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Conceptual coordination bridges information processing and neurophysiology

By William Clancey


Information processing theories of memory and skills can be reformulated in terms of how categories are physically and temporally related, a process called conceptual coordination. Dreaming can then be understood as a story understanding process in which two mechanisms found in everyday comprehension are missing: conceiving sequences (chunking categories in time as a higher-order categorization) and coordinating across modalities (e.g., relating the sound of a word and the image of its meaning). On this basis, we can readily identify isomorphisms between dream phenomenology and neurophysiology, and explain the function of dreaming as facilitating future coordination of sequential, cross-modal categorization (i.e., REM sleep lowers activation thresholds, “unlearning”)

Topics: Behavioral & Brain Sciences, Cognitive Psychology, Neuropsychology
Year: 2000
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