuition The power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference. Very similar to creativity. The ability to form a conclusion before sufficient evidence is available to completely, deductively prove the conclusion The intuition is formed by pattern analysis and is not a guaranteed conclusion, but a feeling that the conclusion will later be shown to be true.
Kohonen network Artificial neural network which spontaneously (without supervision) creates feature maps upon repeated receipt of external stimuli. Demonstrates that feasibility that the human brain could use a similar scheme to learn and organize information