VII. Earthomo Sapiens: A Major Evolutionary Transition in Individuality
3. A Complementary Brain and Thought Process
Halford, Graeme, et al. Relational Knowledge: The Foundation of Higher Cognition. Trends in Cognitive Science. 14/11, 2010. Neuroscientists from Australia and Japan claim, which much technical theory, that an integrative, semantic analogy is of premier importance in the evolution and conduct of operational thought. With a nod to the “dual process” school, this phase is seen as complementary to analytic particulars.
Han, Shihui and Ernst Poppel, eds. Culture and Neural Frames of Cognition and Communication. Berlin: Springer, 2011. An edition in Springer’s On Thinking series based on a Sino-German workshop on cognitive neurosciences held in Beijing, October, 2008. A project of Peking University and Munich University, it was sponsored by the Parimenides Center in Munich. Parimenides, a 5th century Greek scholar, embodies the view of a deeper, primary dimension beyond appearances, from which our world emanates and gains significance. This volume discusses bicameral Asian and European societies with regard to relative cerebral substrates and integral and analytical complements. Initial chapters by neuroscientists such as Bruce Wexler, Joan Chiao, Genna Berko, Georg Northoff and Yinn Ma draw on neuroimaging techniques to nuance neural anatomies between the reciprocal cultures. Papers by Nalini Ambady, Dida Fleisig, Yoshihiro Miyake, Elenora Rossi, and colleagues go on to insights about life’s self-making development upon a sequentially bilateral planet. For example, westerners seem to abstract figures from ground, while eastern attention is more upon the field context in which articles abide. Contributions by Albrecht von Muller and Britt Glatzeder are noted herein.
Hellige, Joseph. Laterality. Ramachandran, V. S., editor-in-chief. Encyclopedia of the Human Brain. Amsterdam: Academic Press, 2002. A summary article that affirms a basic complementarity of higher and lower frequency, categorical and spatial, processing capabilities between left and right hemispheres. Also surveyed is their evolutionary path through the animal kingdom and the right to left developmental sequence in humans.
Herve, Pierre-Yves, et al. Revisiting Human Hemispheric Specialization with Neuroimaging. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 17/2, 2013. Groupe d’Imagerie Neurofonctionnelle, Université Bordeaux Ségalen, neuroscientists report novel instrumental insights and verifications of the functional lateralization of our asymmetrical brains. These new capabilities can better assess the relative engagement of each side from early childhood to adult maturation. In general, a consistent leftward shift develops with age from an early “inter-hemispheric” balance to a dominant LH “intra-hemispheric connectivity.” Again the RH is found to specialize for visuospatial attention and the LH for language.
Hickok, Gregory and Steven Small, eds. Neurobiology of Language. Cambridge, MA: Academic Press, 2015. A UC Irvine cognitive scientist and a neurologist assemble an 89 chapter treatise with main sections about Neurobiological Foundations, Behavioral Foundations, Large-Scale Models, Development, Learning, and Plasticity, Perceptual Analysis of the Speech Signal, Word and Sentence Processing, Discourse Processing and Pragmatics, Speaking, Conceptual Semantic Knowledge, Written Language, Animal Models, Memory for Language, Breakdown and Treatment, and Prosody, Tone, and Music. We enter here because in many places the volume endorses a dual process theory (search e.g. Nina Kraus, Maryanne Wolf, Laura Otis) which involves a whole brain interplay of left side letter detail and right half prosody relations. In regard see 24. Are Pathways and Streams in the Auditory Cortex by Josef Rauschecker and Sophie Scott, and 27. The Dual Loop Model in Language by Cornelius Weiller, et al. As a surmise, it seems that cerebral form and activity always reverts to these complementary archetypes.
Hugdahl, Kenneth and Rene Westerhausen, eds. The Two Halves of the Brain Information Processing in the Cerebral Hemispheres. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010. The editors are biological and medical psychologists at the University of Bergen, Norway. The volume is a broad review and update upon this cerebral complementary microcosm that influences every aspects of our lives. Eight sections cover Genetic and Evolutionary Perspectives, Hemispheric Asymmetry in Nonmammalian Species, Neuroimaging, Hormones, Sex Differences, and Sleep Asymmetry, Asymmetry of Perception, Asymmetry of Cognition, Neurological and Pediatric Disorders, and Asymmetry in Schizophrenia and Psychosis.
