Mental Architecture v1.4

Part Of: [Mental Architecture] project
Followup To: [Mental Architecture v1.3]


Less of a jump than v1.3, but still a worthwhile place to “save my work”.  Significant new features include:

  • Consolidation Of Working Memory
  • Improved Sensory Specificity
  • A Home For Emotional Processing
  • Explicit Brain Architecture

Consolidation Of Working Memory

Adopts the Alternative View, contra the “Standard Model”, as put forward by Postle (2006) Working Memory As An Emergent Property of the Mind and Brain. Abolishes the Visuo-spatial Sketchpad and the Phonological Loop and replaces it w/ the contents of perceptual memory (and semantic memory, etc).

Improved Sensory Specificity

Reintroduces some of the sensory details already present in Mental Architecture v1.0, and adds a few organizing distinctions (e.g., exteroceptive vs interoceptive)

A Home For Emotional Processing

For months, my Emotion Generator module has lacked a comfortable home. Now, following Damasio’s gesture at homeostasis, I finally have a home for the “big six” emotions (Anger, Disgust, Fear, Joy, Sadness, Surprise). Specifically, I conjecture that these emotions are produced in topographic map located in the middle of a processing stream, whose data flows from interoceptive (e.g., hormonal) sense organs.

Explicit Brain Architecture

  • The Vision processing stream starts with Area V1 at the back of the head.
  • The Audio processing stream includes six tonotopic maps within the primary auditory cortex.
  • The Temporal Indexing module, which serves episodic memory creation, is performed by the hippocampus.
  • The Salience Attention modules comprises the bottom-up attention network.
  • The Directed Attention module comprises the top-down attention network.
  • The Central Executive module is housed in the pre-frontal cortex (PFC).
  • The Embodied Self is the Sensory Neuromatrix which is the cortical homunculus.
  • The Action Instigator module is modulated by the direct & indirect pathways of the basal ganglia.
  • The Action Engine is the Motor Neuromatrix which is the primary motor cortex.
  • The Action Evaluator is the premotor cortex.
  • The Action Planner module is the Supplementary Motor Area (SMA).
  • The Pavlovian Conditioning module is the posterior parietal cortex.
  • The Agent Detector module includes the Face Detection submodule which is operated by part of the fusiform gyrus.
  • The Favoritism Engine module is partially mediated by oxytocin.


Module Changelog

  • Removal: the Sensory Slave Modules modules b/c these are none other than perceptual systems.
  • Removal: the Modality Integration module from episodic memory, as this ability is provided by the two attentional networks.
  • Edit: relocating the Emotion Generators module from episodic memory & into interoceptive sensory processing.
  • Addition: Reflex Conditioning modules which bypassing knowledge queries en route to making hurried decisions.
  • Addition: Homeostasis Regulator modules which drive the brain’s endocrine system output.
  • Addition: a Body Ownership module within the sensory neuromatrix. The thing responsible for e.g., the rubber hand illusion.

Open Tasks

  • Incorporate Feature Integration Theory.
  • Incorporate the Somatic Marker Hypothesis.

Open Questions

  • What are the implementation details of semantic memory “files”, and frame memory “folders”?
  • Is lexical memory distinct from semantic memory?

Frustratingly Unaddressed Human Explananda

  • Music
  • Humor

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