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A book by
William H. Calvin
A Science Masters book, to be available in 12 translations (BasicBooks in the US)
copyright ©1996 by William H. Calvin


Derek Bickerton, Language and Species (University of Chicago Press, 1990).

Derek Bickerton, Language and Human Behavior (University of Washington Press, 1995).

William H. Calvin, The Ascent of Mind: Ice Age Climates and the Evolution of Intelligence (Bantam, 1990). World Wide Web links to most of the author’s books can be found at http://WilliamCalvin.com.

William H. Calvin, The Cerebral Code (MIT Press, 1996).

William H. Calvin and George A. Ojemann, Conversations with Neil’s Brain: The Neural Nature of Thought and Language (Addison-Wesley, 1994).

Paul M. Churchland, The Engine of Reason, the Seat of the Soul (MIT Press, 1995).

Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained. (Little, Brown, 1991).

Daniel C. Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (Simon & Schuster, 1995).

Merlin Donald, Origins of the Modern Mind (Harvard University Press, 1991).

Owen Flanagan, Consciousness Reconsidered (MIT Press, 1992).

James L. Gould and Carol Grant Gould, The Animal Mind (Scientific American Library, 1994).

J. Allan Hobson, The Chemistry of Conscious States: How the Brain Changes its Mind (Little, Brown, 1994).

Nicholas K. Humphrey, Consciousness Regained (Oxford University Press, 1984).

Ray Jackendoff, Patterns in the Mind: Language and Human Nature (Basic Books, 1994).

Marvin Minsky, The Society of Mind (Simon & Schuster, 1986).

Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct (William Morrow & Co, 1994).

Robert J. Richards, Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior (University of Chicago Press, 1987).

Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Roger Lewin, Kanzi: The Ape at the Brink of the Human Mind (John Wiley & Sons, 1994).

Scientific American special issues on the brain (September 1979 and September 1992), “Life in the Universe” (October 1994).


Patricia S. Churchland and Terrance J. Sejnowski, The Computational Brain (MIT Press, 1992).

Pietro Corsi, editor, The Enchanted Loom: Chapters in the History of Neuroscience (Oxford University Press, 1991).

Stanley Finger, Origins of Neuroscience: A History of Explorations into Brain Function (Oxford University Press, 1994).

Richard Gregory, editor, The Oxford Companion to the Mind. (Oxford University Press, 1987).

Euan M. Macphail, The Neuroscience of Animal Intelligence (Columbia University Press, 1993). Intelligence, in the sense used in the present book, is only briefly addressed in the closing pages; it’s mostly about associative learning in simple systems, memory research, and other foundations for intelligence.


1. What to Do Next

1 Savage-Rumbaugh and Lewin (1994), p. 255.

1 Antonio Damasio, Daniel Tranel, “Nouns and verbs are retrieved with differently distributed neural systems.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.) 90:4757-4760 (1993).

2 Intelligence researchers avoid consciousness: of all the authors of the Handbook of Human Intelligence (R. J. Sternberg, editor; Cambridge University Press, 1982), only one even mentions consciousness in passing.

3 La Mettrie and Descartes history from Claudio Pogliano, “Between form and function: A new science of man.” In The Enchanted Loom: Chapters in the History of Neuroscience, edited by Pietro Corsi (Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 144-157 at p. 145.

4 William James 1870s ideas, cited in Richards (1987), pp. 433ff.

5 Pygmy chimpanzees, or bonobos, can be seen in some numbers at the zoos of San Diego, Cincinnati, Frankfurt, Hanover, and Antwerp. In the wild, they live only in one small region of swampy forest, on the equator at 21-22 E longitude, in the Congo River basin of Zaire. They have no protected park land and are an endangered species, despite being behaviorally our closest primate cousins. See chapter 4 of Savage-Rumbaugh and Lewin (1994) and Frans B. M. de Waal, “Bonobo sex and society” Scientific American 272(4):82-88 (March 1995). See the web page http://WilliamCalvin.com/bonobo.html

2. Evolving a Good Guess

8 James L. Gould and Carol Grant Gould, The Animal Mind (Scientific American Library, 1994), pp. 68-70.

9 T. Edward Reed and Arthur R. Jensen, “Conduction velocity in a brain nerve pathway of normal adults correlates with intelligence level,” Intelligence 16:14 (1992).

