Wednesday, May 21, 2008

putting some things together...

we respond to environmental stimuli based on learning history, principles of classical and operant conditioning. these are principles which apply to all organisms that have a nervous system (although this may turn out to not be necessary). allegedly, humans have the most articulated brain on the planet and much of our brain is a replication of other animals with our cerebral cortex being the most recent development. presumably it was with the development of the cerebral cortex (and other physiological features) that permitted speech to occur. of course, speech is nothing more than sound, so this is where the conditioning principles come in to determine what different sounds "mean" -- in relation to consequences paired with different stimuli or consequences that occur after presentation of certain stimuli.

as it is generally agreed that sensations prefigured (and occur developmentally prior to) speech, one wonders if when encountering certain stimuli, the first reaction/response is due to the principles of learning on a sensational level. this seems to account for how there is some evidence that the brain responds before there is any "conscious" effort to do so. this also seems to account for humans not being aware of "why they feel a certain way" and then finding a "reason" for their feelings. the reason found would be influenced by prior learning history, and principles of classical and operant conditioning; in other words, the reason why one feels a certain way is related to the response-generating stimuli if it has been tacted; if not, it is perhaps intraverbal behavior and nothing more.

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