Iturria-Medina, Yasser, et al. Brain Hemispheric Structural Efficiency and Interconnectivity Rightward Asymmetry in Human and Nonhuman Primates. Cerebral Cortex. 21/1, 2011. After decades of worldwide study, a team of neuroscientists from Cuba, Chile, England, Spain, and Germany further confirm the presence of complementary halves and archetypal attributes of a left detailed focus and right holistic survey that braces our neural and cognitive capacity. As an epochal advance, it begs the grand discovery of this yang masculine and yin feminine universal microcosm in our own brains, and equally Earthwide west and east, north and south, with an Islamic corpus callosum. And if we individually and globally might press on to our own knowledge, which this website seeks to document, what wondrous, saving witness might appear for we peoples altogether?
Evidence for interregional structural asymmetries has been previously reported for brain anatomic regions supporting well-described functional lateralization. Here, we aimed to investigate whether the two brain hemispheres demonstrate dissimilar general structural attributes implying different principles on information flow management. Common left hemisphere/right hemisphere structural network properties are estimated and compared for right-handed healthy human subjects and a nonhuman primate, by means of 3 different diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging fiber tractography algorithms and a graph theory framework. In both the human and the nonhuman primate, the data support the conclusion that, in terms of the graph framework, the right hemisphere is significantly more efficient and interconnected than the left hemisphere, whereas the left hemisphere presents more central or indispensable regions for the whole-brain structural network than the right hemisphere. From our point of view, in terms of functional principles, this pattern could be related with the fact that the left hemisphere has a leading role for highly demanding specific process, such as language and motor actions, which may require dedicated specialized networks, whereas the right hemisphere has a leading role for more general process, such as integration tasks, which may require a more general level of interconnection. (Abstract, 56)
Ivry, Richard and Lynn Robertson. The Two Sides of Perception. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998. Three decades of theory and experiment affirms a holistic propensity for the right brain hemisphere and a discrete, narrower focus in the left. With regard to connecting dots, the right side glimpses the whole but misses its necessary points while the left notes all the separate dots with no idea that they make up an image.
Kahneman, Daniel. Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011. The emeritus Princeton University behavioral psychologist and 2002 Nobel laureate in economics offers a popular, chatty exposition of the dual process school of thought as due to Seymour Epstein, Jonathan Evans (search) and others.
In recent years an exciting body of work has emerged from various quarters devoted to exploring the idea that there is a fundamental duality in the human mind. (1) Typically, one of the processes is characterized as fast, effortless, automatic, nonconscious, inflexible, heavily contextualized, and undemanding of working memory, and the other as slow, effortful, controlled, conscious, flexible, decontextualized, and demanding of working memory. (1)
Keenan, Julian. The Face in the Mirror. New York: Harper Collins, 2003. A neuroscientist expands upon Gordon Gallup’s mirror recognition test as a measure of self-identity by adding neuro-imaging studies along with other recent findings. From this synthesis the conclusion is drawn that the right brain, rather than of minor account, is the seat of self-awareness and consciousness. The condition of autism whence a child is unable to develop a “Theory of Mind” that other persons have their own thoughts is then attributed to an absence of this faculty. Keenan goes on to propose a recapitulation between the ontogeny of how a child’s motor skills and cognitive abilities such as the 2nd year onset of self-recognition develop and the evolutionary phylogeny of their acquisition by primates, hominids and human beings.
Kokis, Judith, et al. Heuristic and Analytical Processing. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 83/1, 2002. Studies of the “dual-process model” of distinct heuristic (holistic) or analytical (serial, discrete) cognitive styles with regard to their sequential appearance in children appear to confirm this hypothesis. Although the twin faculties are not equated with brain hemispheres their alignment with right and left is evident.
Thus, it is assumed in dual-process theories that the heuristic system is an older evolutionary product. A corollary of this assumption is that the heuristic system is also ontogenetically earlier developing – and that the analytic system is both a phylogenetically and ontogenetically later developing system. (27-28)
Kong, Xiang-Zhen, et al. Mapping Cortical Brain Asymmetry in 17,141 Healthy Individuals Worldwide via the ENIGMA Consortium. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 115/E5154, 2018. A report from this newly formed European, American, and global collaboration (see second quote) which stands as the most comprehensive neuroimaging study of human cerebral asymmetric hemispheres to date. While the emphasis has been mainly on brain anatomies, the complementary archetypes of linguistic detail and contextual field complements remain broadly constant.
Hemispheric asymmetry is a cardinal feature of human brain organization. Here, the ENIGMA (Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) Consortium presents the largest-ever analysis of cerebral cortical asymmetry and its variability across individuals. Cortical thickness and surface area were assessed in MRI scans of 17,141 healthy individuals from 99 datasets worldwide. Results revealed widespread asymmetries at both hemispheric and regional levels, with a generally thicker cortex but smaller surface area in the left hemisphere relative to the right. The structural asymmetries identified and their variabilities and heritability provide a reference resource for future studies on the genetic basis of brain asymmetry and altered laterality in cognitive, neurological, and psychiatric disorders. (Abstract)