9 A good summary of IQ and its racial differences, in a statement signed by dozens of the leading researchers, may be found (of all places) in the Wall Street Journal, p.A18 (13 December 1994). See Earl Hunt’s “The role of intelligence in modern society,” American Scientist 83:356-368 (July-August 1995).

10 Barbara L. Finlay and Richard B. Darlington argue, in “Linked regularities in the development and evolution of mammalian brains,” Science 268:1578-1584 (16 June 1995), that if a human ancestor were selected for any nonolfactory capacity requiring more brain space, the brain space for all others would be increased in parallel.

10 A. J. Rockel, R. W. Hiorns, T. P. S. Powell, “The basic uniformity in structure of the neocortex,” Brain 103:221-244 (1980).

11 Bertrand Russell, Philosophy (W. W. Norton & Company, 1927).

11 See the last chapter of Jean Piaget, The Origins of Intelligence in Children (translation of La naissance de l’intelligence chez l’enfant, 1923).

12 H. B. Barlow, in Oxford Companion to the Mind (1987). See also Haneef A. Fatmi and R. W. Young, “A definition of intelligence,” Nature 228:97 (1970): “Intelligence is that faculty of mind by which order is perceived in a situation previously considered disordered.” Note how close this comes to the mathematician’s definition of chaos (finding order among apparent randomness).

12 Infant soothing: Sandra E. Trehub, University of Toronto, personal communication (1995).

12 Donald N. Michael, “Forecasting and planning in an incoherent context,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 36:79-87 (1989).

13 Frans de Waal, Peacemaking among primates (Harvard University Press, 1989).

13 Gould and Gould (1994) p.149.

13 “... slip the bounds of instinct....” is from Gould and Gould (1994) p.70.

14 J. P. Guilford, “Traits of creativity,” in H. H. Anderson, ed., Creativity and its Cultivation (Harper, 1959), pp. 142-161.

15 Chimpanzee understanding of spoken requests vs. symbolic ones: the 1993 videos of Sue Savage-Rumbaugh’s research address these issues. The footage appears in the commonly available BBC and NOVA edits of the original NHK production, usually entitled Kanzi. The researchers also have a privately-circulated videotape of techniques and negative results.

15 Stanley Coren, The Intelligence of Dogs: Canine Consciousness and Capabilities (Free Press, 1994), pp.114-115.

15 Richard Byrne and Andrew Whiten, editors, Machiavellian Intelligence: Social Expertise and the Evolution of Intellect in Monkeys, Apes, and Humans (Oxford University Press, 1988).

17 Kenneth J. W. Craik, The Nature of Explanation (Cambridge University Press, 1943).

17 Birds and hawks: See Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, Ethology (Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1975), pp.87-88.

17 Random elements in music: Brian Eno, personal communication (1995). Disordered sensations not signaling harm but mistakenly perceived as painful: Calvin, The Throwing Madonna (McGraw-Hill, 1983). Perhaps if multiple sclerosis and phantom limb patients became accustomed to heavy metal music, they could learn to love their disordered sensations too! Or at least treat them as not really threatening.

18 Loren Eiseley, The Star Thrower (Times Books, 1978).

19 Neoteny is discussed by Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny (Harvard University Press, 1977), pp. 177 ff., Barry Bogin, Patterns of Human Growth (Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 71, Ashley Montagu, Growing Young (McGraw-Hill, 1981), and F. Harvey Pough, John B. Heiser, and William N. McFarland, Vertebrate Life, 3rd edition (Macmillan, 1989), p. 68. Such shifts in domestication are noted by Coren (1994), pp. 37-41.

19 For the story of the Japanese monkeys, see chapter 3 in my essay book, The Throwing Madonna (McGraw-Hill, 1983).

20 Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic, “Working memory and the mind,” Scientific American 267(3):73-79 (September 1992).

20 The bee navigation story is in Gould and Gould (1994).

20 Jacob Bronowski, The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination (Yale University Press, 1978, transcribed from 1967 lectures), p. 33.

21 “Hunter plotting various approaches....” Much of hunting in carnivores is determined by some simple innate behaviors, such as “encircle the prey” (dogs that herd animals are following this same innate tendency). The big cats clearly do not understand certain principles such as “stay downwind” and may spook their prey in a way that human hunters can avoid. See Coren (1994).

21 “A futurist spinning three scenarios,” see Peter Schwartz, The Art of the Long View (Doubleday, 1991) or Joel Garreau’s magazine article on the Global Business Network in WIRED 2.11 (November 1994).

