Category Archives: Philosophy

Refining the Definition of Automatic Speech in the Three Structure Model – Part 4. Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 16

reviseddescriptionofspeechinthreestructuremodel

In previous posts, we’ve looked at Automatic Speech in the three structure model. Just to summarise automatic speech is absolute unconscious activity. The neural activity that results in automatic speech can never result in conscious experience. I wanted to introduce another concept into the discussion – that of choice. In the previous post we looked at fMRI data with superimposed audio showing how speech is produced in real time.

The example was used in a thought experiment to show how each component of speech could at a sufficiently slow rate result from a conscious decision. Therefore in moving forwards my proposal is that automatic speech is that speech beyond conscious control, where the decision to initiate that component of speech is irreversible. By corollary conscious speech components retain an element of reversibility – the final speech output whilst conceived, does not have to take place. Transient conscious activity exists in two forms – with and without choice.

Looking at speech in this way also allows generalisation to upstream parts of the model. Instead of talking about speech we can talk about conscious experience, transient conscious activity and absolute unconscious activity in relation to decision making. If it is valid to use induction then we can say that conscious experience allows the individual to retain choice about actions, transient conscious activity is intermediate – in its essential form choice is removed. However the neural structures underpinning transient conscious activity are capable of manifesting conscious experience and are thereby capable of choice.

Choice/decision making here links in with locus of control and volition/will. The model values the individual actor rather than the elaborate reflexes of behaviourism or the reductionism of biological determinism or some combination thereof. That is not to say that such models are mutually exclusive for it is entirely possible that the intuitive appeal of volition can be expressed in terms of the other models in a way that retains the essence of each.

Appendix – Related Resources on the TAWOP Site

In Support of Method

A Review of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions

An Interpretation of Scientific Revolutions

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 1

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 2

Integration in Neuroscience:A Core Problem – Part 3

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 4: A Language for Mind and Brain?

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 5: A Three Structure Model

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 6: Reflection on the Three Structure Model

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 7: The Unconscious in the Three Structure Model

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 8

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 9

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 10

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 11

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 12

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Automatic Speech in the Three Structure Model – Part 3. Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 15

reviseddescriptionofspeechinthreestructuremodel

In the previous post, we looked more closely at automatic speech with some video examples. Just returning to one of these examples have a look at the clip below.

In the three structure model, automatic speech represents the final common pathway through which speech is actuated. The final common pathway is the electrical activity occurring in the nerves (mostly cranial nerves) that actuate the muscles of speech. It is assumed that this activity is entirely unconscious and is in no way capable of being conscious activity.

If you watch the clip repeatedly and very carefully it becomes clear that unsurprisingly the tongue plays a central role in speech production. Some of the actions that are seen are

1. Mouth opening

2. Lips pursing to articulate sounds

3. Tongue depressing

4. Tongue moving up to touch hard palate

5. Tongue touching soft palate and closing nasopharyngeal air space

If we assemble some of these actions to reproduce the actions at the beginning of the video it would read something like as follows

1. Open Mouth by lowering jaw

2. Depress tongue

3. Push lips together

4. Lift tongue to touch hard palate

5. Move tongue rapidly down

6. Move tongue to soft palate to close off nasopharynx

Whilst this is going on there are two other things happening

1. The force of air expulsion from the lungs is being controlled by the muscles of respiration

2. The vocal cords are being relaxed and contracted whilst the lung air expulsion is vibrating the vocal cords

The combination of all of this results in speech. From the multiple steps above it seems entirely unlikely that conscious or at least potentially conscious activity (i.e. transient unconscious activity) is not playing a central role in the transition from one step to another of this process.

In other words it is highly unlikely that the brain sends a signal to the muscles associated with speech and then sits passively by while all of the actions above take place. It is most likely that the conscious/transient unconscious activity intervenes in each transition.

So for instance you would be able to speak very slowly. In so doing you would exert a clear and conscious control over actions. You could lower your jaw and be absolutely certain that you are consciously in control of this action. You could purse your lips and be similarly confident that you are in conscious control of this action. You could touch the roof of the mouth with your tongue and again be confident that you are in conscious control of this action. By definition such actions are not absolute unconscious activity but conscious/transient conscious activity.

This means that the place for absolute unconscious activity takes a more peripheral role in speech. It becomes much less relevant and probably applies to the last few milliseconds of the signals moving from primary cortex to effector nerves.

If this is correct it would mean that this is recipricocity between streams of conscious speech commands and brief bursts of ‘reflexive’ automatic speech. This much is clear from the above thought experiment but it is also relevant to some of the theoretical knowledge about corticospinal pathways and also their relation to the Cerebellum which is closely involved in the monitoring of motor activities.

Appendix – Related Resources on the TAWOP Site

In Support of Method

A Review of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions

An Interpretation of Scientific Revolutions

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 1

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 2

Integration in Neuroscience:A Core Problem – Part 3

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 4: A Language for Mind and Brain?

