Evolved reading
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Evolved reading



Summary
Reading and writing present a conundrum.  The reader's brain contains neural networks tuned to reading.  With imaging a written word can be followed as it progresses from the retina through a functional chain that asks: Are these letters? What do they look like? Are they a word? What does it sound like? How is it pronounced? What does it mean?  Dehaene explains the importance of education in tuning the brain's networks for reading as well as good strategies for teaching reading and countering dyslexia.  But he notes the reading networks developed far too recently to have directly evolved.  And Dehaene asks why humans are unique in developing reading and culture

He explains the cultural engineering that shaped writing to human vision and the exaptations and neuronal structures that enable and constrain reading and culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 


Dehaene's arguments show how cellular, whole animal and cultural complex adaptive system (
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
) are related.  We review his explanations in CAS terms and use his insights to link cultural CAS that emerged based on reading and writing with other levels of CAS from which they emerge

Reading in the Brain
In Stanislas Dehaene's book 'Reading in the Brain' he describes the unconscious mechanisms the brain uses to read and write and how these developed.  

How do we read?
Dehaene first introduces behavioral characteristics of reading.  Later in the brain's letterbox neuronal mechanisms will be associated with the behaviors. 

Dehaene notes that the eye are major sensors in primates, based on opsins deployed in the retina & especially fovea, signalling the visual system: Superior colliculi, Thalamus (LGN), Primary visual cortex; and indirectly the amygdala.  They also signal [social] emotional state to other people.  And they have implicit censorious power with pictures of eyes encouraging people within their view to act more honorably.  Eyes are poor scanners and use a saccade to present detail slowly to the fovea.  The eye's optical structures and retina are supported by RPE.  Eyes do not connect to the brain through the brain stem and so still operate in locked-in syndrome.  Evo-devo shows eyes have deep homology.  High pressure within the eye can result in glaucoma.  Genetic inheritance can result in retinoblastoma.  Age is associated with AMD. 
is a rather poor scanner.  Our gaze centers the retina slightly left of center of words.  Our eyes can only accurately resolve in a small window.  Big letters force the word outside the window.  He explains the fovea is the central part of the retina.  It is the only region that is dense in high-resolution photo receptor cells.  It is the only part of the retina that is useful for reading.  Our eyes are in constant saccades as we read to present text to the fovea. 
is the only region of the eye that can resolve fine print.  So we focus the fovea at the target, explode the resulting signals into detected fragments which are mapped back by the visual processing chain to extract: graphemes is a series of one or more letters that maps onto a phoneme in the target language.  The grapheme 'tt' in 'button' maps to the phoneme 't'.  Dehaene notes that English has an extensive set of:
  • Simple frequently used graphemes including 't', 'k' and 'a'. 
  • Simple but less frequent graphemes including 'b', 'm', 'f'. 
  • Irregular ones including 'i', 'o'. 
  • Complex graphemes including 'un', 'ch', 'ough', 'oi' and 'au.'   The human visual system treats learned graphemes as units.  
, syllables, prefixes, suffixes, and word roots.  The processing chain has two mutually reinforcing parallel routes:
  1. Phonological route during reading associates letters with particular strings of phonemes that are perceived during conscious access. 
    turns letters into speech sounds.  It is useful for learning new word strings, reading chemical formulas etc. 
  2. Lexical route during reading associates word meanings with the representation given conscious access. 
    accesses a mental dictionary of known word meanings.  
The reading process copes well with correcting for the vast variety of surface forms of written text.  It solves the invariance problem in reading is the need to identify words regardless of their specific form.  Our visual system recognizes the aspects of words that do not vary -- the sequence of letters -- whatever the shape of the actual letters presented.  Invariance is an essential characteristic of the inferior temporal lobe. 
.  Word recognition is invariant for character shape.  Various forms of a letter are arbitrary and have to be learned by an abstract letter detector.  Word shape is thus irrelevant. 

Having been trained for years the visual system supports processing of visual data into what and how.  To do this it has two distinct paths: The ventral path and the dorsal path. 
is sensitive to miniscule differences amplifying them and signalling different regions of sensory space.  Every word is processed to build a tree containing:
The mappings from letters to sounds must be learned based on the structures of our brains and our languages.  The goal of writing is to abstractly signal meaning efficiently.  Languages differ in how irregular the sounds of written words are.  English is very irregular.  It takes years to learn to read.  Italian has only one letter per phoneme are the smallest speech units explicitly representing discrete speech sounds.  The phoneme 't' is a part of Tuna, stop and foot. 
.  Reading is learned in months. 

