Rationalism, Empiricism, and Creativism

File:Geocentric.jpg

At each time in our development, we have a limited view of the world, a limited horizon, both as individuals and as groups or cultures. Similarly, each organism has, in a sense, a limited world view, a horizon of perception and action defined by its structure[1]. The world view, in turn, is the embodiment of a certain body of knowledge.

In the history of philosophy, we can discern two basic types of views or schools of thought about how knowledge arises. On one side are empiricists who think of the human mind as a blank slate on which experience writes something. On the other side we have rationalists[2], who emphasize the role of pure reason, independent of experience, and typically assume that there must be some pre-existing structure of the mind to make it possible to make any sense of experience. In classical forms of rationalism, this innate structure defines a limited world view as well, and a horizon beyond which we cannot look.

There are obviously processes of perception and thought, and there should be some active part of the mind that does the processing. We might think of this as something like programs. However, in classical rationalist theories, this pre-existing structure of the mind is normally seen as something static.

My own position in these matters is that while there is an active structure at any time, this structure is changing. It is self-modifying and developing. There should be something like an initial version of it that is innate, but this is not a fixed structure, something like a fixed set of laws of thinking or a fixed program. Instead it is just a nucleus of development, a starting point, an initial structure from which we depart. Some of the innate structures might be “switched on” or “ripening” at a time when others have already be changed by learning processes (a process that is going on at least until we finish puberty), so the innate structures might never be there as a complete initial state, but we might still think of it as an initial structure (with some initially dormant parts activated later). The innate developmental nucleus might look different in different people, so that they show different personality structures right from the beginning. However, I think that there are no unchangeable structures of cognition.

So, while in most animals, let alone simpler organisms, the cognitive horizon is fixed or can only change by small amounts, humans are able to move and change, changing their point of view and widening and shifting their horizon. The metaphor of a horizon might be a bit misleading here or must be taken as a simplification, however: we are not only widening or shifting the part of the world we are perceiving but we can completely change the language and concepts used to describe the world and thus the ontology of the world as we perceive it, i.e. its structure and composition in terms of entities that constitute it.

Some parts of the brain seem to have a higher degree of hard wiring, especially parts involved in primary processing of sense data and parts involved in direct control of our muscles. However, even these structures must be trained and can be modified. For example, people who suffer brain damage as children can learn to compensate the loss to some extent, repurposing different parts of the brain.

If the learning processes have such a potential of compensation, evolution cannot even produce the perfectly working logical mind that classical rationalism assumes. As soon as it evolves a developmental nucleus that can be rounded up by creative learning processes, evolutionary pressure would stop, at least if children are protected inside their community and are therefore not forced to function perfectly immediately after birth. If plasticity opens up new adaptive possibilities, evolution might even remove specialized structures. So the main thing that might have happened in human evolution might not be the development of new modules of cognition for novel specific types of thinking but instead the development of unspecific, freely “programmable” neuronal networks and the reduction of specialized structures. New types and ways of thinking would then have arisen not by genetic change but by cultural innovation. What we might find is that there where mutations to increase the size of the brain by just producing more unspecialized brain tissue, by increasing the density of neurons or of connectivity between neurons, or other unspecific, general changes increasing freely programmable brain power, e.g. general mechanisms to ease the automation of processes into habits or to ease reflexive analysis of thought processes by some feedback loop. We might find that during evolution towards humans, very little specific, sophisticated structures have arisen and that such specific, specialized structures instead where reduced.

I think that even the developmental nucleus that probably exists in the human child is not a necessary precondition of learning. While Kant, for example, thought that certain structures where necessary preconditions for any acquisition of knowledge, I think that for each more sophisticated developmental core you can start with, a simpler one could be found that could develop into the more sophisticated one in a learning process. However, the simpler such a core is and the less information such systems contain, the less economic or efficient the will tend to be (Kurt Ammon is speaking of a “principle of cognitive economy”[3]). The structures Kant thought to be necessary could be implemented in terms of programs and these programs could be developed in a learning process. However, too simple a starting structure would be too uneconomic in terms of biological evolution. Learning would simply take too long. We can therefore expect some developmental core to be there as a result of evolution, but it will not be a very sophisticated structure. And any cognitive structure it represents could be replaced by a more sophisticated, different one as a result of learning, giving it just a role comparable to scaffolding. But theoretically, we could replace each initial structure with a simpler one. The Core is, in a sense, empty, formless or undifferentiated, as Ammon has noted[4].

