Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Executive Functioning and Perceiving the World

The brain's executive functioning creates a hierarchy within the brain itself, with the executive functioning at the top, in charge of setting goals and priorities, preventing one from giving in to whatever urges one would otherwise follow. One can think of it as the CEO of the brain. Those with weaker executive functioning are going to have brains with weak or even nonexistent CEOs. Yet, an organization like the body requires at least a weak EF/CEO for the world to make sense to the rest of the brain and for the body to show control from the brain. Unconscious desires get expressed, resulting in socially inappropriate actions. However, conscious moral construction is able to replace EF, or to at least lend it support.

Hayek observed, and this idea is supported by Stuart Kauffman, that complex systems model the world according to their own internal structures. Hierarchically, ordered brains with a strong EF, would see hierarchy everywhere; spontaneously ordered brains with weak EFs would see spontaneous orders everywhere. Each "sees" the world through their own structures.

Network controls are through negative feedback -- this is cybernetic control. The stronger positive feedback is, the more control is lost. If negative feedback is dominant, the person is very controlled, but not very creative; if they are codominant, the person is creative; if positive feedback dominates, they are on the autism spectrum (including ADD/ADHD). If positive feedback dominates, control breaks down and cycles dominate (just like with spontaneous orders).

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