[SydPhil] Reminder: Rirchard Menary, Macquarie @ Wed 30 Apr 2014 15:30 - 17:30 (Seminars)
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Tue Apr 29 15:30:11 AEST 2014
This is a reminder for:
Title: Rirchard Menary, Macquarie
Scaffolding the Cultural Brain: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
How do brains acquire the capacity to recognise and manipulate external
symbols? The proposal of this paper is that the human brain is an open and
adaptive system, which is functionally and structurally plastic (Li 2014,
Menary in press). Cortical functions are modifiable by cultural scaffolds
such as number systems and alphabets. Our brains are, in this sense,
flexible enough to acquire new cultural functions that are not evolutionary
endowments and this is the neural basis of how we acquire control over
external symbol systems. I also address a problem facing an account of the
cultural brain: how do we navigate between the Scylla of innate genetic
constraints on the development of the brain for specialised neural
circuitry and the Charybdis of unconstrained plasticity (Dehaene in press)?
I sketch a model of the development of neural circuitry that underpins
symbolic thinking, allowing for both developmental constraints and learning
driven plasticity in the brain. Developmental pathways that include
environmental scaffolding and learning driven plasticity can lead to
canalisation and robustness.
When: Wed 30 Apr 2014 15:30 - 17:30 Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney
Where: Muniment Room, Quadrangle
* Dalia Nassar- creator
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