This view is certainly neither classical empiricism nor classical rationalism. One could call it empiricist rationalism or, rather rationalistic empiricism. It is the view that there are some (simple) innate structures but that these structures are temporal and are modifiable, perhaps beyond recognition, during learning. In this view, creativity is at the core of cognition. This is the reason I am speaking of “creativistic philosophy” or “creativism”.

In this view, the mind, at any stage, is active, not just a passively recording blank slate, but the active component is changing and the possible changes are not predetermined since the process changing them is itself changing. A complete and exact formal description of these processes is not possible, any such description is incomplete. There are no fixed structures, laws or categories of thought and perception, no fixed, unchangeable ontology, no unreachable thing-in-itself, no horizon that cannot be shifted. There is no fixed knowledge representation language or fixed “mentalese” language of thought (except for neural networks in general or universal programming languages). There are no linguistic universals. There is no Chomskyan fixed structure underlying all language and no fixed “language acquisition device” (instead, I think, there is, if anything, at most a simple developmental nucleus of such a system that is itself modified and extended during the process of language acquisition, but that is a topic for another article). The logical formalisms developed in analytical philosophy and artificial intelligence may be used as partial descriptions of specific aspects, but they are not universal (and consequently, analytic philosophers cannot agree on them and they never stabilize).

This re-programmability means that cognitive psychology cannot be a science in the sense that it is dealing with fixed laws. There are laws of neurology, but just like the electronic parts of a computer don’t tell you much about what the computer is doing, the neurology does not tell you much about what is going on at the psychological level. What the computer is doing depends on the software and what the brain is doing depends on learned structures that incorporate information from the outside world that cannot be derived from the laws of neurology. These learned structures are a result of our biographies and of the histories of the societies and cultures we are embedded into.

One could say that rationalism is appropriate for most animals, if you look at what these animals know and how they arrive at that knowledge. There are, however, some animals whose behavior is partially creative and cultural, including some wales, some birds and some apes. For those animals, rationalism does not fit so well again, and empiricism enters the picture. For human beings, these creative and cultural components of cognition become dominant. Here, there might be a remnant of rationalism in the form of a developmental core of cognition.

However, rationalism in its classical form does not fit the “animal rationale”.

(The picture is from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Geocentric.jpg. It shows a representation of a geocentric world view, as an example of a historic state in the history of ideas, a bunch of knowledge defining a certain world view that was later replaced by a different one.)

__________________________________

[1] See https://creativisticphilosophy.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/world-views-and-evolution/. The views discussed there are connected to the theories of the biologist Jacob von Uexküll, whose theories about the “Umwelt” of animals defined by their structure may be seen as a generalization of Kant’s views on epistemology.

[2] A note for those readers not familiar with philosophical nomenclature:  the word does not derive from “rational” (as opposed to “irrational”) but from the Latin “ratio”. Of course, the term “rational” is in turn derived from “ratio”. So the opposite of “rationalism” in the context of epistemology is not “irrationalism” but “empiricism”.

[3] Ammon, Kurt: “The Automatic Development of Concepts and Methods“, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Hamburg, 1987, p. 77.

[4] Ibid., p. 174-175.

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12 comments

  1. Kant’s categories seem a bit, um, suspiciously architectonic. But I’ve always felt he was onto something, although I, too, would like to get rid of “noumena”.

    I wonder how you feel about Kant’s a priori time and space as unifiers of internal and external experience? Wouldn’t these be necessary for experience? And what about causality as a unifier of a succession of events?

    In these areas I felt Kant really struck gold. I can’t imagine experiencing anything outside of time and space.

    But maybe I’m just too much of a rationalist!

    1. Hi Tina, sorry I have not replyed so far. I did not have much time over the week and not much energy left in the evening. I am going to write a reply over the weekend. 🙂

      1. No worries! It’s a big question, for sure! Looking forward to hearing it.

    2. Thanks for your comment. It was very interesting to think through these matters. My reply has turned out to be a bit lengthy and mybe I will turn it into one or two articles later:

      Basically I would distinguish between human cognition on one hand and knowledge-generating processes in general, of which human beings are a special case.

