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Mental Representations and the mind-brain relationship

Assessment Description

The strong dualism position of Descartes suggests that the mind is fully separate from the brain, and that, therefore, there may be no detectable manifestation of representations in the brain. What some note as manifestations are called traces, and their existence has been argued over time. Brain scans suggest that nothing we remember can be physically pinpointed in the brain and that there is no geometrical location for the meaning of the word “baby,” nor is there a pinpoint location for the image of a baseball. Yet, fMRI scans note changes in the brain when an individual is memorizing new words. However, the changes are gross, smeared images with no pinpointing, relative to the scale of neurons or small groups of them. In this assignment, you will make a statement on whether the mind and brain are fully separate or whether they are one entity.

General Requirements:

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Use the following information to ensure successful completion of the assignment:

  • This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
  • Doctoral learners are required to use APA style for their writing assignments. The APA Style Guide is located in the Student Success Center.
  • Refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for specific guidelines related to doctoral level writing. The Manual contains essential information on manuscript structure and content, clear and concise writing, and academic grammar and usage.
  • This assignment requires that at least two additional scholarly research sources related to this topic, and at least one in-text citation from each source be included.
  • You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.

Directions:

Write an essay (2,000-2,500 words) in which you make a statement and provide support for whether the mind and brain are fully separate or whether they are one entity.

  1. Compare differing conceptualizations of the mind and how the mind is studied.
  2. Address the influence of internal and environmental conditions on what is recalled from certain kinds of memory/representations (e.g., things remembered rote, such as one’s phone number vs. interpreted things like a mother’s affect last time she was seen).
  3. Determine the necessity for a one-to-one correspondence between a specific representation in the mind and a physico-chemical condition in some specific neurons/synapses in the associated brain.
  4. Analyze fundamental differences between representations from: (a) Visual stimuli vs. those from speech stimuli; (b) Experienced stimuli (instantiated; things that happened externally, the last pizza you ate) vs. imagined stimuli (uninstantiated; anticipating-imagining something for dinner that you’ve never had before).

 

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