13 publications of Place that refer to Broadbent (1971). Decision and Stress.
Place, U. T. (1974-05-08). Lecture 24: Towards a neurophysiological theory of conscious experience (8/5/1974). Section 6
[Abstract]The role and function of private experiences. The causes and effects of conscious experiences. Broadbent's Information Flow diagram. Mapping mental life into the brain
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 24.pdf
Place, U. T. (1981a). Skinner's Verbal Behavior I - why we need it. Behaviorism, 9, 1-24. www.jstor.org/stable/27758970
[Abstract]To explain behaviour in terms of intensional or mentalistic concepts is to explain the behaviour in question on the assumption of a consistent and rational connection between what the agent does and what he says or what is said to him and that therefore any general account of verbal or linguistic behaviour which employs such concepts is necessarily circular, since it explains the acquisition of linguistic skills on the assumption that the speaker already possesses such skills. It follows that this circularity can only be avoided by developing a theory of verbal or linguistic behaviour which is stated entirely in a nonintensional or extensional language. At the present time, the most developed conceptual system for description and explanation of the behaviour of organisms at the molar level in purely extensional terms is that provided by the so-called ‘Radical Behaviorism’ of B. F. Skinner and his followers. Furthermore, in his book Verbal Behavior Skinner (1957) has used this conceptual framework to develop a theory of verbal or linguistic behaviour which represents the most ambitious attempt made so far to formulate a theory of linguistic behaviour in nonintensional or extensional terms.
Revised version is from 1999.
[References]  [3 citing publications]  [9 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1981a 1999 Skinner's Verbal Behavior I - Why We Need It - revised version.pdf
Place, U. T. (1988f). Consciousness as an information processing system. [Paper presented to the Inaugural Symposium of the Mind-Body Group, Second Annual Conference of the History and Philosophy of Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society, University of Leeds, April 1988].
[References]  [Talks]  [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1988f Consciousness as an Information Processing System.pdf
Place, U. T. (1991k). From syntax to reality: the picture theory of meaning [Discussion paper presented to a small conference on 'Footprints of the Brain in the Syntax of Natural Language' at the Neurosciences Institute, New York, February 1991].
Keywords: picture theory of meaning
[References]  [Talks]  [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1991k From Syntax to Reality - the Picture Theory of Meaning.pdf revised version from 1999
Place, U. T. (1996l). Folk psychology from the standpoint of conceptual analysis. In W. O'Donohue, & R. Kitchener (Eds.) The Philosophy of Psychology (Chapter 17, pp. 264-270). Sage.
[Abstract]Before deciding what status should be given to folk psychology within scientific psychology, we must understand its linguistic peculiarities. To do that, we need to attend to research on the topic within the philosophical tradition known as "conceptual analysis." This research enables us to identify six respects in which folk psychological language can lead us astray, when used in a scientific context: (1) the creation of bogus abstract entities by the process of "nominalizing" predicates and other non-substantival parts of speech, (2) the persistent use of adjectives with evaluative (good/bad) connotations, (3) the systematic evaluation of the content of other people's cognitive attitudes and judgments from the standpoint of the speaker, (4) the distortion of causal accounts of human action by the demand for a single scapegoat on whom to pin the blame when things go wrong, (5) the use of the metaphor of linguistic control when explaining behavior that is not subject to that type of control, (6) the unavoidable use of simile when describing private experience.
[References]  [2 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1996l Folk Psychology from the Standpoint of Conceptual Analysis.pdf
Place, U. T. (1996o). On the anti-depressant effect of suppressing REM sleep [Conference presentation, presented at the Fifth Annual Meeting of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology at Barcelona on the 18th of July 1996]. European Society for Philosophy and Psychology.
[Abstract]In a paper presented to the 1995 Euro-SPP Meeting in Oxford Kathleen Taylor and I proposed the identification of conscious experience with the activity of what we call the "central input focuser (CIF)" which restructures the figure-ground relations within what Broadbent (1971) has called the "evidence" on which the categorization of problematic inputs is based. We further suggested that rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep is a condition in which the CIF is allowed to "freewheel" while decoupled from sensory input. As a result the vivid dream imagery which is characteristic of and peculiar to this phase of sleep recapitulates those associations formed during the preceding period of waking which have acquired motivational significance and hence an emotional charge by virtue of their resemblance to or associative links with emotionally charged events in the dreamer's past life. The effect of this is to ensure that the dreamer's attention is caught by inputs which have these emotionally charged associations during subsequent periods of waking consciousness. In this paper an explanation, based on this hypothesis, is offered of the well-known fact that anti-depressant drugs have the effect of suppressing REM sleep; though what the hypothesis in fact explains is why a drug that suppresses REM sleep should have an anti-depressant effect.