21 Back in slide rule days, students were actually taught to guess the answer before moving their slipstick. That’s because slide rules don’t give you the order of magnitude: 2.044 at the index mark still needs to be interpreted as .2, 2, 20, 204, and so on. So the student would look through the equation and guess whether the answer ought to be dozens or hundreds or thousands. The advent of hand calculators has eliminated this as a necessary step, but it remains one of the best ways of catching errors. A modern application is mentally estimating prices from exchange rates while traveling abroad.

23 Gould and Gould (1994), p.163

3. Consciousness and the Intellect

24 Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained (Little Brown, 1991), pp. 21-22.

25 Owen Flanagan, Consciousness Reconsidered (MIT Press, 1992). The new mysterians believe that natural phenomena in the brain can account for consciousness but that the subject is terminally mysterious because it is cognitively closed to us; some greater intelligence might be able to understand it all, but not us mere mortals. Placing consciousness, as some do, in some quantum mechanical field that we experience as free will and “mind” is merely replacing one mystery with another; there are no parts and pieces of this explanation that we can recombine to predict the many phenomena (including characteristic mistakes) of conscious experience.

25 Notable exception: John C. Eccles, How the Self Controls Its Brain (Springer Verlag, 1994).

26 William H. Calvin, The Cerebral Symphony: Seashore Reflections on the Structure of Consciousness (Bantam, 1989).

27 Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis (Simon & Schuster, 1994).

Francis Crick and Christof Koch, “The problem of consciousness,” Scientific American 267(3):152-159 (September 1992).

26 Churchland (1995).

29 E. H. Gombrich, Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation (Princeton University Press, 1960), p. 172.

29 A. N. Meltzoff, M. K. Moore, “Imitation of facial and manual gestures by human neonates,” Science 198:75-78 (1977). There are, of course, arguments that some of what seems to be imitation is really just the stimulus releasing an inborn movement pattern, e.g., R. W. Byrne, “The evolution of intelligence,” in Behaviour and Evolution, edited by P. J. B. Slater, T. R. Halliday, Cambridge University Press (1994), pp. 223-265.

29 Elisabetta Visalberghi, M .C. Riviello, A. Blasetti, “Mirror responses in tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella),” Monitore Zoologico Italiano 22:487-556 (1988).

30 Douglas R. Hofstadter, Metamagical Themas (Basic Books, 1985), p. 787.

31 Stratified stability, see Bronowski (1978).

33 William James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology and to Students on Some of Life’s Ideals (H. Holt, 1899), p.159.

34 Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind (Hutchinson, 1949).

36 Preparation for movement as the goal of sensation has long been a theme of neurophysiological thought: see Marc Jennerod, The Brain Machine: The Development of Neurophysiological Thought (Harvard University Press, 1985; translation from Le Cerveau-Machine: Physiologie de la Volonté, 1983). For an important application to robotics, see John McCarthy’s "Making Robots Conscious of their Mental States" at http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/consciousness-submit/consciousness-submit.html.

39 Bickerton (1990), p.86.

4. Evolving Intelligent Animals

40 Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Roger Lewin, Kanzi (Wiley, 1994), p. 260.

40 Proximate and ultimate causation, see Ernst Mayr, The Growth of Biological Thought (Harvard University Press, 1982).

40 Donald R. Griffin, Animal Thinking (Harvard University Press, 1984).

42 Nicholas Humphrey’s book The Inner Eye (Faber and Faber, 1986) is a good exposition on the role of social life in shaping up intelligence.

43 Birute M. F. Galdikas, Reflections of Eden : My Years with the Orangutans of Borneo (Little, Brown, 1995).

43 Sexual selection for language abilities, see William H. Calvin, “The unitary hypothesis: A common neural circuitry for novel manipulations, language, plan-ahead, and throwing?” In Tools, Language, and Cognition in Human Evolution, edited by Kathleen R. Gibson and Tim Ingold (Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 230-250. On the web at http://WilliamCalvin.com/1990s/1993Unitary.htm

44 Nicholas Humphrey, Consciousness Regained (Oxford University Press, 1984), chapter 2.

44 Calvin (1990), chapter 5.

45 John Eliot Allen and Marjorie Burns, Cataclysms on the Columbia (Portland: Timber Press, 1986).

46 Michael H. Field, Brian Huntley, Helmut Müller, “Eemian climate fluctuations observed in a European pollen record,” Nature 371:779-783 (27 October 1994).

