Glossary L-P

Word Definition Other
Law of the Excluded Middle Proposition must be either true or false. Only when facts are binary, does the law of the excluded middle hold. An apparent fact like “It rained today” requires scoping by location before it can generate a legitimate true/false distinction. Read this post for further considerations.
Learning vs Training Learning (to gain knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience) is spontaneous achieved by repeated experience being slotted into categories. Training (the skill, knowledge, or experience acquired by one that trains) is achieved by a trainer giving the desired category of the experience after each exposure to the experience. In Mental Construction, learning implies unsupervised with the development of categories in a map-like fashion by experience. Training is used for knowledge imparted by instruction. That training can be casual – at home, with friends, or though media interaction – or formal in classroom or from reading.
Learning, Supervised Learning that occurs when input is classified allowing immediate feedback on the correctness or incorrectness of on one’s response to the input. These classifications include meanings assigned by language, behaviorial norms of society, and relationships between concepts developed in culture and academia.
Learning, Unsupervised Learning that occurs when input is not alreadt categorized, yet reoccurs. People cluster it according to their own particular experience that has led to their needs, desires, and goals. Unclassified data holds primary sway over our knowledge only until we start learning language. From then on, supervised language supplants it; but there remain many situations (environmental experiences) which don’t have prescribed names, societal norms, or expected relationships. Unsupervised learning clusters those situations, searching for similarities and for potetiasl relationships that form the basis for our future reaction to similar situations.
Liar’s Paradox “A man says that he is lying. Is what he says true or false?” “This statement is false.” Self-referential problems in natural language violate logical principles upon which deductive reasoning is based. It is possible to make illogical statements, even without realizing it
Limbic system
A group of subcortical structures, involved with emotion and motivation
A group of subcortical structures, involved with emotion and motivation
Memory gave the ability to fear, leading to safety in 3S Imperatives. Limbic structures have metamorphized homeostasis into bodily satisfactions (satiety) and physical reproduction (sex) into pleasurable activity (with the hypothalamus excreting hormones).
Local neurons Non-myelinated neurons which work together as a group in determining the reaction to a set of inputs
Locus of Interest Each person has a unique range of interests that their thoughts cycle through. This range is driven by a person’s emotional make-up and experience. Also, when the emotional content of a topic of interest rises, the locus of interest usually contracts. Their thoughts cycle back to the emotional topic more frequently.
Logical Of, relating to, involving, or being in accordance with logic. capable of reasoning or of using reason in an orderly cogent fashion. Epitomized by using rules (if-then-else) on ideas (propositions) expressible in words. Deduction from a neural brain.
Long-Term Potentiation (LTP) A persistent strengthening of synapses based on recent patterns of activity. These are patterns of synaptic activity that produce a long-lasting increase in signal transmission between two neurons. Continues through the lifespan, different than learning’s critical period. One or more axons connected to some dendrite bombard it with a brief but rapid series of stimuli- such as 100 synaptic excitations per second for 1 to 4 seconds. This burst leaves some synapses potentiated (more responsive to new input of the same type) for minutes, days, or weeks. Kalat (p 411) notes “work on Aplysia confirms that snyaptic changes can produce behavioral changes.”
Magical Thinking Magical thinking is a form of reasoning that learns causative relationships through correlation alone. Can be induced by sleep deprivation, hunger, overwrought condition Given a correlation with an observed effect, magical condition pulls a causation out of thin air. For example, coming to believe that a particular piece of jewelry is lucky because a few good things happened when it was worn.
Mammals Any of the class Mammalia of warm-blooded higher vertebrates (as placentals, marsupials, or monotremes) that nourish their young with milk secreted by mammary glands, have the skin usu. more or less covered with hair, and include humans. Superior mammals – primates and above; inferior mammals – below primates.
Matching, Implicit The matching of a current event with a memory is not an explict comparison. It is implicit comparison, a comparison by result. The current event goes through the same pathways, with the same neurons and preexisting synaptic efficiencies that the remembered event does. If the neural results are the same, the entities match.