      Space:
      a) Probably there is an innate representation of space in human beings. Many animals obviously have no difficulty of spatial orientation. Newborn horses can obviously see and walk just after birth. For a newborn monkey or ape, although it is being carried around, not understanding space quite quickly would be dangerous. It cannot afford to learn this the hard way. Trees are simply too high for that. So there has obviously been evolutionary pressure to develop an understanding of space, and some form of it is probably quite old in the evolution of vertebrate animals. There is also no need for this to be given up during the evolution of human beings since space is a rather stable constituent of our physical surrounding. So I think an innate representation of space is probably there.
      b) However, the “hard-wired” structure for the understanding of space is probably not 100% perfect when we are born but requires some training. People born blind in which sight could be restored have, at least initially, difficulties with three-dimensional vision. Babies put things into their mouths (probably an innate behavior) to learn about their shape, and this is probably necessary to learn to see properly. There also seems to be some plasticity in our visual system. People wearing glasses with prisms distorting their vision (e.g. putting it upside down) can learn to adjust to this. Blind people can learn to echolocate, using click sounds produced by the tonge or by an artificial device. They seem to gain image-like perceptions from this. An especially fascinating example is the vOICe system to give blind people a quasi-visual experience through sound (see http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727731.500-sensory-hijack-rewiring-brains-to-see-with-sound.html#.VFCVOfmG-So). Note that in this system, the vertical dimension is mapped on the pitch of sound, with high pitch representing things further up in the visual field. This is an arbitrary choice made by the designers of the system. They could have chosen another code (there is no natural connection between the direction “up” and “high” pitches. In some languages this connection does not exist, e.g. in some African languages, a low-pitch tone is a “big” tone and a high-pitch tone is a “small” tone – which has some logic if you think of the different sizes of sound-generating parts of musical instruments, e.g. xylophones).
      It is true that this system is grafted on top of some brain “hardware” that provides image- and space-perception already (i.e. a “from of intuition” of space is there already and is used in these systems), but the example shows that there is a remarkable degree of plasticity in our sensory system, indicating that it is perhaps not completely hard-wired.
      c) Kant, as far as I understand him, thought that the categories and forms of intuition (space and time) where necessary conditions for the possibility of acquiring knowledge. However, I am looking at such processes as processes of information processing. Such processes can be implemented or modelled in terms of neuronal networks or in terms of programs formulated in some programming language (and I think that neuronal networks have essentially the expressive power of programming languages). Obviously neurons and their connections can be arranged in such a way that they can represent two- and three-dimensional spatial data. Our ability to perceive visual data in a spatial manner and to imagine spatial objects shows this is possible. In the area of computer programming, it is possible to create data structures and programs for their manipulation that can be used to represent spatial information (e.g. in a navigation system for cars or plains). Both the neuron and the programming language as such do not initially contain any representation or concept of space. It is something that can be programmed by means of programming languages or neural networks, without existing in them a priori in any way.
      I have no problem imagining a learning (i.e. self-programming) system that can discover or invent such a structure. The precondition is that the system receives primary sense data that contain some regularity. Imagine a system consisting of a camera and a computer. The camera feeds image data into the computer but the computer does not “know” in advance which pixels are adjacent to each other. If the images projected into the camera are regular (i.e. contain lines moving across the image), a system trying to find order in the data might come up with an unification of the data (i.e. a program or data structure that allows a lot of data to be described in some simple way) in the form of arranging the pixels in two dimensions). This would be a process of learning as the identification of order or patterns, just like any other process where learning can be described as finding some order or structure in data. One could, for example, write an evolutionary algorithm that could do this. The precondition would only be that the input data actually contains some order. If you feed white noise into such a system, it would not be able to discover any order and would only develop chaotic and unstable structures, or no structures at all.
      Likewise, if you feed two pictures into a system that are images of the same scene from two slightly different perspectives, like it happens in binocular vision, the interpretation of what you see as two projections of a three-dimensional object is just a unification of the data, i.e. an invention that allows you to explain the correlation between the left and right view in terms of a single theory (the theory that they are projections of a three-dimensional object). This theory can be expressed in the form of a computer program that generates a three-dimensional description (a data structure that can be expressed as a program) from two two-dimensional pictures. This program can be viewed as a chunk of knowledge (also implementable by means of neurons, as it obviously is in our brains). A system that is able to find regularity in data and construct theories should be able to construct such a piece of knowledge. This “space-theory” allows the system to “explain” a large amount of data in a unified way, actually compressing the total amount of data into a new representation where the data is interpreted as representing a world of three-dimensional objects (instead of two-dimensional pictures or just chaotic pixels). Such a learning process might take a lot of time and it looks like evolution has done that work for us already, but I think it is not fundamentally different from any other learning process where we discover regularities in the world and thus unify many different things into something simpler, compressing the data and thus making them more manageable. Evolution could do it and it can just as well be done by cognition. I think it is feasible to write a computer program that does not contain any a-priory concept of space but is able to develop one from a series of inputs that can be interpreted as pictures of a three-dimensional world. (This, of course, is something that can be practically attempted).
      So generally, the precondition for generating knowledge is just that the data the learning system analyzes contain some regularity. The same kind of “learnability” also holds for “categories” like causality. If it is possible to program these into a neuronal or programming-language-based system, then they can be discovered by some learning system that did not contain them before. What can be implemented can also be constructed or discovered.