[References]  [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1996o On the Anti-Depressant Effect of Suppressing REM Sleep.pdf
Place, U. T. (1997h). Wundt's theory of imageless thought as a possible key to the role of slow-wave sleep in depressive ruminations [Conference presentation, presented at the Sixth Annual Meeting of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology (ESPP), Padova, 28th August 1997]. European Society for Philosophy and Psychology
[Abstract]Sleep contributes in two ways to the aetiology of clinical depression. The dream imagery of REM sleep stamps in associations between current environmental events and other emotionally charged incidents in the past, only some of which are depressive in nature. The imageless ruminations of slow-wave sleep have a more specific depressive effect in that they keep alive, often indefinitely, problems for which no solution is to be found.
Download: 1997h Wundt's Theory of Imageless Thought as Possible Key to the Role of Slow-Wave Sleep in Depressive Ruminations.pdf
Place, U. T. (1998h). The neuroanatomy of consciousness and the zombie-within. [Paper presented at the Second Annual Conference of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, Bremen, Germany, 20th June 1998].
[Abstract]In Chapter 3 of their book, Milner & Goodale (1995) concede that, since the ventral and dorsal streams as defined by Ungerleider & Mishkin (1982) bifurcate "downstream" of the striate cortex (V1), neither stream can account for the visual functions which survive lesions of V1 ("blindsight"). However, on their Figure 3.1 (p. 68) they show another pathway which I call the 'Sub-Cortical (S-C) to dorsal pathway' (SUPERIOR COLLICULUS, PULVINAR, POSTERIOR PARIETAL CORTEX) which bifurcates from the ventral pathway (LATERAL GENICULATE NUCLEUS, V1-V5, INFERO-TEMPORAL CORTEX) at the retina. Not only does the S-C to dorsal pathway explain blindsight. It also coincides exactly with Michael Posner's (Posner & Petersen 1990; Posner and Dehaene 1994) "posterior attention system". This allows us to identify the superior colliculus and pulvinar with that part of the "zombie-within" (Place 1997) which involuntarily attracts the focus of conscious attention to any input which it identifies as problematic and the posterior parietal cortex as the structure which, in addition to its role in the feedback control of voluntary movement, maintains voluntary control over the focus of conscious attention (in the ventral stream in the case of vision) until a satisfactory categorization of the input is achieved. This, when combined with the known functions of the ventral pathway, allows us, in the case of vision, to identify actual anatomically defined structures corresponding to most of the functionally defined modules envisaged in 'Consciousness and the zombie-within' (Place 1997) up to the point where conscious experience gives way to categorization.
Download: 1998h The Neuroanatomy of Consciousness and the Zombie-within.pdf
Place, U. T. (1999d). Connectionism and the problem of consciousness. Acta Analytica, 14(22), 197-226.
[Abstract]This paper falls into three parts. In Part 1 I give my reasons for rejecting two aspects of Horgan and Tienson's position as laid out in their book, the language of thought and belief-desire explanations of behaviour, while endorsing the connection they see between linguistic syntax and the syntax of a motor skill. In Part 2 I outline the theory that the brain consists of two input-output transformation systems consciousness whose function is (a) to categorise problematic inputs, (b) to select a response appropriate to such inputs once they have been categorised and (c) to initiate and monitor the execution of such response once selected, and the "zombie-within" whose function is (a) to identify and alert consciousness to any inputs that are problematic either because they are unexpected or because they are significant relative to the agent's current or perennial motivational concerns. In Part 3 I consider how far the properties of the two systems outlined in Part 2 can be understood in terms of the known properties of connectionist networks.
Keywords: connectionism, consciousness, problematic input, zombie-within
The download file contains some text added by the author after publication. Footnote 2 is added.
[References]  [Related]  [Talks]  [1 citing publications]  [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1999d Connectionism and the Problem of Consciousness.pdf
Place, U. T. (1999h). The picture theory of meaning: A rehabilation [Conference presentation; presented to the IUC Conference on Epistemology, Bled, Slovenia, 31st May - June 5th 1999].