This odd situation reflects the fact that English speech uses short words and has many sounds and similar sounds can mean different things.  By varying the spelling of words and providing lots of vowels and diphthongs written English helps signal the particular meaning efficiently with a small alphabet using letter combinations.  Alternately Italian, by increasing the syllables and or word length maintains a highly regular mapping of letters to sounds and meanings.  Mandarin Chinese uses only one or two syllables for its words but each can refer to dozens of meanings.   Mandarin characters transcribe morphemes are the smallest sub-units of written words that have associated meaning.  Decomposition of a word into its morphemes is an essential step between vision and meaning.  Our visual system unconsciously extracts morphemes of words.  Dehaene explains that after being presented with the word 'departure' the morpheme 'depart' is primed.  He notes a word primes the recognition of other words that share a morpheme but look quite different such as 'can' and 'could'.  Conversely words like aspire and aspirin which look similar but do not share a morpheme do not prime.  Deriving morphemes is of such importance to our reading system that it makes guesses about the decomposition of words.  The resulting parsing errors have to be caught at later stages in the word dissection process.   and add phonetic markers to further clarify how the root is pronounced and what word is intended. 

Various mental dictionaries develop to be huge in size.  An average vocabulary has 100,000 words.  Learning to read develops a large semantic lexicon, phonological lexicon etc. 

Dehaene notes that for experienced readers reading time is not proportional to the number of letters in a word.  Each letter is processed unconsciously in parallel.  And letters are actively decoded.  Errors in the text are corrected by the processing chain improving robustness.  Parallel processing provides context to suggest correct perceptions and top down feedback from grapheme and word detectors favor interpretations compatible with their own. Ambiguities and conflicts in interpretation slow down the processing.  Words that are part of a dense neighborhood can be judged rapidly part of the language.  But to understand or name a word unequivocally can be slowed by the existence of lots of close neighbors. 
The brain's letterbox
Dehaene introduces Joseph-Jules Dejerine who studied patients with Pure Alexia is the selective loss of the visual recognition of letter strings.  Writing is unaffected.  Spoken language is not affected.  The sufferer can still identify letters if their shape is traced out by touch.  Objects, faces and drawings are still recognized.  Numbers are still recognized.  It is caused by lesions in the visual word form area which must provide pathways for specifically reading letters.  There are two types:
  1. Sufferers can't read a single letter. 
  2. Sufferers can recognize individual letters. 
.  These stroke is when brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die.  There are two structural types: Ischemic and hemorrhagic. 
victims could not recognize individual letters or words when attempting to read.  Numbers were still recognized and the sufferers could still write but then could not read what they had written!  Dejerine noted where the strokes had left lesions in the sufferer's brains. 

Modern analysis of these types of lesion with fMRI is functional magnetic resonance imaging.  Seiji Ogawa leveraged the coupling of neuronal circuit activity and blood flow through the associated glial cells to build a 3 dimensional picture of brain cell activity.  As haemoglobin gives up its oxygen to support the neural activity it becomes magnetic and acts as a signal detected by the fMRI.  fMRI easily visualizes the state of activity in the living human brain at millimeter resolution, up to several times a second but it cannot track the time course of neural firing so it is augmented with EEG. 
, once aggregated, indicated visual recognition of letters depends on the letterbox is part of the human visual system.  It is located in the same brain area in all readers.  It responds automatically to written words.  Unconsciously it extracts the identity of a letter string regardless of superficial changes in component letter shape, size or position.  It signals the identities to two major sets of brain areas that encode sound patterns (temporal) and meaning (frontal) lobes. 
region. 
Dejerine assumed the reading system operated as a serial chain: Reading flowing to the occipital pole, then the angular gyrus, Wernicke's area is the posterior part of the superior temporal cortex.  It is involved in the comprehension of spoken or written language.  , Broca's area is the inferior frontal cortex.  It is involved with spoken language.  Lesions have resulted in an inability to speak or write even though language is understood.   and finally the motor cortex to support writing.  Further study reveals that the operation is complex with massive parallel activity: visual analysis, association of roots of words, association of meaning, association of sound patterns, association of motor articulation; with signalling feedback.  And the process operates for Chinese and Japanese readers too. 

