Sunday, May 15, 2016

Week 7: Neuroscience + Art

Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson and Eleanor Rosch explore the field of cognitive science in The Embodied Mind. They explain that the two stages of cognitivism and emergence do not take into account the role of bodily experience in the process of perception. They believe that this experience is a necessary precondition for all cognitive functions. The first stage of cognitive science is cognitivism, which is simply symbol processing in the brain. The source of this is the mind's creation of the outside world that they see through their eyes. This exemplifies how everyone sees the world differently and how people view things in the way in which they are perceived by them. This study can explain how people interpret art in so many different ways.
I found the Global Consciousness Project to be very interesting. The project was designed to explore whether the construct of interconnected consciousness can be scientifically validated through objective measurement. There are researchers from many institutions and countries involved in this project, showing the importance it is to the world at large. The research shows that human consciousness interacts with random event generators, causing them to produce non-random patterns. Their findings showed that this phenomenon needs to be explored further, which shows us how little we know about the human conscious.
Gregory Bateson's Mind and Nature was a very peculiar read. Some of his points were at times a bit confusing, such as when he was explaining his belief that there can be no new life and no new order without information. I think he is alluding to the idea that research is endless, and we can never stop exploring. The discontinuation of science would end the creativity and innovativeness that comes from this field. When discussing evolution, he says that people prove that evolution occurred by people citing cases of homology, and then he does the reverse. He assumes that evolution occurred and then discusses the nature of homology. He gives the example of "what is an elephants trunk?" What did genetics tell it to be? This is a very interesting discussion, as it exemplifies how it is the context that fixes the meaning of something. The context can completely change the way in which something is interpreted. This goes back to how exploring neuroscience can explain art forms and why people see things in a certain way. 

Gardner, Howard. Art, Mind, and Brain: A Cognitive Approach to Creativity. New York: Basic, 1982. Print.
"Introduction to GCP." The Global Consciousness Project. Roger Nelson, 1998. Web. 15 May 2016.
"MIND AND NATURE by Gregory Bateson." MIND AND NATURE by Gregory Bateson. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.
NASA. NASA, n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.
Varela, Francisco J., Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch. The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1991. Print.

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