Wallace S. Broecker, “Massive iceberg discharges as triggers for global climate change,” Nature 372:421-424 (1 December 1994). And his “Chaotic climate,” Scientific American 273(5):62-69 (November 1995).

W. Dansgaard, S. J. Johnsen, H. B. Clausen, D. Dahl-Jensen, N. S. Gundestrup, C. U. Hammer, C. S. Hvidberg, J. P. Steffensen, A. E. Sveinbjornsdottir, J. Jouzel, G. Bond, “Evidence for general instability of past climate from a 250-kyr ice-core record,” Nature 364:218-221 (15 July 1993).

W. Dansgaard, W. J. C. White, S. J. Johnsen, “The abrupt termination of the Younger Dryas climate event,” Nature 339:532-535 (15 July 1989).

47 The beginning of the ice age at 2.51 million years ago is dated by N. J. Shackleton, J. Backman, H. Zimmerman, D. V. Kent, M. A. Hall, D. G. Roberts, D. Schnitker, J. G. Baldauf, A. Desprairies, R. Homrighausen, P. Huddlestun, J. B. Keene, A. J. Kaltenback, K. A. O. Krumsiek, A. C. Morton, J. W. Murray, and J. Westberg-Smith, “Oxygen isotope calibration of the onset of ice-rafting and history of glaciation in the North Atlantic region.” Nature 307:620-623 (1984).

47 Ice-age astronomical rhythms, see John Imbrie and Katherine P. Imbrie, Ice Ages (Harvard University Press, 1986)

50 Pinker (1994), p. 363.

51 Gordon H. Bower and Daniel G. Morrow, “Mental models in narrative comprehension.” Science 247:44-48 (1990).

Sven Birkerts, The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age (Faber and Faber, 1994), p. 84.

5. Syntax as a Foundation of Intelligence

52 Bickerton (1990), p.157.

53 Oliver Sacks, Seeing Voices (University of California Press, 1989), pp.40-44.

54 Patricia K. Kuhl, Karen A. Williams, Francisco Lacerda, Kenneth N. Stevens, and Bjorn Lindblom, “Linguistic experience alters phonetic perception in infants by 6 months of age,” Science 255:606-608 (31 January 1992).

54 Vervet vocalizations, see Robert M. Seyfarth, “Vocal communication and its relation to language,” in Primate Societies, edited by Barbara M. Smuts, et al, pp. 440-451 (University of Chicago Press, 1986).

55 Bee dance as language: compare Gould & Gould (1994) with Adrian M. Wenner, D. Meade, and L. J. Friesen, “Recruitment, search behavior, and flight ranges of honey bees,” American Zoologist 31(6):768-782 (1991).

55 Bickerton (1990), excerpt at pp.15-16.

55 Stanley Coren, The Intelligence of Dogs: Canine Consciousness and Capabilities (Free Press, 1994), pp.114-115.

56 E. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Jeannine Murphy, Rose A. Sevcik, Karen E. Brakke, Shelley L. Williams, and Duane Rumbaugh, Language Comprehension in Ape and Child (University of Chicago Press, 1993). Monographs of the Society for Research on Child Development 58(3).

57 Savage-Rumbaugh & Lewin (1994), p.60.

57 Ray Jackendoff, Patterns in the Mind: Language and Human Nature (Basic Books, 1994), p.138.

57 “Bonobos inventing rules...,” see Savage-Rumbaugh & Lewin (1994), p. 162.

58 Jackendoff (1994), p.14.

59 Duane M. Rumbaugh (personal communication, 1995).

60 Immigrant’s difficulties were studied by Jacqueline S. Johnson and Elissa L. Newport, “Critical period effects in second language learning: the influence of maturational state on the acquisition of English as a second language,” Cognitive Psychology 21:60-99 (1989).

61 Bickerton (1990), pp. 55-56.

63 Bickerton (1990), pp. 60-61.

63 Bickerton (1990), p. 66.

64 Animal comprehension issue, see Savage-Rumbaugh et al (1993).

65 Savage-Rumbaugh and Lewin (1994), p. 174.

71 Kathryn Morton, “The Story-Telling Animal,” New York Times Book Review, pp.1-2 (23 December 1984).

73 Savage-Rumbaugh and Lewin (1994), p. 264.

73 Bickerton (1990), p.257.

6. Evolution On-The-Fly

74 John Stuart Mill, Auguste Comte and Positivism (1865)

75 Chunking: Herbert A. Simon, Models of Thought (Yale University Press, 1979), p. 41.

75 George A. Miller, “The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information,” Psychological Reviews 63:81-97 (1956).