The functional operation of reading in the brain was demonstrated by Peterson, Posner & Rachle were the first researchers to visualize which brain areas consume energy when we read.  They used PET to show the functional organization of the language areas of the brain. 
.  Viewing words generated activity in the visual areas at the back of the head and the letterbox region.  Listening to spoken words activated hearing (superior temporal cortex of the cerebral cortex is involved in associating sensory input with comprehending language (TEO), storing new memories, visual memory, emotion and deriving meaning.  The temporal lobe is located bellow the parietal lobe, and between the frontal lobe and occipital lobe. 
) and speech perception (middle temporal cortex of the cerebral cortex is involved in associating sensory input with comprehending language (TEO), storing new memories, visual memory, emotion and deriving meaning.  The temporal lobe is located bellow the parietal lobe, and between the frontal lobe and occipital lobe. 
).  Talking activated Broca's area.  Semantic activity activated the left interior prefrontal cortex (PFC) is
  • The front part of the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex.  It evolved most recently.  During adolescence when the PFC is still deploying, older brain agents provide equivalent strategies: ventral striatum.  The PFC has been implicated in planning, working memory: dorsolateral; decision making: Orbitofrontal cortex; and social behavior.  Different PFC circuits track internal reward driven strategies and externally signalled advice.  The PFC chooses between conflicting options, letting go or restraint, especially between cognition and emotions.  It imposes an overarching strategy for managing working memory.  It is essential for thinking about multiple items with different labels.  It includes neurons that are interested in particular sub-categories: Dog, Cat.  Once it has made a decision it signals the rest of the frontal lobe just behind it.  Glucocorticoids decrease excitability of the PFC.  
.  Only the left occipito-temporal region is anatomically a few centimeters to the front of the occipital pole in the left occipito-temporal area within a groove in the cortical mantle.  This is where the visual recognition of letters occurs so it is also called the brain's letterbox.   was specific to reading. 

Faster modern techniques such as fMRI have corroborated this functional picture.  And Dehaene confirms the letterbox is universal to all human reading.  And nearby functional areas support perception of: houses and landscapes, faces, objects and tools;  Dehaene explains that the letterbox region (occipito-temporal fisure is anatomically a few centimeters to the front of the occipital pole in the left occipito-temporal area within a groove in the cortical mantle.  This is where the visual recognition of letters occurs so it is also called the brain's letterbox.   on the brain's midline) is part of a broad patchwork of visual analyzers.  Every brain uses separate but nearby patches of cortex to process faces are neurons which respond when the features of a face are presented to the retina.  Faces are recognized by dedicated neural networks consisting of face cells grouped into 6 patches of 10,000 cells on each side of the brain in the cortex just behind the ear.  The face cells respond abstractly to the dimensions and features of faces.  Each face cell responds to a combination of facial dimensions, creating a holistic representation.  A single face cell represents a vector of about 6 dimensions.  Two hundred cells can together represent the 50 dimensions which are required to identify a face in a face space where an infinite number of faces can be represented.  Cal tech's Chang & Tsao argue there is an average face at the origin of the face space and each actual face is represented as differences from it in the face space (Jun 2017). 
(inferior cortical site in the fusiform gyrus is a region of the brain which supports advanced mechanisms of shape recognition and implements the early stages of reading.  Subliminal priming with words did not depend on the shape of the word.  The fusiform gyrus was able to process the abstract identity of a word without caring if it was upper or lower case.   While high up in the cortex it can operate below the level of conscious experience.  It contributes to social emotions with:
  • Its face area being more activated by faces with in-group skin color.  
  • It activating when shown pictures of cars in automobile aficionados. 
  • It activating when shown pictures of birds in birdwatchers; since it really recognizes examples of items from an individual's emotionally salient categories. 
), and on the edge of the brain, objects and tools. 

The reading processing chain happens very rapidly.  The main bottleneck is in saccading are the small jerky steps by which we reorient our eyes gaze. 
the eye are major sensors in primates, based on opsins deployed in the retina & especially fovea, signalling the visual system: Superior colliculi, Thalamus (LGN), Primary visual cortex; and indirectly the amygdala.  They also signal [social] emotional state to other people.  And they have implicit censorious power with pictures of eyes encouraging people within their view to act more honorably.  Eyes are poor scanners and use a saccade to present detail slowly to the fovea.  The eye's optical structures and retina are supported by RPE.  Eyes do not connect to the brain through the brain stem and so still operate in locked-in syndrome.  Evo-devo shows eyes have deep homology.  High pressure within the eye can result in glaucoma.  Genetic inheritance can result in retinoblastoma.  Age is associated with AMD. 
.  When a computer is used to present a stream of words to the eye at a fixed position, reading speed increases dramatically.  Perception is best for words to the right of our gaze.  This is because words to the left must be signalled via the corpus callosum is a large tract of nerve cells that connect the cerebral cortex on one side of the head to that on the other side. 
which takes time.  Within the letterbox region the integration of left and right perceptive fields allow position invariance.  But this is not the case if the corpus callosum fails.  In such cases of hemi-alexia is a reading impairment in just the left half of the visual field.  It is due to failure to transmit word perception signals across the corpus callosum to the letterbox area. 
diffusion MRI magnetizes the brain twice in opposite directions.  For motionless molecules, the magnetization cancels out but for molecules in motion a measurable signal is created.  This effect can be used to monitor flows in the brain's white matter where flows are constrained to move in the direction of the fiber's major axis.  Computers can thus assemble a plot of the connectivity of the brain.   shows the failure of the fiber bundle. 

