An Essay on Understanding the Mind.


Several conjectures by A. S. Iberall on life and mind are used as a backdrop to sketch a theory of mental activity that respects both the contents of thought and the dynamics of thinking. The dynamics, in this case, refers fundamentally to animated, meaningfully coupled self-organizing processes (coordination dynamics) and exhibit multistability, switching, and, because of symmetry breaking, metastability. The interplay of 2 simultaneously acting forces underlies the metastable mind: the tendency for the coordinating elements to couple together (integration) and the tendency for the elements to express their individual autonomy (segregation). Metrics for metastability are introduced that enable these cooperative and competitive tendencies to be quantified. Whereas bistability is the basis for polarized, either/or thinking, the metastable régime-which contains neither stable nor unstable states, no states at all, in fact-gives rise to a far more fluid, complementary mode of operation in which it is possible for apparent contraries to coexist in the mind at the same time.

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@article{Kelso2008AnEO, title={An Essay on Understanding the Mind.}, author={J. A. Scott Kelso}, journal={Ecological psychology : a publication of the International Society for Ecological Psychology}, year={2008}, volume={20 2}, pages={180-208} }