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 5: A Three Structure Model

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 6: Reflection on the Three Structure Model

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 7: The Unconscious in the Three Structure Model

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 8

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 9

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 10

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 11

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 12

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Automatic Speech in the Three Structure Model – Part 2. Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 14 (Updated 15.8.13)

reviseddescriptionofspeechinthreestructuremodel

In looking at the Automatic Speech component of this model it is useful to get a feel for what speech looks like. We often hear ourselves or other people speaking without having much of an idea of how the muscles move during speech. The two videos below outline some of the mechanics of speech.

Notice the movement of the tongue, lips and soft palate during speech in the videos above. From this it can be seen that speech must consist of well demarcated sets of motor commands to the different structures in a coordinated manner. In this way it is unlikely that automatic speech according to the definition in the three structure model lasts longer than a syllable or single word.

Appendix 1

The Three Structure Model is a model of conscious and unconscious experience which incorporates speech and language. The main aim of the model is to develop a ‘tool’ to help describe consciousness

Appendix 2 – Related Resources on the TAWOP Site

In Support of Method

A Review of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions

An Interpretation of Scientific Revolutions

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 1

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 2

Integration in Neuroscience:A Core Problem – Part 3

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 4: A Language for Mind and Brain?

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 5: A Three Structure Model

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 6: Reflection on the Three Structure Model

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 7: The Unconscious in the Three Structure Model

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 8

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 9

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 10

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 11

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 12

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 13

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Parkour: Can The Principles Be Applied Elsewhere?

Zachary Cohn gives a fascinating talk on Parkour. Parkour is also known as freerunning. I hadn’t heard of it before I came across this talk. Essentially Parkour involves breaking down complex actions into small repeatable parts. Once all of the parts are learnt, the practitioner is able to complete an action which at first seemed unattainable. There is a philosophy behind Parkour which is equally interesting. Cohn explains how Parkour has applications outside of the sport itself.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Animation: Review of the Preface to Thomas Kuhn’s ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’

I made this brief animation around an earlier review of the preface to Thomas Kuhn’s ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ in order to explore the effectiveness of different approaches to communicating science/philosophy of science.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Automatic Speech in the Three Structure Model – Part 1. Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 13

reviseddescriptionofspeechinthreestructuremodel

The Three Structure Model is a model of conscious and unconscious experience which incorporates speech and language. The main aim of the model is to develop a ‘tool’ to help describe consciousness. The diagram above looks a bit messy. The bad news is that it can get even messier. The good news is that it doesn’t have to. The reason for this is that the relationships between the concepts are dynamic and fluid whereas the diagram is an oversimplification of these relationships. There probably isn’t too much too be gained from going into a lot of detail with the arrows. The take home message is that the structures within the model have relationships with each other.

The purpose of this post is to look at the concept of automatic speech a bit more closely and to try to explain how it relates to the other structures. Automatic speech describes the speech arising from absolute unconscious activity. If you recall, absolute unconscious activity can never reach conscious experience. I was thinking along the lines of neuronal activity that happens at a very low level in the nervous system – for example the firing of peripheral sensory nerves. We wouldn’t expect isolated nerves such as the radial nerve to have conscious experience. Conscious experience is generally though to occur at much higher levels of the nervous system and most likely results from the activity of neuronal networks.

Automatic speech in this sense can be thought of as occurring at least at the level of the motor input into the laryngeal muscles and the respiratory muscles. Once the motor instructions pass down the final nerves the instructions are at the point of no return. Regardless of what we might think, we cannot alter that immediate activity that ensues.

VagusNerveThe schematic diagram of the Vagus nerve above shows the Laryngeal branch. A significant proportion of the instructions required for speech will pass through the Vagus nerve and via the Laryngeal branch to the muscles of the Larynx. The concept of automatic speech though can still be challenged. How many nerve impulse are needed to pass through the Vagus nerve to produce a single word? How many nerve impulses are needed to pass through the Vagus nerve to produce a single syllable? If many nerve impulse are required are these impulses generated in the motor cortex – in Broca’s area and related areas? Or does Broca’s area generate high level instructions for lower areas to generate batteries of motor impulses?

The answers to these questions provide us with a possible answer to the question of what the largest unit of speech activity is which when initiated is beyond conscious control.

Appendix – Related Resources on the TAWOP Site

In Support of Method

A Review of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions

An Interpretation of Scientific Revolutions

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 1

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 2

Integration in Neuroscience:A Core Problem – Part 3

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 4: A Language for Mind and Brain?

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 5: A Three Structure Model

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 6: Reflection on the Three Structure Model

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 7: The Unconscious in the Three Structure Model

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 8

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 9

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 10

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 11

Integration in Neuroscience: A Core Problem – Part 12

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Reviewed in 8.5 Minutes

In this video I’ve reviewed Thomas Kuhn’s ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ in just over 8 and a half minutes. There are other reviews on this blog and the YouTube Channel. This is a tricky book to review as it can’t be easily summarised and can be interpreted in many ways. Reviewing the book in 8.5 minutes can therefore be seen to miss the point. However the review does address a number of the themes developed in the book and can be used for those already familiar with the book or as an aid for those intending to read it.

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.