讲题：Neurodemocracy: self-organized control and embodied cognition
时间：2018/6/13 (Wednesday) 15:10
How does the human mind emerge from distributed brain processes? Classical cognitive science posits central cognitive mechanisms to control and coordinate between perceptual and motor mechanisms. Proponents of embodied cognitive science, skeptical of the existence of central mechanisms, often assume that integrated sensorimotor processes can self-organize in the production of intelligent behaviors. While embodied cognitive scientists reject classical central mechanisms, they have not adequately addressed how self-organized control works.
My paper will contribute to a better conceptual understanding of how self-organized control works. By analyzing the insights of recent neuroscientific models of decision-making and action-selection through the lens of formal social decision theory, I suggest that the basal ganglia, a set of subcortical structures, contribute to the production of coherent and intelligent behaviors through implementing “democratic" procedures”. Unlike the classical architecture’s central system, which is a micro-managing “neural commander-in-chief” constantly privy to all information and controlling other neural mechanisms with rich commands, the basal ganglia are a “central election commission”. They delegate control of habitual behaviors to other distributed control mechanisms. Yet, when complex problems arise, the basal ganglia engage and determine the result on the basis of simple information (the votes) from across the system and the principles of Neuro-Democracy, as well as control other neural mechanisms with simple commands of inhibition and disinhibition. By actively managing and taking advantage of the wisdom-of-the-crowd effect, these democratic processes enhance the intelligence of the mind’s final "collective" decisions.