      Time

      a) Just like with space, I think it is plausible to assume that we have some innate representations of time, at least for the short-time range of seconds but probably also for long-term memory, although our recall of what came first and what came later is not very exact when it comes to longer intervals of time and some of this might not be innate structures.
      b) I think mental processes are processes of information processing. As such, they are something that is happening in time. In this sense, time is, of course, fundamental. However, this is not the same as having an explicit representation of time. E.g. many computer programs run in time but have no explicit notion of time. Likewise, many biological processes, including processes of information processing in simple animals, happen in time without time being part of the intrinsic world view we could reconstruct for such an organism.
      c) So, not every program one can write and not every neural network on can imagine contains an explicit representation of time. To have a representation of time, you need to be able to store information (what computers and neuronal systems obviously can do) and you need to have a way to assign a sequence to information stored at different times. This is something that can be implemented by means of such information-processing components. It is, therefore, possible, to program an explicit representation of time into a system that did not have it initially. I can, therefore, imagine a system that does not initially have an explicit concept of time developing one. Like with space, this is something that could be practically tried out.

      1. The vOICe system article is interesting. I wonder how it will work out for those blind from birth…the whole idea of being able to ‘see’ with sound is incredible. Hopefully they too will be able to ‘see’ once the experiment is complete.

        What you’re saying seems like an interesting mixture of rationalism and empiricism. There might be a requisite amount of innate space/time, but with input from external data, it can expand or improve, learning from experience.

        I hope you do end up writing an article about this!

  2. Although respectable, the vOICe system is known to require time for scanning the objects, thus it has not been perfected yet. The best examples of human echolocation have occurred with children and young adults, and it was not done with electronic devices. Physiologically speaking now, the first sense humans lose is hearing; and right after that is sight. The last sense we lose is the “kinesthetic” one, that is, the memory of movement. Our sense of movement in “space”, ultimately, is not driven by knowledge or any information stored anywhere. Yes, we use knowledge to communicate, but movement in space is dependent on “proprioception”, the synchronicity between the central and peripheral nervous systems. They may be the “hard wired” systems you refer to in this writing.

    To understand why this, at first, is such a physiological process, is because humans are born with this “proprioception” (from Latin proprius, meaning “one’s own”, “individual” and perception), but it needs the space, or “gravity’ to use it. Thus “kinesthesia” is a key component in muscle memory and hand-eye coordination, and this can improve with training as the child gets older. The initiation of proprioception is the activation of a proprioreceptor “organ”, be it cutaneous or perceptual. The proprioceptive sense is believed to be composed of information from sensory neurons located in the inner ear (motion and orientation) and in the stretch receptors located in the muscles and the joint-supporting ligaments (stance or posture). There are specific nerve receptors for this form of perception termed “proprioreceptors,” just as there are specific receptors for pressure, light, temperature, sound, and other sensory experiences.

    Yet, even when humans are humans, they behave the same way as animals do when developing their nervous systems. Now bring in the language and the culture, and humans develop their behavior further with cognitive development. Motor wise, we are able to move in an environment, but learning occurs at different rates in each individual. The neuroplasticity of the brain is known to decrease with age, nevertheless, with the use of electronic devices, people can and do compensate for some loss. The ability to store information in computers for later retrieval, or reprogram old systems, does not put humans ahead in the learning process. It’s still trial and error, as sciences are, at least for humans. Bats, dolphins and whales sure don’t need a lesson on this, at least to my knowledge.