75 Chunking and short-term memory span, see Philip Lieberman, Uniquely Human: The Evolution of Speech, Thought, and Selfless Behavior (Harvard University Press, 1991), p.82.

77 Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (John Murray, 1859), p.137.

78 Speaking of spitting, it too is ballistic. Exactly the same slow feedback problems occur with speech, on the time scale of many short words: you can’t modify the end of the word if your tongue trips on the first syllable. Words too can be ballistic, when spit out rather than slowly rolled out. The feedback loop from the lip proprioceptors is about 70 msec.

78 The launch window is essentially the permissible range of error for the time of the peak angular velocity (after that, the projectile tends to fly loose of the hand’s grip).

79 “Average-out” in the sense of an ensemble average rather than the usual time average. “Not locked together” means that as long as each neuron’s noise is statistically independent of the noise of the others, it is an independent random source. We’re edging around what is known as the Law of Large Numbers; see, for example, William H. Calvin, “A stone’s throw and its launch window: timing precision and its implications for language and hominid brains,” Journal of Theoretical Biology 104:121-135 (1983). My subsequent book The Ascent of Mind (1990) has the more modern set of arguments for the hypothesis in the later chapters.

80 Charles Darwin, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (John Murray, 1872). Quoted at p. 177 in The Darwin Reader, edited by Mark Ridley (Norton, 1987).

80 “Prefrontal” is a terrible name. What it means, roughly, is the part of the frontal lobe in front of the premotor cortex, i.e., the pre-premotor frontal lobe.

81 Paul J. Eslinger, Antonio R. Damasio, “Severe disturbances of higher cognition after bilateral frontal lobe ablation: patient E.V.R.,” Neurology 35:1731-1741 (1985). For a fuller discussion, see Damasio’s book Descartes’ Error (Putnam’s, 1995).

81 Doreen Kimura, “Sex differences in the brain,” Scientific American 267(3):118-125 (September 1992).

81 George A. Ojemann, “Electrical stimulation and the neurobiology of language,” Behavioral and Brain Science 6:221-226 (1983). And see Calvin and Ojemann (1994).

82 Robert Frost, in Selected Prose of Robert Frost, edited by H. Cox and E. C. Lathem (Collier, 1986), pp. 33-46.

82 The excerpt is from an English translation of Umberto Eco’s back-page column, “La bustina di Minerva,” in the Italian newsweekly Espresso (September 30, 1994).

83 Kenneth J. W. Craik, The Nature of Explanation (Cambridge University Press, 1943), p. 61.

84 The Darwin Machine terminology actually preceded the list of six essentials: William H. Calvin, “The brain as a Darwin Machine,” Nature 330:33-34 (5 November 1987).

84 My six essentials really aren’t much different than the three which Alfred Russel Wallace listed in 1875 (“...the known laws of variation, multiplication, and heredity... have probably sufficed....”); it’s just that I make explicit the pattern, the work space competition, and the environmental biases. See Wallace’s “The limits of natural selection as applied to man,” chapter 10 of Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection (Macmillan, 1875). See also the use of darwinian principles in computation: “genetic algorithms” can be found in John H. Holland, Adaptation in natural and artificial systems (MIT Press, 1992).

86 Musical scale analogy: since neurons aren’t lined up in a row like piano keys, the musical scale analogy isn’t quite right. A readerboard (or computer display pixel about 14x14) is probably closer, the “melody” being envisaged as an animated abstract cartoon that plays on the little screen.

87 Donald O. Hebb, The Organization of Behavior (Wiley, 1949). See Peter M. Milner, “The mind and Donald O. Hebb,” Scientific American 268(1):124-129 (January 1993).

87 Lewis Thomas, The Medusa and the Snail (Viking, 1979), p.154.

88 While long-term potentiation (LTP) was named for a version that lasted many days in the hippocampus, the process in the neocortex seems to last only for about five minutes (see Iriki et al, below), placing LTP squarely in the camp of a short-term memory process. It may, of course, have lingering components that provide the scaffolding for a more permanent change in synaptic strengths via anatomical changes in the number and contact area of boutons.