Dehaene argues reading is a sophisticated construction game.  A complex unconscious cortical assembly line is needed to progressively put together a unique neural code for each written word. 

The letterbox includes special case invariance functions identified by Rock and Farah using fMRI.  This capability depends on learning the associations of specific capital and lower case letter forms.  'HOTEL' and 'hotel' are mapped into the same processing chain within the letterbox region unlike 'hotel' and 'radio'. The lowest coding level deals with single letters and is concerned with repetition of individual letters at the same location - when identified the fMRI signal drops.  In the next processing area word coding becomes invariant.  This region still codes for units below the whole-word level.  The cortex becomes sensitive to the similarity of 'ANGER' and 'range' even if not aligned.  This may be where morphological relations are the smallest sub-units of written words that have associated meaning.  Decomposition of a word into its morphemes is an essential step between vision and meaning.  Our visual system unconsciously extracts morphemes of words.  Dehaene explains that after being presented with the word 'departure' the morpheme 'depart' is primed.  He notes a word primes the recognition of other words that share a morpheme but look quite different such as 'can' and 'could'.  Conversely words like aspire and aspirin which look similar but do not share a morpheme do not prime.  Deriving morphemes is of such importance to our reading system that it makes guesses about the decomposition of words.  The resulting parsing errors have to be caught at later stages in the word dissection process.   are detected.  These roots have not been associated with meaning so the identified associations may fail further up the hierarchy (i.e. depart and department).  Anterior to this area whole words are processed.  'ANGER' followed by 'anger' reduces the fMRI signal.  'ANGER' followed by 'range' does not reduce the fMRI signal.   

Dehaene notes that research indicates many areas are provided with signals from the brain's visual areas.  The interactions are likely to be far more complex than this discussion presents.  Diffusion MRI magnetizes the brain twice in opposite directions.  For motionless molecules, the magnetization cancels out but for molecules in motion a measurable signal is created.  This effect can be used to monitor flows in the brain's white matter where flows are constrained to move in the direction of the fiber's major axis.  Computers can thus assemble a plot of the connectivity of the brain.   indicates that major cortical areas are linked by pathways such as the inferior longitudinal bundle is a large nerve fiber bundle that traverses the temporal lobe from its rearmost part to its anterior pole.  It appears to support signal transmission from all the brain areas devoted to vision, including the letterbox area, to the anterior temporal lobe. 

The reading ape
Reading rests on the evolved neuronal mechanisms of primate vision.  Neuronal recycling is Stanislas Dehaene's hypothesis that human brain architecture obeys strong genetic constraints, but some circuits have evolved to tolerate some variability.  Part of the visual system is not hardwired, but remains open to changes in the environment.  A range of brain circuits, defined by genes, provides "pre-representations" that our brains can compare to future developments in its environment.  During brain development, learning mechanisms select which pre-representations are best adapted to a given situation.  Within an otherwise well-structured brain, visual plasticity gave the ancient scribes the opportunity to invent reading.  leverages neurons that signal types of line junctions that resemble letter shapes: T, Y and L.  These shapes are position and scale invariant in reading is the need to identify words regardless of their specific form.  Our visual system recognizes the aspects of words that do not vary -- the sequence of letters -- whatever the shape of the actual letters presented.  Invariance is an essential characteristic of the inferior temporal lobe. 