[Abstract]I argue the case for a rehabilitation of the "picture theory" of the meaning of sentences expounded by Wittgenstein (1921/1971) in the Tractatus, but abandoned by him in moving from his earlier to his later philosophy. This rehabilitation requires the replacement of 'facts' as the objects which sentences depict by 'situations' (Barwise and Perry 1983) and the recognition that the situation depicted by a sentence is an "intentional object" (Brentano 1871/1995). It also implies a different view of the way his sense (Sinn)/reference (Bedeutung) distinction should be applied to the meaning of sentences from that maintained by Frege (1892/1960) himself. Such a theory opens the door to a thorough-going empiricist theory of the acquisition of both concepts and sentence structure.
Keywords: picture theory of meaning
Download: 1999h The Picture Theory of Meaning - A Rehabilitation.pdf
Place, U. T. (2000a). Consciousness and the zombie-within: a functional analysis of the blindsight evidence. In Y. Rossetti, & A. Revonsuo (Eds.), Beyond dissociations: Interaction between dissociated implicit and explicit processing (pp. 295-329). John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/aicr.22.15pla
[Abstract]Cowey & Stoerig's (1995) demonstration that the phenomenon of blindsight applies to monkeys with striate cortical lesions in the same way as it does to humans with similar lesions makes it plausible to argue that the behaviour of mammals and probably that of other vertebrates is controlled by two distinct but closely interdependent and interacting systems in the brain which I shall refer to respectively as 'consciousness' and the 'sub-conscious automatic pilot or "zombie" within'. On this hypothesis, consciousness has three functions, (a) that of categorizing any input that is problematic in that it is either unexpected or significant relative to the individual's current or perennial motivational concerns, (b) that of selecting a response appropriate both to the presence of a thing of that kind and to the individual's motivational concerns with respect to it, and (c) that of monitoring the execution of that response. Conscious/phenomenal experience, on this view, is the first stage in the process whereby problematic inputs are processed by consciousness. Its function is to modify the figure-ground relations within the central representation of a problematic input until an adequate categorization is selected. The sub-conscious automatic pilot or “zombie-within” has two functions (a) that of continuously scanning the total current input and alerting consciousness to any input it identifies as problematic, (b) that of protecting consciousness from overload either by ignoring those non-problematic inputs which require no response or by responding appropriately but automatically to those for which there already exists a well practised skill or other “instinctive” response pattern.
[References]  [Talks]  [3 citing publications]  [4 referring publications by Place]  [Reprinting collections]
Download: 2000a Consciousness and the Zombie-within a Functional Analysis of the Blindsight Evidence.pdf
Place, U. T. (2000b). The causal potency of qualia: Its nature and its source. Brain and Mind, 1, 183-192. doi:10.1023/A:1010023129393
[Abstract]There is an argument (Medlin, 1967; Place, 1988) which shows conclusively that if qualia are causally impotent we could have no possible grounds for believing that they exist. But if, as this argument shows, qualia are causally potent with respect to the descriptions we give of them, it is tolerably certain that they are causally potent in other more biologically significant respects. The empirical evidence, from studies of the effect of lesions of the striate cortex (Humphrey, 1974; Weiskrantz, 1986; Cowey and Stoerig, 1995) shows that what is missing in the absence of visual qualia is the ability to categorize sensory inputs in the visual modality. This would suggest that the function of private experience is to supply what Broadbent (1971) calls the “evidence” on which the categorization of problematic sensory inputs are based. At the same time analysis of the causal relation shows that what differentiates a causal relation from an accidental spatio-temporal conjunction is the existence of reciprocally related dispositional properties of the entities involved which combine to make it true that if one member of the conjunction, the cause, had not existed, the other, the effect, would not have existed. The possibility that qualia might be dispositional properties of experiences which, as it were, supply the invisible “glue” that sticks cause to effect in this case is examined, but finally rejected.
[References]  [3 citing publications]  [Reprinting collections]
Download: 2000b The Causal Potency of Qualia.pdf
Place, U. T., & Taylor, K. E. (1995). The functions of consciousness and its constituent parts [Conference presentation, presented to the Annual Meeting of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, St. Catherine's College, Oxford, 31st August 1995]. European Society for Philosophy and Psychology
[References]  [3 referring publications by Place]
Download: Place & Taylor (1995) The Functions of Consciousness and its Constituent Part.pdf