88 Israel Rosenfield, The Strange, Familiar, and Forgotten: An Anatomy of Consciousness (Knopf, 1992), p. 87.

88 The most impressive spatiotemporal patterns in cerebral cortex are those demonstrated by E. Vaadia, I. Haalman, M. Abeles, H. Bergman, Y. Prut, H. Slovin, A. Aertsen, “Dynamics of neuronal interactions in monkey cortex in relation to behaviourial events,” Nature 373:515-518 (9 February 1995). For an exposition on mass action in nervous systems and the emergence of spatiotemporal patterning, see Walter J. Freeman, Societies of Brains (Erlbaum, 1995).

89 Hobson (1994).

91 Gordon H. Bower and Daniel G. Morrow, “Mental models in narrative comprehension.” Science 247:44-48 (1990).

91 Bickerton (1990), p.249.

7. Shaping Up an Intelligent Act
from Humble Origins

92 Immanuel Kant, Kritik der reinen Verninft (1787).

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Macmillan, 1865).

93 If you are sufficiently comfortable with neurophysiology and cerebral circuitry, you can go on to read my academic book, The Cerebral Code, for more. The background is in William H. Calvin, “Islands in the mind: dynamic subdivisions of association cortex and the emergence of a Darwin Machine,” Seminars in the Neurosciences 3(5):423-433 (1991). William H. Calvin, “The emergence of intelligence,” Scientific American 271(4):100-107 (October 1994; also appears in the Scientific American book Life in the Universe, 1995 — N.B., the hexagons figure is an editorial error; simply ignore it or see the web page http://WilliamCalvin.com/sciamer.html for the unaltered version).

93 This account of cortical neuroanatomy is necessarily brief; a somewhat more extensive account of cells, circuits, neurotransmitters, and computation is in chapter 6 of Calvin & Ojemann (1994).

95 Convergence zones, see Antonio R. Damasio, “Time-locked multiregional retroactivation: a systems-level proposal for the neural substrates of recall and recognition,” Cognition 33:25-62 (1989).

96 This is an abbreviated version of the cortical columns story. See William H. Calvin, “Cortical columns, modules, and Hebbian cell assemblies,” in Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks, M. A. Arbib, ed. (MIT Press, 1995), pp. 269-272.

98 For a pattern to “mean the same thing...”, even though shifted, simply says that it is still capable of copying and engaging in the other processes that eventually lead to the characteristic output pattern, e.g., pronouncing a noun.

100 NMDA is N-methyl-d-aspartate; it’s even better than glutamate at opening these ion channels, even though plain old glutamate is what is used by the synaptic neurotransmission. NMDA was named back in the days when receptor types were thought to be few in number, and they were named for their currently-best agonist. Now there are so many that they’re using serial numbers.

100 Atsushi Iriki, Constantine Pavlides, Asaf Keller, Hiroshi Asanuma, “Long-term potentiation of thalamic input to the motor cortex induced by coactivation of thalamocortical and corticocortical afferents,” Journal of Neurophysiology 65:1435-1441 (1991).

100 Memory classifications, and their thoroughly confusing terminology, are explained in chapter 7 of Calvin and Ojemann (1994).

101 Jennifer S. Lund, Takashi Yoshioka, Jonathan B. Levitt, “Comparison of intrinsic connectivity in different areas of macaque monkey cerebral cortex,” Cerebral Cortex 3:148-162 (March/April 1993).

103 “Input from neighbors....” Actually, not from immediate neighbors but from voices about 16 singers away, on all sides. It would be interesting to study a large chorus with appropriately wired intercoms, For example, your earphone would receive six inputs, mixed from the microphones of just those.

103 David Somers and Nancy Kopell, “Rapid synchronization through fast threshold modulation,” Biological Cybernetics 68:393-407 (1993). And see J. T. Enright, “Temporal precision in circadian systems: a reliable neuronal clock from unreliable components?” Science 209:1542-1544 (1980).

104 Barbara A. McGuire, Charles D. Gilbert, Patricia K. Rivlin, Torsten N. Wiesel, “Targets of horizontal connections in macaque primary visual cortex,” Journal of Comparative Neurology 305:370-392 (1991). Also Charles D. Gilbert, “Circuitry, architecture, and functional dynamics of visual cortex,” Cerebral Cortex 3:373-386 (1993).