Materialism A theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter. Only things known are what are experienced. One can have no thoughts that are beyond the physical reality. We are born with a blank mind (tabula rasa). Transcendental ideas and spiritual (non-materistic) reality do not exist. Mental Construction takes a middle road. See dualism in glossary.
Medulla oblongata Lowest point of the brainstem. The part of the vertebrate brain that is continuous posteriorly with the spinal cord and that contains the centers controlling involuntary vital functions. Breathing, heart rate, vomiting, salivation, coughing, sneezing. Manifestation of homeostasis converted to specific behaviors. Satiety of the 3S imperatives.
Memory The power or process of reproducing or recalling what has been learned and retained esp. through associative mechanisms. not an external photograph retained in the brain, but a reconstruction based on observed event, personal emotional impact, and learned relationships.
Memory encoding Encoding is a biological event beginning with perception through the senses. The process of laying down a memory begins with attention (regulated by the thalamus and the frontal lobe), in which a memorable event causes neurons to fire more frequently, making the experience more intense and increasing the likelihood that the event is encoded as a memory. Emotion tends to increase attention, and the emotional element of an event is processed on an unconscious pathway in the brain leading to the amygdala. Only then are the actual sensations derived from an event processed. Source
Memory, primary system The temporary maintenance system for conscious processing of information Relatively few age-related differences in the primary memory system.
Memory, secondary system The elaboration and organization of information in terms of its semantic content or meaning Age is a significant factor in the performance of the secondary memory system.
Mentalese The hypothetical language of thought, or representation of concepts and propositions in the brain, in which ideas, including the meanings of words and sentences, are couched. More than words are used. Patterns too. The line between thought in mentalese and preconscious thought also makes the discussion rife with confusion.
Metaphor A figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them. Metaphors are a word-based example of our use of patterns in thinking. While the dominant hemisphere categories by word meanings, the nondominant compares them (across the corpus callosum) its patterns, yielding a metaphorical interpretation of the rigid, denotation meaning of explicit words.
Mindset Carol Dweck: Some believe their success is based on innate ability; these are said to have a “fixed” theory of intelligence (fixed mindset). Others, who believe their success is based on hard work, learning, training and doggedness are said to have a “growth” or an “incremental” theory of intelligence (growth mindset). Individuals may not necessarily be aware of their own mindset, but their mindset can still be discerned based on their behavior. It is especially evident in their reaction to failure. Fixed-mindset individuals dread failure because it is a negative statement on their basic abilities, while growth mindset individuals don’t mind or fear failure as much because they realize their performance can be improved and learning comes from failure.
Myelin White, insulating sheath on the axon of many neurons. Composed of fatty materials, protein, and water, the myelin sheath is deposited in layers around axons by Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system and by a type of neuroglia called an oligodendrocyte in the central nervous system. When myelination fixes axon connections between separate regions (modules) of the brain, henceforth the pattern result travels 100x faster to the other region. Myelin’s occurrence is a biochemical marker of the end of the learning’s critical period in that section of the brain.
Need A lack of something requisite, desirable, or useful. A physiological or psychological requirement for the well-being of an organism The unsatisfaction of a 3S imperative is manifested as a need – hunger/thirst, sexual activity, or fear for safety.
Neocortex The large 6-layered dorsal region of the cerebral cortex that is unique to mammals ; broadly: the mammalian cerebral cortex Whales and elephants, not in the direct line to humans, have developed neocortexes, as example of convergent evolution
Neural Threshold The electrical charge that a neuron must exceed to trigger sending its message to the other neurons it is connected to. It is an all-or-none signal. For instance, if ten inputs must be on for a neuron to fire, it will send the same message whether 10, 11, 12, or a 100 inputs are on. And if less than 10 are on, it will send no message. A neuron needs an additional 75-85 mV for it to fire down its axon. Each dendrite into the neuron can deliver from 0-35 or 0-50 mV, depending of a person’s particular biochemistry and experience (learned efficiencies)
Neuromodulator Instead of handling single signals, a neuromodulator acts across a wide swath of neurons, changing their threshold level. Dopamine and norepinephrine are prime examples.