Macaque monkeys with lesions of the ventral temporal lobes signals written word awareness to a large variety of distant brain regions but in particular language areas and particularly Broca's area and Wernicke's area.   display psychic blindness is a set of unusual and massive macaque behavioral changes in response to bilateral lesion of the temporal lobes.  Dehaene explains the impaired animals behaved as if they no longer recognized their fellow apes, objects, or food items.  They explored the world around them haphazardly using their mouths and attempted to copulate with or ingest very inappropriate objects--a form of sightlessness that Kluver and Bucy, called "psychic blindness".  The animals no longer recognized shapes by seeing them.  .  A related problem is seen in human left temporal of the cerebral cortex is involved in associating sensory input with comprehending language (TEO), storing new memories, visual memory, emotion and deriving meaning.  The temporal lobe is located bellow the parietal lobe, and between the frontal lobe and occipital lobe. 
stroke is when brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die.  There are two structural types: Ischemic and hemorrhagic. 
victims.  The letterbox is part of the human visual system.  It is located in the same brain area in all readers.  It responds automatically to written words.  Unconsciously it extracts the identity of a letter string regardless of superficial changes in component letter shape, size or position.  It signals the identities to two major sets of brain areas that encode sound patterns (temporal) and meaning (frontal) lobes. 
region appears to have evolved from the Macaque object recognition area. 

Brains have evolved to identify invariant perceptions.  Researchers progressing Hubel and Wiesel's research recorded neuronal activity in the primary visual area of the cat in the 1960s.  They noted that these neurons signalled in response to simple bars of light.  This ground breaking insight induced researchers to explore the temporal cortex and eventually led to Tanaka's identification of neuronal alphabets.   on line detectors over 50 subsequent years have found the inferior temporal of the cerebral cortex is involved in associating sensory input with comprehending language (TEO), storing new memories, visual memory, emotion and deriving meaning.  The temporal lobe is located bellow the parietal lobe, and between the frontal lobe and occipital lobe. 
neurons to signal highly specific complex objects.  Separate overlapping patches signal sparse coded sets of higher level neurons providing them with a highly invariant perception.  Except rotation invariance is limited to less than 40 degrees with different neurons dedicated to different views of a rotated object. 

The macaque inferior temporal cortex is organized as a parallel operating cellular pyramid: LGN is lateral geniculate nucleus.  It is a contradiction:
  • It looks like a relay and nothing more.  Both anatomically and physiologically it seems to be a relay.  The principal cells receive inputs from the retina and send outputs, seen radiating out to the visual cortex, to the first visual area (V1) of the neocortex (in primates - in cats they go to a number of visual areas).  These axons have very few collateral branches to other principal cells or to other parts of the LGN.  There is a direct map from retinal area to primary visual cortex area.  But Francis Crick argued in contradiction to this
  • It is probably doing something a lot more complicated which we do not yet fully understand!  The macaque LGN has six layers.  The inputs from two eyes and M & P cells within them are all kept separate within the LGN.  
    • Two of these layers have large cells (magnocellular).  One of them gets its inputs from the right eye, the other from the left eye.  There is little interaction between the layers.  Their input is mainly from the M cells of the retina.  These two layers specialize in detecting movement and flicker. 
    • Four of the layers are smaller (parvocellular).  They receive input from the P cells of the retina.  They seem to carry signals relating to color, texture, shape & steropsis. 
    • The LGN neurons also get input coming back from the first visual area of the cortex.  There are many more axons coming back than go to the neocortex from the LGN.  However, they tend to synapse onto those parts of the dendrites rather distant from the cell bodies so their effects are probably subdued. 
    • There are also inputs from the brain stem that modulate the behavior of the thalamus and especially its reticular nucleus.  This means that the LGN freely transmits visual information in the awake animal but blocks this transmission somewhat when the animal is in slow wave sleep.  
  • Dehaene identifies the LGN as at the base of a hierarchy of reading neurons signalling local contrasts and oriented bars.  The signals reach
    • V1 which associates them with oriented bars,
    • V2 - letter fragments,
    • V4 Letter shapes,
    • V8 abstract letters,
    • Left occipital temporal sulcus - bigrams,
    • Left occipital temporal sulcus - small words, frequent substrings and morphemes. 
signals V1 is primary visual area (V1).  It mainly responds to LGN's signals for thin lines and object contours.  It is located in the occipital lobe.  <-> V2 is visual area (V2).  It responds to combinations of lines with curves and inclines from V1's signals.   <-> V4 is visual area (V4).  It responds to signals from V2 for case specific letter shapes.  Its signals are associated with abstract letters in V8. 
<-> TEO is part of the posterior inferior temporal cortex.  It responds to simple combinations of curves.   <-> TE (temporal pole) with increased complexity of the signalled image.  The architecture reassembles the low level signals generated by the individual detectors in the retina. 

