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
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