Posts Tagged ‘basal ganglia’

Brain areas involved with consciousness

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Even at the very early stage of the retina, an important division arises between two parallel visual streams, the dorsal stream and the ventral stream. The dorsal stream projects to the parietal cortex, and is responsible for movements in relation to objects, many of them of a routine or reflex nature. It is also seen as an answer to the ‘where is it?’ location question. The processing of the dorsal is unconscious, and is faster than the consciousness-related processing of the ventral stream.

Turing, Consciousness and Thought

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Stephen Baxter’s short article in the science magazine, Focus, highlights some of the problems that arise in dealing with consciousness in a scientific forum. Baxter suggests that Turing made a correct, or at least insightful decision, in deciding to aim at a test as to whether robots/computers could think like humans, while avoiding the possibly unscientific or undefined area of consciousness. This is not strictly speaking true. Turing appeared to have believed that having a robot/computer that Read more […]

Kosiol & Budding on basal ganglia

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Subcortical Structures and Cognition Leonard F. Kosiol and Deborah Ely Budding Springer (2010) This book has some useful angles from the point of view of the role of subjective experience and emotion in brain function. The authors main theme is the underestimated importance for brain function of the subcortical area of the basal ganglia. At times the authors appear to think that their treatise reinforces an automaton model of the brain, against the suspicion of a Cartesian homunculus that Read more […]

Dopamine and motivation

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The influence of dopamine in generating action from motivation Mark Walton, Jerylin Gan & Paul Phillips In:-  Neural Basis of Motivational and Cognitive Control  –  MIT Press (2011) Keywords:  dopamine, midbrain, basal ganglia, nucleus accumbens, opioid neurotransmitters The release of dopamine into the striatum and particularly the nucleus accumbens is closely related to the subjective evaluation of sensory inputs, and to the subsequent selection of behaviour and actions. The Read more […]

Free won’t

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Fronto-basal-ganglia circuits for stopping action Ian Greenhouse, Nicole Swann & Adam Aron In:- Neural Basis of Motivational and Cognitive Control INTRODUCTION:  This chapter describes a neural network that can stop initiated actions. This qualifies the naïve interpretation of the Libet experiments that ascribes all choice to readiness potentials that proceed conscious awareness of the decision to make (trivial) actions. Libet himself suggested there might be a ‘free won’t’ that could Read more […]