Glossary R-Z

Word Definition Other
Rational thought Having reason or understanding. Process of drawing logical inferences, both deductive and inductive which must test well against external reality as perceived by the individual – and the individual’s peers. A sufficient ground of explanation or of logical defense ; esp: something (as a principle or law) that supports a conclusion or explains a fact.
Reasoning Being in accordance with reason, not extreme or excessive. The drawing of inferences or conclusions through the use of reason.
Reductio ad absurdum (RAA) Proof of a proposition by showing an absurdity/impossibility results from the opposite of the propostion. Proof technique. Assume the opposite of conclusion, show it leads to impossibility. Very big in Euclidean geometry. A tool used in many arguments RAA is not a constructive proof. The validity of the proof depends on the scrupulous adherence to simple propositions, which follow the law of the excluded middle. The proposition must be monolithic, without exceptions or nuances. RAA demonstrates the possibility of existence. Another meaning – the carrying of something to an absurd extreme – is not used in Mental Construction.
Reflex An automatic and often inborn response to a stimulus that involves a nerve impulse passing inward from a receptor to a nerve center and thence outward to an effector (as a muscle or gland) without reaching the level of consciousness. Immediate reaction to stimulus, knee jerk by the spinal cord before the brain receives neural signal, is a reflex.
Safety Safety is the third of the 3S Imperatives. It was the last acquired imperative, needing memory and cognitive capacity to foresee consequences before action. Safety is a characteristic of the individual, not the species. As the source of behavior chosing, it can be contrary to evolution.
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is the theory that an individual’s thoughts and actions are determined by the language or languages that individual speaks. The weak version states that our thoughts are colored by language. (Link to off-site) Instead of limiting the world we know, language extends our world by providing our ancestors’ insights, captured in words and linguistic elements.
Satiety Satiety is the first of the 3S Imperatives. It denotes the organism’s behavioral drive to keep its internal environment at the level which provides the optimal biological functioning. Homeostasis is the prime example of satiety. Satiety has strong overtones of gustatory satisfaction of gustatory, but they are not the same thing. Eating chocolate may satisfy gustatory desires, but it is not necessary for satiety or maintenance of homeostasis.
Semantic Map Semantics – of or relating to meaning in language . Related collection of meaningful concepts at the same level of abstraction
Sex Sex is the second of the 3S Imperatives. Very soon after the organism achieved satiety, its genetic legacy coded in behaviors to propagate.
Similarity Correspondence in appearance or superficial qualities. A point of likeness. Similarity is experienced when an abstraction matches an abstraction from memory.
Situation A set of circumstances in which one finds oneself; a state of affairs. The location and surroundings of a place At any given moment a person’s situation is the physical surroundings organized by that person’s needs, desires, goals, and fears.

Some situations require immediate reactions. Other situations allow for consideration of longer term plans.

SOM. Self Organizing Map A neural network in which each input layer neuron is connected to all the other input neurons as well being connected to all the neurons in the output layer. This connection style automatically self-organizes the masses of various input data it receives onto distinct output neurons, by balancing the synaptic efficiencies across a range of inputs.
Spandrel a non-intended use of a feature which, otherwise, was naturally selected for another purpose Example, the ability to read words by vision which did not evolve to support reading.
Sulcus A fold or groove separating one gyrus from another. Use to describe locations in the brain. The central sulcus separates the parietal lobe from the frontal lobe.
Synapse The point at which a nervous impulse passes from one neuron to another. Chemical connection site which has axon of the sending neuron on one side and dendrite of the receiving neuron on the other The conversion from electrical potential to chemical exchange is the spot where Hebb’s Law comes into action. At the synapse the efficiency of how much charge is transmitted across the gap changes
Thalamus The largest subdivision of the diencephalon that consists chiefly of an ovoid mass of nuclei in each lateral wall of the third ventricle and serves chiefly to relay impulses and esp. sensory impulses to and from the cerebral cortex. All senses but smell come through the switching station which directs them to cortical receipt areas for enhancement. The thalamus also retains some primitive sensory processing. See items below in glossary of thalamus paths.
Thalamus, one path To cortical lobes. Higher level sensory perception.
Thalamus, other path To hypothalamus for homostasis and awakeness. Baseline requirement of survival.
Thinking To reflect on. to center one’s thoughts on. Encyclopedia Britannica definition – thought or thinking is considered to mediate between inner activity and external stimuli. A very broad definition, much broader than the idea that all thought is conscious, usually involves words. Defines thinking as having many operations in common with cognition.
Thought Train Length Each person has their own typical number of thoughts on one topic before their attention shifts to another topic. When the emotional content is very high, that person’s thought train length will be shortened. They will not be able to think as deep (logically or associatively) into a subject.
Vision The special sense by which the qualities of an object (as color, luminosity, shape, and size) constituting its appearance are perceived through a process in which light rays entering the eye are transformed by the retina into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve.
Occipital lobe - three pathways
Occipital lobe – three pathways
Vision, Lower Path To temporal lobe. Conscious visual perception Damage disrupts images
Vision, Middle Path To upper temporal sculus. Visually guided action. Largely unconscious
Vision, Upper Path To posterior parietal lobe
Visuo-spatial sketchpad Slave system in working memory. About 0.1 seconds of visual input storage. Relation to subjective time and Stanovich cost of disjunctive thinking. Also called the visual register.
Weighting Proportion of electrical potential that is transferred across synaptic gap to the receiving dendrite. Also called efficiency During training GABA allows many neurons to contribute strongly to the total charge received by a neuron. GABA declines on a schedule controlled by genetics, resulting in fixing the final efficiency of synaptic transmission, which is further fixed at the output side by myelination of the cluster’s axon to other brain clusters. LTP also changes synaptic gap efficiency, however, LTP predominantly makes changes within recognized patterns or categories.
White Matter (myelin) Neural tissue esp. of the brain and spinal cord that consists largely of myelinated nerve fibers bundled into tracts, has a whitish color, and typically underlies the cortical gray matter. Color of axon covering (myelin) through which transmission of results from one brain locality to another takes place Axons extend from evaluative groupings of neurons, shuttling their evaluations to other regions or modules of the brain.
Word A speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning usu. without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use. Words are concepts that sensory experiences are fit into. A word captures a civilization’s set of environment building concepts. Words. Categories of frozen abstraction. Past categorizations which have proven use, thus reused by others, forming a plank of civilization’s viewpoint. Every pattern does not have a word associated with it. A word captures a civilization’s set of environment building concepts. Peaks of insight, using a high abstraction which is formed very late in the neural cascade, ergo very rarely native in the non-dominant hemisphere.
Working Memory Is essential for problem solving or the execution of complex cognitive tasks. It is characterized by two components: short-term memory and “executive attention.” Short-term memory comprises the extremely limited number of items that humans are capable of keeping in mind at one time, whereas executive attention is a function that regulates the quantity and type of information that is either accepted into or blocked from short-term memory. Link to memory post. Note: there exists a separate short-term memory system for audio (verbal/word-oriented) data, visual (image/pattern-oriented) data, and tactile sensations. These types of memory exist near the sensory inputs.