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More ecological theory please

Articulatory gestures? Dynamical information? Specificity of information
and meaning? Ecological constraints on a viable theory of meaning?
HELLO???? I applaud Bill Noble's large-scale promotion of Gibsonian
thinking, but really, it is the only way to make sense of the senses. Mr.
Brain? Ms. Cochlea? Sounds like a Woody Allen movie to moi!

Anybody out there studying direct perception, ecological psych, and
articulatory gestures, esp. wrt hand gestures and the evolution of
language. If so, let's talk. I am fairly new to this list so apologies. And

I applaud your graphic dialog between brain and cochlea. What this
discussion does is to expose further the need for an operational system
anlysis that predicts how the brain could guide survival based on
fundamental requirements and constraints.  The object is to rationalize how
waveshape information could be related to the meaning that is needed to
make the survival decisions.
  The basic error in current thinking is, in my view, in trying to find a
purely mathematical basis (a representation or a code) that applies to
understanding the process of selecting what is important in a signal
ensemble.  The existence of mathematical "information" does not directly
relate to meaning.  And meaning is what determines survival, which is what
Mr. Brain's job is. In carrying out this process, there appears to be no
deterministic way to "calculate" meaning.  And meaning is what Mr. Brain
uses to decide at at any point in time which part of Mr. Cochlea's
information is useful and which part to ignore.  (I said ignore, not
discard, because contrary to Ellis's view, we're speaking of attention and
awareness.  Mr. Brain can't survive without having awareness simultaneously
with attention.)
  The task for CASA, then, is to implement a computational algorithm that
can somehow represent the perception of meaning.  I happen to believe that
such an algorithm is attainable, at least in rudimentary or specialized
form. (For example, the quantifying of human emotion is being explored in
bimodal speech analysis, as described in the current issue of the Signal
Processing Magazine.)  But finding the correct approach must begin by
responding to Seebeck's admonition to Ohm and von Helmholtz to understand
what the ear hears before imposing an arbitrary theory on the process.
   By the way, I have added to my Web site a paper describing how my
zero-based particulate algorithm might be used in a cochlear implant.  It
might shed some light on the existence of a suitable temporal cochlear

   -John Bates
    Time/Space Systems
    Pleasantville, NY 10570


Paul Treffner, PhD
School of Physiotherapy & Exercise Science
Motor Coordination & Dynamics Laboratory
Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus
PMB 50, Gold Coast Mail Centre
QLD 9726, Australia
tel. +61 7 5552 948215
fax: +61 7 5552 8674