    1. I agree about the importance of the proprioceptive or kinestetic sense. It is definitely one of our main sorces for our experience of space. This sense or group of senses has long been overlooked in the Western tradition and I think there are three reasons for this:

      1. It is part of our “background” experience, so most of the time, we do not notice it consciously.
      2. The experience is not shared, unlike things we see or hear, so we do normally not talk about it and language about it is underdeveloped.
      3. There is a tradition, starting perhaps with Plato and later the Neo-Platonists, and continuing through the Gnostic religions, and the Christian religion in different forms, to regard the body as something negative, bad, etc. while the senses of sight and hearing were thought to be connected to the soul.

      In some other cultures, on the other hand, the proprioceptive sense has even been developed into a target for art (see my article http://asifoscope.org/2013/11/28/proprioceptive-art/). I think there are learning processes here. When I was learning some African dances (including Adowa, Makossa, and Soukous), my body-perception changed. I would compare this to learning a new type of music. You can perceive and recognize patterns as structures in space and time. Although I have no words for these patterns, they are quasi-concepts, and I could invent words for them. Of course, at the same time I was also learning movement-patterns.

      An interesting observation was that there seems to be a general phenomenon akin to accent in language in the learning of movements. When a child learns a language, it can learn it accent-free. However, as a result of the learning process, the child organizes both the movement of its speech-organs (lips, tongue etc.) and its perception of speech-sounds into a system. At some point, it will lose the flexibility. Perhaps certain processes are integrated into something like programs that are then used in the production or analysis of speech, and the lower level becomes unavailable.

      What I noticed was that this is also happening with respect to other movements. I took dancing classes from a professional dancer from Ghana, together with some other people. I noticed that most of them misperceived the movements of our teacher. They perceived them and reproduced them in terms of movement patterns that did not allow their exact reproduction. These people where dancing and perceiving dance with an accent. For example, there is a movement you can see in many African dances. Look for example at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDdj1CseWzE. The movement you see from second 29 is the basic movement of the Agbadza dance. The German people who tried this together with overlooked the back-and-forth movement of the backbone (holding the backbone stiff) and did not see that the arms where rotating somehow. The resulting movement is practically a back-and-forth-movement of the arms in one plain. It looks completely different but this is how many people (at least here in Germany) perceive this movement. It might be different nowadays since many children see Afro-American dance on TV that has developed out of the West-African dance tradition, so their perception might develop differently.

      In any case, these people had a “movement-accent”. I think it is actually the same phenomenon as with language, and has the same neurological basis. For some reason, I seem to have the ability to perceive the movements on a lower level. I was able to dance in African style in a way that causes many Africans to tell me that I am dancing like an African. I actually dance better than some of them, although there are masters who have reached a level I will never get at. When I started this, I was 23 years old. To become a really good dancer, you have to start as a child (just like great musicians normally start as children).

      What I noticed was that I somehow took my movement patterns apart and reassembled them in a different way. I have spent hundreds of hours watching Africans dance and many hours doing it myself and this has changed the way I move as well as the way I perceive my movements. In some way, I have learnt to move in a more efficient way. The nerves connections going from the brain to the muscles and those going back are “hard wired” but both the movement and the perception of movement is organized in “chunks” or “sensorimotor programs” that are learned, individually different (see http://asifoscope.org/2013/09/13/ear-plugs/) and are also culture-specific (and there seems to be something comparable to the phonemic systems of languages here, maybe not with such a small number of building blocks, but a culture-specific style of movement. I am not sure there has been any scientific work on this (although I have not searched). I think the anti-carnal western tradition has caused the areas of movement and its perception to be under-researched.

      1. Humans, just as animals are already born with proprioception that will develop develop regardless of culture or parenting. It is inborn and relies on gravity rather than time and space. Proprioception is pared with the vestibular system to keep us erect, or climb without falling. As the CNS matures, humans accomplish “feats” according to culture. In the case of African Dances they are attuned to beat and rhythmical patterns and become the artistic sell expression of that culture. Where I am we also have both African and native Antillean dances that are only taught by master African and Taino indian instructors. I am certain these dances help the CNS mature quicker, when compared to westernized human growth and development cultures and theories.

        The western culture, however, has elaborated both gross and fine motor “milestones” or “feats” for children to mature their CNS.
        See my blog: http://toysfrommychildhood.com
        The Age of Discovery is a historical period of European global exploration that started in the early 15th century with the first Portuguese discoveries in the Atlantic archipelagos and Africa, as well as the “discovery” of America by Spain in 1492, which literally destroyed our indigenous Taino culture (which was the original), not to speak of other Central and South American cultures, where they brought slavery and exploitation.