Keiji Tanaka discovered that monkey brains contain a neuronal alphabet.  He iteratively reduced the complexity of a scene that initially caused a neuron to signal.  The simplifications that still induced the firing described a neural alphabet of invariant components.   identified a neuronal alphabet is a patchwork of neurons dedicated to fragments of shape.  Keiji Tanaka experimentally identified these invariants within the temporal cortex.  Various of these combinatorial codes exist at points in the visual system: V1, V2, TEO;  in monkeys which by combination can describe any complex form.  The alphabet is highly stylized and simplified generating the scale and position invariance.  Two overlapping discs are found to signal a cat.  A cube neuron responded to a y junction.  He showed the preference of the high level neurons varied smoothly across the cortex.  Neighboring neurons tend to signal similar shapes: y or t, star forms, simplified faces are neurons which respond when the features of a face are presented to the retina.  Faces are recognized by dedicated neural networks consisting of face cells grouped into 6 patches of 10,000 cells on each side of the brain in the cortex just behind the ear.  The face cells respond abstractly to the dimensions and features of faces.  Each face cell responds to a combination of facial dimensions, creating a holistic representation.  A single face cell represents a vector of about 6 dimensions.  Two hundred cells can together represent the 50 dimensions which are required to identify a face in a face space where an infinite number of faces can be represented.  Cal tech's Chang & Tsao argue there is an average face at the origin of the face space and each actual face is represented as differences from it in the face space (Jun 2017). 


Tanaka's student Manabu Tanifuji was a former student of Keiji Tanaka.  Tanifuji showed that the neuronal alphabet operates by each simplified item acting as an invariant description that other identified details could be associated with to identify and describe in detail a specific visually presented object.  Tanifuji used a video camera able to detect small changes only tenths of a millimeter apart via the reflection of light on a cortical surface.  This resolved Tanaka's shape coding columns which were tenths of a millimeter in width.   went on to show that during selection of a neuron from this foundational catalogue, details of a specific scene are added associatively refining the choice of alphabet item and associative weights. 

Dehaene notes that macaque neuron's signal to an approximation of our alphabet letters.  Dehaene suggests this congruence is due to their selection in the course of evolution or throughout the course of a lifetime of visual learning of non-accidental properties required to process the visual scene.  These collectively form an optimal code good for both detection and representation.  For example the shape T is extremely frequent in natural scenes when one object masks another.  Similarly Y and F are found where several sharp edges of an object meet.  J and 8 result from objects with curves and holes.  Memories are encoded based on a sketch of the non-accidental properties. 

Humans did not invent most of our letter shapes:  They were just rediscovered when we invented writing and the alphabet

The ability for humans to learn is an evolved process and it is carefully limited.  Binocular vision leverages a short period of plasticity present to align the two eyes are major sensors in primates, based on opsins deployed in the retina & especially fovea, signalling the visual system: Superior colliculi, Thalamus (LGN), Primary visual cortex; and indirectly the amygdala.  They also signal [social] emotional state to other people.  And they have implicit censorious power with pictures of eyes encouraging people within their view to act more honorably.  Eyes are poor scanners and use a saccade to present detail slowly to the fovea.  The eye's optical structures and retina are supported by RPE.  Eyes do not connect to the brain through the brain stem and so still operate in locked-in syndrome.  Evo-devo shows eyes have deep homology.  High pressure within the eye can result in glaucoma.  Genetic inheritance can result in retinoblastoma.  Age is associated with AMD. 
associated visual maps.  At the end of that period the circuit freezes.  Plasticity in the letterbox is similar.  Seeing objects stabilizes the neuron set via synaptic, a neuron structure which provides a junction with other neurons.  It generates signal molecules, either excitatory or inhibitory, which are kept in vesicles until the synapse is stimulated when the signal molecules are released across the synaptic cleft from the neuron.  The provisioning of synapses is under genetic control and is part of long term memory formation as identified by Eric Kandel.  Modulation signals (from slow receptors) initiate the synaptic strengthening which occurs in memory. 
growth.  Each layer of the pyramid depends on learning of correlations in lower layers. 

Learning of temporal progressions may depend on neurons sensitive to correlations across time.  The cortex allocates the temporally correlated pair to the same neuron. 

