Biology of PCT

[From John E. Anderson (950501.2245 EDT)]

Rick Marken (950501.0850)

John E. Anderson (950429.1530 EDT) --

I don't really know what to say. It looks like you have put a lot of effort
into the NSD model and it is probably very important to you. Given your
apparent interest in PCT I think the last thing you want to hear is that NSD
is an S-R model, not a control model. So I won't say anything.

Well, I never said that NSD is a control model. And I have to confess
that, not being a psychologist and so not having been steeped in the
S-R controversy, I'm not even sure if I CARE about the S-R
controversy. What I DO care about is helping to understand how the
brain works, how it gives us our mental and physical behaviors. It seems
to me that PCT offers a remarkably simple conceptual way to look at the
entire nervous system's structure and function, and that is what is
attractive about it to me right now, because I think that that kind of
viewpoint is lacking in neuroscience today.

NSD is important to me. I have spent a number of years developing it,
really using its development to guide my learning about neuroscience. I
do think, from what I have learned, that something akin to NSD is in fact
the way the brain works, so PCT biology will have to incorporate something
like it. In fact, I think that NSD is fundamentally compatible with PCT.
I would be interested to know, Rick, what about NSD makes it an S-R model,
but more importantly, what makes it incompatible with PCT. This may be a
dumb question, but it is not an insincere one. Believe me, I have no
vested interest in the S-R model.

If you are all right, and PCT does provide a correct model of the nervous
system, then the PCT control hierarchy must be implemented in the anatomy
and physiology of the nervous system. However, it is my impression that
not much has been done in a couple of decades to find out if it is. I
think it is important to find out: if it can be demonstrated, those who
are not convinced would have a much weaker case to remain so. As I
mentioned, I am thinking about writing a grant, in collaboration with a
neurologist who is interested in neuroscience theory, asking for support
to see how far a PCT-like hierarchy can be demonstrated in nervous system
anatomy as it is understood now. In fact, I am going to meet with him
tomorrow to talk about this. I think it is the place to start developing
a biology of PCT. I would appreciate any comments, advice, and criticism
about this idea. One specific thing you might be able to help me with now
is to explain to me the difference between PCT and other control
system-based models of brain function, for instance those of Scott Kelso,
whom my neurologist friend has mentioned.

Sorry if this is incoherent anywhere. It's very late for me; I normally
get up about 0400 to work (small kids, only really quiet time, etc.), so I
think I'll go to bed now.

Thanks for your help.

Regards,

John

···

-------------------------------
John E. Anderson, Ph.D.
9439 San Jose Boulevard #226
Jacksonville, Florida 32257
+1-904-448-6286 (phone)
jander@unf6.cis.unf.edu (email)
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In article <199505020603.CAA02341@au-ns.american.edu>, "John Anderson (CSHNL)"
<
jander@UNF6.CIS.UNF.EDU> writes:

[From John E. Anderson (950501.2245 EDT)]

C U T >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

What I DO care about is helping to understand how the
brain works, how it gives us our mental and physical behaviors. It seems
to me that PCT offers a remarkably simple conceptual way to look at the
entire nervous system's structure and function, and that is what is
attractive about it to me right now, because I think that that kind of
viewpoint is lacking in neuroscience today.

C U T>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thanks for your help.

Regards,

John

Neuroscience is a mixture of many approaches trying to understand how
the brain works. The ultimate goal is why. Historically when one
focuses in on why, little empirical progress is made. Neuroscience
has gotten lost in the little details of how. Few have the training
to cluster the how data together into a why theory. Any why
model must be consistent with the how data. It must also be stated
in words that the how people use. PCT is true, but lacks the political
support to stimulate how data collection to overcome current procedures.
Ron Blue x011@lehigh.edu

···

-------------------------------
John E. Anderson, Ph.D.
9439 San Jose Boulevard #226
Jacksonville, Florida 32257
+1-904-448-6286 (phone)
jander@unf6.cis.unf.edu (email)
-------------------------------