Neuron A grayish or reddish granular cell with specialized processes that is the fundamental functional unit of nervous tissue. The average cortical neuron has 7000 excitatory and 3000 inhibitory connections with other neurons.
Neuroscience A branch (as neurophysiology) of the life sciences that deals with the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, or molecular biology of nerves and nervous tissue and esp. with their relation to behavior and learningbehavior
Neurotransmitter A substance (as norepinephrine or acetylcholine) that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse (i.e. between neurons). Glutamate is an excitatory transmitter.
Nodes of Ranvier Periodic gap in the insulating sheath (myelin) on the axon of certain neurons that serves to facilitate the rapid conduction of nerve impulses. Regenerates axon signal at these breaks along the myelinated path
Pattern A discernible coherent system based on the intended interrelationship of component parts. A form or model proposed for imitation : exemplar. Patterns can be a natural or a chance configuration. Patterns are sensory experiences that have been abstracted. Patterns can have a word assigned to them, but pattern refers to the non-verbal details. When patterns are linked to words, the words are linked into categories. Patterns are not just geometric images. A coordination of abstract features can form a pattern. E.g. a sequence of abstractions can form a pattern.
Pattern-Matching Comparison of patterns, by similar summation rather than feature-by-feature. The determination is done in the brain in areas not directly connected with speech. After the determination (neural summation) is made, in normal brains, the corpus callosum and other commissures make the result available to the verbal centers of the brain, where after the fact explanation of an otherwise ineffable conclusion can be constructed. Pattern-matching is a short-hand expression for the case where separate patterns reside in the same abstraction. Thenceforth, since they are in the same abstraction, they are treated the same.
Personality The complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual or a nation or group ; esp: the totality of an individual’s behavioral and emotional characteristics. Stable, long-term reactions to expected situations. Relatively stable reactions that satisfy non-excited states. Emotions are short, powerful reactions to situations, esp. novel situations. Emotions are intense, short-term reactions to 3S that upset personality solutions.
Pons A broad mass of chiefly transverse nerve fibers in the mammalian brainstem lying ventral to the cerebellum at the anterior end of the medulla oblongata. bridge, where right nerves cross to left and visa versa Its neurons work with the putamen to allow habits initiated by the cortex be carried out in the cerebellum.
Pound to Fact Manner in which one treats a less than perfect pattern-match as an exact match. The match is then used in logic as a premise. The realization that the assumption is made maybe recognized or unreccognized.
Prefrontal Cortex The gray matter of the anterior part of the frontal lobe that is highly developed in humans and plays a role in the regulation of complex cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning Interesting to consider what occurs in the nondominant hemisphere in area where the neuron experiential-wiring supporting logic exists. Mental Construction presumes by analogical function, that associations/similarity/pattern-matching are more highly developed in the nondominant prefrontal cortex.
Premise A proposition antecedently supposed or proved as a basis of argument or inference ; specif: either of the first two propositions of a syllogism from which the conclusion is drawn b : something assumed or taken for granted.
Premise Selection Too often taken for granted that starting with indisputable facts. See glossary Pound to Fact. in the logical processing of ideas, the starting point. If the premises are true, then the logical conclusion must be true.
Priming A nonconscious form of human memory concerned with perceptual identification of words and objects. It refers to activating particular representations or associations in memory just before carrying out an action or task. For example, a person who sees the word “yellow” will be slightly faster to recognize the word “banana.” This happens because yellow and banana are closely associated in memory.
Putamen The large dark lateral part of the basal ganglion which comprises the external portion of the corpus striatum and which has connections to the caudate nucleus. Part of basal ganglia (limbic system). Stores automatic motor programs that it sends to the pons and the cerebellum. These are habits of movements, which, once learned, can be activated without require much conscious attention to performance.