Dehaene comments that our visual system supports processing of visual data into what and how.  To do this it has two distinct paths: The ventral path and the dorsal path. 
inherited just enough plasticity to become a reader's brain.  Preschoolers are naturally acclimatized to letter and word recognition using the precursor alphabet.  It is this preadaptation that enables reading.  The small amount of plasticity allows for the learning of new objects.  During schooling a part of the system rewires itself for reading.  The tool kit we have is exapted, initially termed preadaptation refers to the coopting of some function for a new use.  .  Scribes tailored the visual inputs to leverage these characteristics and a new schema emerged -- cultural is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
learning. 

Birth of a Culture
Dehaene asserts that neuronal recycling is Stanislas Dehaene's hypothesis that human brain architecture obeys strong genetic constraints, but some circuits have evolved to tolerate some variability.  Part of the visual system is not hardwired, but remains open to changes in the environment.  A range of brain circuits, defined by genes, provides "pre-representations" that our brains can compare to future developments in its environment.  During brain development, learning mechanisms select which pre-representations are best adapted to a given situation.  Within an otherwise well-structured brain, visual plasticity gave the ancient scribes the opportunity to invent reading.  is essential in stabilizing culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
.  He sees the scribes' iterative adjustments as enabling an epidemic.  Periods of proliferation were punctuated by long periods of stasis.  Emergence points included the: Fertile Crescent, China and South America.  He stresses that
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
memes
must work this way to conform to evolutionary constraints.  He contrasts Susan Blackmore's
Richard Dawkin's explores how nature has created implementations of designs, without any need for planning or design, through the accumulation of small advantageous changes. 
imitative copying mechanism as essentially Lamarckian


Neurons for Reading
From our understanding of primate brain operation Dehaene proposes an operational model for the human visual word recognition neuron hierarchy.  Local contrasts (LGN is lateral geniculate nucleus.  It is a contradiction:
  • It looks like a relay and nothing more.  Both anatomically and physiologically it seems to be a relay.  The principal cells receive inputs from the retina and send outputs, seen radiating out to the visual cortex, to the first visual area (V1) of the neocortex (in primates - in cats they go to a number of visual areas).  These axons have very few collateral branches to other principal cells or to other parts of the LGN.  There is a direct map from retinal area to primary visual cortex area.  But Francis Crick argued in contradiction to this
  • It is probably doing something a lot more complicated which we do not yet fully understand!  The macaque LGN has six layers.  The inputs from two eyes and M & P cells within them are all kept separate within the LGN.  
    • Two of these layers have large cells (magnocellular).  One of them gets its inputs from the right eye, the other from the left eye.  There is little interaction between the layers.  Their input is mainly from the M cells of the retina.  These two layers specialize in detecting movement and flicker. 
    • Four of the layers are smaller (parvocellular).  They receive input from the P cells of the retina.  They seem to carry signals relating to color, texture, shape & steropsis. 
    • The LGN neurons also get input coming back from the first visual area of the cortex.  There are many more axons coming back than go to the neocortex from the LGN.  However, they tend to synapse onto those parts of the dendrites rather distant from the cell bodies so their effects are probably subdued. 
    • There are also inputs from the brain stem that modulate the behavior of the thalamus and especially its reticular nucleus.  This means that the LGN freely transmits visual information in the awake animal but blocks this transmission somewhat when the animal is in slow wave sleep.  
  • Dehaene identifies the LGN as at the base of a hierarchy of reading neurons signalling local contrasts and oriented bars.  The signals reach
    • V1 which associates them with oriented bars,
    • V2 - letter fragments,
    • V4 Letter shapes,
    • V8 abstract letters,
    • Left occipital temporal sulcus - bigrams,
    • Left occipital temporal sulcus - small words, frequent substrings and morphemes. 
) <-> Oriented bars (V1 is primary visual area (V1).  It mainly responds to LGN's signals for thin lines and object contours.  It is located in the occipital lobe.  ) <-> Local contours (V2 is visual area (V2).  It responds to combinations of lines with curves and inclines from V1's signals.  ) <-> Case specific letter shapes (V4 is visual area (V4).  It responds to signals from V2 for case specific letter shapes.  Its signals are associated with abstract letters in V8. 
) <-> Abstract letter detector banks (V8 is visual area (V8).  It responds to V4 letter shapes signalling abstract letters.  The signals are associated in the letterbox with bigrams, morphemes, frequently seen substrings and small words.  ) <-> Written words are likely coded by a series of Bigram detectors.  Bigram neurons is an ordered pair of letters.  The human visual system potentially includes bigram neurons which respond to specific letter conjunctions.   Dehaene illustrates with the example of a neuron that signals the presence of a letter 'n' one or two letters to the left of a letter 'a'.  That allows us to discriminate between 'AND' and 'DNA'.  Bigram neurons have not been isolated experimentally.  Dehaene explains how they might work:
  • A bigram neuron would collect signals from several partially overlapping detectors with the prior letter fields appearing mostly on the left. 
  • The bigram detector would end up with greater location invariance than any of the underlying detectors.  
  • The architecture would be tolerant to the presence of one or more intermediate letters. 
  • The underlying letter detectors receptive fields would be spread over part of the retina. 
have never been observed but their operation can be explained and their predicted features align with observation. 

