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History of Cognitive Neuroscience

M. R. Bennett, P. M. S. Hacker

ISBN: 978-1-118-39429-8 August 2012 Wiley-Blackwell 332 Pages



History of Cognitive Neuroscience documents the major neuroscientific experiments and theories over the last century and a half in the domain of cognitive neuroscience, and evaluates the cogency of the conclusions that have been drawn from them.
  • Provides a companion work to the highly acclaimed Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience - combining scientific detail with philosophical insights
  • Views the evolution of brain science through the lens of its principal figures and experiments
  • Addresses philosophical criticism of Bennett and Hacker's previous book
  • Accompanied by more than 100 illustrations
Cognitive Neuroscience: A Conceptual Analysis.

List of Figures.

List of Plates.

Foreword by Sir Anthony Kenny.



1. Perceptions, Sensations and Cortical Function: Helmholtz to Singer.

1.1 Visual Illusions and their interpretation by cognitive scientists.

1.12 Misdescription of visual illusions by cognitive scientists.

1.2 Gestalt Laws of Vision.

1.3 Split brain-commissurotomy; the two hemispheres may operate independently.

1.31 Misdescription of the results of commissurotomy.

1.32 Explaining the discoveries derived from commissurotomies.

1.4 Specificity of cortical neurons.

1.41 Cardinal cells.

1.42 Misdescription of experiments leading to the concept of cardinal cells.

1.5 Multiple pathways connecting visual cortical modules.

1.6 Mental Images and Representations.

1.61 Misconceptions about images and representations.

1.62 Correcting misdescriptions.

1.7 What and Where pathways in object recognition and maps.

1.8 Misuse of the term 'maps'.

1.9 The binding problem and 40 Hz oscillations.

1.91 Misconceptions concerning the existence of a binding problem.

1.92 On the appropriate interpretation of synchronicity of neuronal firing in visual cortex.

1.10 Images and imagining.

1.101 Misconceptions concerning images and imagining.

2. Attention. Awareness and Cortical Function: Helmholtz to Raichle.

2.1 The concept of attention.

2.2 Psychophysics of attention.

2.3 Neuroscience of attention.

2.31Arousal and attention2.32 Selective attention 2.4 Attention related to brain structures.

2.41 Superior colliculus.

2.42 Parietal cortex2.43 Visual cortex 2.44 Auditory cortex 2.5 Conclusion.

3. Memory and Cortical Function: Milner to Kandel.

3.1 Memory.

3.11 The hippocampus is required for memory, which decays at two different rates.

3.12 Memory is of two kinds: declarative and non – declarative.

3.13 Cellular and molecular studies of non – declarative memory in invertebrates.

3.14 Declarative memory and the hippocampus.

3.15 Long – term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission in the hippocampus.

3.16 Cellular and molecular mechanisms of declarative memory in the hippocampus.

3.2 Memory and knowledge.

3.21 Memory.

3.22 Memory and storage.

3.3 The contribution of neuroscience to understanding memory.

4. Language and Cortical Function: Wernicke to Levelt.

4.1 Introduction: psycholinguistics and the neuroanatomy of language.

4.2 The theory of Wernicke/Lichtheim.

4.21 Introduction: Wernicke.

4.211 Images of sensations.

4.212 Movement images.

4.213 Voluntary movement.

4.214 Sound images and language.

4.215 Language acquisition, words and concepts.

4.22 Lichtheim’s concept centre.

4.23 Concepts and representations.

4.24 Conclusion.

4.3 The mental dictionary and its units: Treisman.

4.4 The modular study of word recognition and reading aloud: Morton.

4.41 The model system.

4.42 The cognitive system.

4.43 Thought units.

4.44 Computational studies.

4.5 The modular study of fluent speech: Levelt.

4.51 The model study.

4.52 Development of the model system.

4.6 The functional neuroanatomy of language comprehension4.61 During attention to visual compared with semantic aspects of words.

