Decentering Cognition

AbstractThe neocortex figures importantly in human cognition, but it is not the only locus of cognitive activities or even at the top of a hierarchy of cognitive processing areas in the central nervous system. Moreover, the form of information processing employed in the neocortex is not representative of information processing elsewhere in the nervous system. In this paper, we articulate and argue against cortico-centrism in cognitive science, contending instead that the nervous system constitutes a heterarchical network of diverse types of information processing systems. To press this perspective, we examine neural information processing in both non-vertebrates and vertebrates, including examples of cognitive processing in the vertebrate hypothalamus and basal ganglia.

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