        Later, with the industrial age, the Americas became westernized, as well as European colonies continued to exploit indigenous tribes and replace them with machinery (P.R. by N.A.). Going into an argument as to which culture is healthier, in the long run, is useless. In my blog, I write about western toys, as well as eastern, and I have some tribal ones as well. Of course, I am one that thinks that the African and the indigenous tribes of the Americas were overall healthier cultures. However, I don’t think that I can say that, for example, industrial toys are inferior to tribal or indigenous ones. As well as I cannot say that, for example, Modern Dance theory, cannot evolve new artistic expression without having ever stepped on African territory.

        I had to “immerse” myself in indigenous culture, those ten years I traveled the island selling my work and learned about the Taino culture, which was literally destroyed by the Spanish. Nevertheless, our local craftsmen have been able to preserve much of what has been lost. I invite you to my new blog, and hope you’ll like it. I will also be getting into indigenous musical instruments, perhaps not the African ones, but the Antillean.

  3. The race toward knowledge with industrial design and engineering, along with computer electronics, has put humans in a peculiar position that everything that already exists, must be reinvented again. I’m not saying that what humans have accomplished until now is not useful, or even beautiful. How impressive is to be able to communicate with someone, on the other side of the world, with the radio frequency waves of Wi-Fi, totally free, and be able to see the face of their relatives or coworkers on a computer screen. I can’t deny we are in a mind nurturing epoch, in which people who have the means, can accomplish feats in much lesser time. The marvel of satelites and simultaneous communication can bind humanity in times of disasters, and proceed to attempt to save the human race if such events occurred.

    Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that humans must create “artifacts” in order to compensate for what they do not posses inherently. Humans are known to have five “special” senses: the eyes, smell, taste and the ear, along with balance (vestibular). The are said to be “special” senses, because they have an entire organ devoted to them. The “general” sense is that of touch. It’s not specialized because it uses the skin and viscera. The distinction between “special” and “general” senses is used to classify nerve fibres running to and from the central nervous system. The information from special senses (the main perceptual organs) is carried in special somatic afferents and special visceral afferents. In contrast, the other sense, “touch”, is a “somatic” sense which does not have a specialized organ but comes from all over the body, most noticeably the skin but also the internal organs (such as viscera). Touch includes mechanoreception (pressure, vibration and proprioception), pain (nociception) and heat (thermoception), and such information is carried in general somatic afferents and general visceral afferents.

    “Afferent” refers to afferent neurons (otherwise known as sensory, receptor neurons, and afferent axons), carry nerve impulses from receptors or sense organs toward the central nervous system. Afferent neurons communicate with specialized interneurons. The opposite activity of direction or flow is “efferent” (the response). This relationship, however, works as a unison with the CNS (the brain AND spinal cord).

    Creativity continues to exist, even in the major absence of a vital organ such as an eye or an auditory system. It’s actually present even in people who have the “savant syndrome”. Savant skills, aka “islands of ability” are usually found in one or more of five major areas: art, musical abilities, calendar calculation, mathematics, and spatial skills. It has been confirmed that some savants operate by directly accessing low-level, less-processed information that exists in all human brains but is normally unavailable to conscious awareness. Savants, possibly due to the extreme attention to detail they have as a consequence of enhanced perception or sensory hypersensitivity, have been able to “retrieve” this “low-level” and less-processed information deep inside their brains.

    Lastly, I understand that to be able to see is a legimitate preoccupation with humans, and scientists are struggling each day in the fields of medicine and technology to prevent blindness, or at least alleviate or arrest progressive loss of vision, as well as of hearing. The normal (or expected) deterioration of the senses, however, are proof that the neuroplasticity of the brain decreases with age (or injury), but adults are able to compensate with assistive devices. Children, on the other hand, are able to compensate much quicker because their brains do not have to “re-learn” anything, whereas adults already have a “route” motor memory reserve (the kinesthetic), which is like a motor scheme, which draws them to preserve habits and routines. They can learn, but it has to be incorporated into an already pre-existing schemata in their brain.

  4. Errata: I meant “works as a unison with the “CNS” (central nervous system), not “CNA”.

    1. I have corrected it.

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