105 William H. Calvin, “Error-correcting codes: Coherent hexagonal copying from fuzzy neuroanatomy,” World Congress on Neural Networks 1:101-104 (1993).

107 Making a hexagonal unit pattern from all the triangular arrays: this is true only if the component triangular arrays are parallel to one another. The ones representing colors are, fortunately, anchored in the color blobs and cannot adopt arbitrary orientations.

109 Eugen Herrigel, Zen in the Art of Archery (Pantheon, 1953), pp. 57-58.

114 Melvin Konner, in On Doctoring: Stories, Poems, Essays, edited by Richard Reynolds and John Stone (Simon & Schuster, 1991).

??? The Thoreau quote at p. 138 in the US edition appears in Faith in a Seed : The Dispersion of Seeds and Other Late Natural History Writings by Henry David Thoreau (Bradley P. Dean, editor) (Island Press, 1993), at p. 12.

8. Prospects for a Superhuman Intelligence

115 Charles E. Raven, The Creator Spirit (Harvard University Press, 1928).

116 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria (1817), chapter 14.

117 George Steiner, “Has truth a future?”, Bronowski Memorial Lecture (1978), reprinted in From Creation to Chaos, edited by Bernard Dixon (Basil Blackwell Ltd, 1989).

118 Roger Penrose, Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness (Oxford University Press, 1994), last page. See David L. Wilson’s book review in American Scientist (May-June 1995), pp. 269-270. For further comments by scientists and philosophers, see chapter 14 in John Brockman, editor, The Third Culture (Simon and Schuster, 1995).

118 Picking up on the notions of synchronization for binding the dispersed aspects of the analysis on an object in the brain, some have invoked quantum fields as an explanation for binding. I am led to wonder if this is not a solution in search of a problem. If the consciousness physicists were serious about this proposal, they would examine alternative ways of achieving synchrony — which are legion — and explain why their explanation was preferable to simpler explanations.

118 Discussions of unitary processes can be found in William H. Calvin and Katherine Graubard, “Styles of neuronal computation.” Chapter 29 in: The Neurosciences, Fourth Study Program, edited by F. O. Schmitt and F. G. Worden (MIT Press, 1979), pp.513-524.

118 Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, “Can quantum mechanics explain consciousness?” New York Times, p. B2 (31 October 1994).

119 I coined “Darwin Machine” as a general mechanistic metaphor for darwinian processes that shape up complexity (Nature, 5 November 1987), and indeed Henry Plotkin uses it in that sense in his book on evolutionary epistemology, Darwin Machines (Harvard University Press, 1994). My proposals for cloning competitions in neocortex are just a particular instance of a Darwin Machine.

121 William H. Calvin (1991), ‘The antecedents of consciousness: Evolving the ‘intelligent’ ability to simulate situations and contemplate the consequences of novel courses of action.” In: Bioastronomy: The Exploration Broadens, edited by Jean Heidmann and Michael J. Klein (Springer-Verlag’s Lecture Notes in Physics series), pp. 311-319.

121 Emphasis on up-from-movement: see Jennerod (1985) and, for other brain/body interrelations, Damasio (1994).

123 For some examples of what I mean by dangerous innovation, see some of the discussions of manic-depressive illness such as in Kay Redfield Jamison, Touched with Fire: Manic-depressive illness and the artistic temperament (Free Press, 1993) and her autobiography, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness (Knopf, 1995).

124 Thomas F. Mandel, see links from web page http://WilliamCalvin.com/mandel.html.

123 Stephen Jay Gould, The Flamingo’s Smile (Norton, 1985), p. 431.

124 Marvin Minsky, “Will robots inherit the Earth?” Scientific American 271(4):108-113 (October 1994). And see John McCarthy’s "Making Robots Conscious of their Mental States" at http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/consciousness-submit/consciousness-submit.html.

125 Norbert Wiener, The human use of human beings; cybernetics and society (Houghton Mifflin, 1950).

126 Aldo Leopold, Sand County Almanac (Oxford University Press, 1949), p.190.

126 Peter F. Drucker, “The age of social transformation,” The Atlantic Monthly 274(5):53 (November 1994).

128 Steiner (1978).

129 Paul Colinvaux, The Fates of Nations (Penguin, 1982).

130 Lewis Thomas, The Medusa and the Snail (Viking, 1979), p.175.

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