4.62 During auditory compared with visual presentation of words.

4.63 During attention to the semantic as compared to the syntactic aspect of a sentence.

4.7 The functional neuroanatomy of speech.

4.71 During speech.

4.72 During spoken action words and colour words.

4.73 During naming animals and tools.

4.74 During speaking with strings of words compared with single words.

4.75 During word repetition.

4.76 During naming items semantically associated with a reference item.

4.8. The functional neuroanatomy that underpins psycholinguistic accounts of language.

5. Emotion and Cortical-Subcortical Function: Darwin to Damasio.

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 Darwin.

5.3 Cognitive versus precognitive theories for the expression of emotions.

5.31 On physiological measurements of emotional responses.

5.32 Involvement of the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex in the emotional responses to faces.

5.4 The amygdala.

5.41 Faces expressing different emotions and the amygdala: fMRI.

5.42 Behavioural studies involving face recognition following damage to the amygdala.

5.43 Fear conditioning and the amygdala.

5.44 Is cognitive appraisal an important ingredient in emotional experience? Le Doux's interpretations of his experiments on the amygdala.

5.45 'Fear' is unrepresentative of the emotions.

5.5 The orbitofrontal cortex.

5.51 Behavioural studies involving face recognition following damage to the orbitofrontal cortex.

5.52 Orbitofrontal cortex and face recognition: PET and fMRI.

5.53 Orbitofrontal cortex and the satisfying of appetites. Rolls's interpretation of his experiments on the orbitofrontal cortex.

5.54 Misconceptions about emotions and appetites.

5.6 Neural networks : amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex in vision.

5.61 Amygdala.

5.62 Orbitofrontal cortex.

5.7 The origins of emotional experience.

5.71 The claims of Le Doux.

5.72 The claims of Rolls.

5.73 The claims of Damasio following James.

5.74Misconceptions concerning the somatic marker hypothesis of James/Damasio.

6. Motor Action and Cortical-Spinal Cord Function: Galen to Broca and Sherrington.

6.1 The Ventricular Doctrine, from Galen to Descartes.

6.1.1 Galen: motor and sensory centres.

6.1.2 Galen: the functional localization of the rational soul in the anterior ventricles.

6.1.3 Nemesius: the attribution of all mental functions to the ventricles.

6.1.4 One thousand years of the ventricular doctrine.

6.1.5 Fernel: the origins of neurophysiology.

6.1.6 Descartes.

6.2 The Cortical Doctrine: from Willis to du Petit.

6.2.1 Thomas Willis: the origins of psychological functions in the cortex.

6.2.2 The cortex 100 years after Willis.

6.3 The Spinal Soul, the Spinal Sensorium Commune, and the Idea of a Reflex.

6.3.1 The spinal cord can operate independently of the enkephalon.

6.3.2 Bell and Magendie: the identifi cation of sensory and motor spinal nerves.

6.3.3 Marshall Hall: isolating sensation from sense-reaction in the spinal cord.

6.3.4 Elaboration of the conception of the ‘true spinal marrow’.

6.3.5 Implications of the conception of a refl ex for the function of the cortex.

6.4 The Localization of Function in the Cortex.

6.4.1 Broca: the cortical area for language.

6.4.2 Fritsch and Hitzig: the motor cortex.

6.4.3 Electrical phenomena in the cortex support the idea of a motor cortex.

6.5 Charles Scott Sherrington: The Integrative Action of Synapses in the Spinal Cord and Cortex.

6.5.1 Integrative action in the spinal cord.

6.5.2 The motor cortex.

7. Conceptual Presuppositions of Cognitive Neuroscience.

7.1 Conceptual elucidation.

7.2 Two paradigms – Aristotle and Descartes.

7.3 Aristotle’s principle and the mereological fallacy.

7.4 Is the mereological fallacy really mereological?.

7.5 The rationale of the mereological principle.

7.51 Consciousness.

7.52 Knowledge.

7.53 Perception.

7.6 The location of psychological attributes.

7.7 Linguistic anthropology, auto-anthropology, metaphor and extending usage.

7.8 Qualia.

7.9 Enskulled brains.

7.10 Cognitive neuroscience.



  • Provides a companion work to the highly acclaimed Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience - combining scientific detail with philosophical insights
  • Views the evolution of brain science through the lens of its principal figures and experiments
  • Addresses philosophical criticism of Bennett and Hacker's previous book
  • Accompanied by more than 100 illustrations