If bigram neurons do exist they would signal the next layer of the hierarchy.  Dehaene suggests in consequence this would respond to complex combinations of up to five letters.  Given reading's two parallel pathways these neurons should signal for aspects that are meaningful to the spelling (graphemes is a series of one or more letters that maps onto a phoneme in the target language.  The grapheme 'tt' in 'button' maps to the phoneme 't'.  Dehaene notes that English has an extensive set of:
  • Simple frequently used graphemes including 't', 'k' and 'a'. 
  • Simple but less frequent graphemes including 'b', 'm', 'f'. 
  • Irregular ones including 'i', 'o'. 
  • Complex graphemes including 'un', 'ch', 'ough', 'oi' and 'au.'   The human visual system treats learned graphemes as units.  
) or semantic meaning path (morphemes are the smallest sub-units of written words that have associated meaning.  Decomposition of a word into its morphemes is an essential step between vision and meaning.  Our visual system unconsciously extracts morphemes of words.  Dehaene explains that after being presented with the word 'departure' the morpheme 'depart' is primed.  He notes a word primes the recognition of other words that share a morpheme but look quite different such as 'can' and 'could'.  Conversely words like aspire and aspirin which look similar but do not share a morpheme do not prime.  Deriving morphemes is of such importance to our reading system that it makes guesses about the decomposition of words.  The resulting parsing errors have to be caught at later stages in the word dissection process.  ) as appropriate. 

Dehaene notes that the brain can use learning to focus on building only appropriate detectors for the proximate language.  That limits the combinatorial explosion of neurons otherwise required to generically process all possibilities. 

To back up his proposals Dehaene wishes to simulate the neuronal architecture for reading.  But he admits this is currently an inaccessible dream. 

The letterbox region is part of the human visual system.  It is located in the same brain area in all readers.  It responds automatically to written words.  Unconsciously it extracts the identity of a letter string regardless of superficial changes in component letter shape, size or position.  It signals the identities to two major sets of brain areas that encode sound patterns (temporal) and meaning (frontal) lobes. 
is particularly biased towards fine grained foveal is the central part of the retina.  It is the only region that is dense in high-resolution photo receptor cells.  It is the only part of the retina that is useful for reading.  Our eyes are in constant saccades as we read to present text to the fovea. 
images.  At the same time as one moves up its neuronal hierarchy the receptive fields broaden and using both hemispheres would result in redundancy.  Instead the brain can dedicate just the left side to reading.  If the left side is not available for the function the right hemisphere takes over the processing. 
Inventing Reading
The neuronal architecture constrains all writing systems so they all display common features reflecting the underlying neuronal encoding.  Universally writing systems demonstrate:

Certain neurons discharge when presented with the natural junction of two surfaces or a single line.  Scribes used this property to encourage neuronal self-stimulation.  Dehaene argues that initially representations supported counting, book keeping and depictions of hand signals used in hunting.  But as the representations became more abstract and were focused away from faces and places -- which the brain processes away from the letterbox area is part of the human visual system.  It is located in the same brain area in all readers.  It responds automatically to written words.  Unconsciously it extracts the identity of a letter string regardless of superficial changes in component letter shape, size or position.  It signals the identities to two major sets of brain areas that encode sound patterns (temporal) and meaning (frontal) lobes. 
-- pictograms began supporting early writing and reading of language. 

Pictography has limits
Dehaene describes how pictographic systems were soon found problematic.  They struggled to represent abstract concepts.  It was done by use of arbitrary conventions that had to be learned.  And the writing system needed to be easy to use and quick.  Simplified symbolic representations were adopted.  These were representations that were aligned with the constraints of the local materials.  The scribes initially leveraged the rebus principle uses the similarity between certain sounds to help draw a pictogram that represents a visual pun.  The process converts pictograms into phonograms. 
but that rapidly evolved into writing sounds.  Mixed writing systems combining meaning and sound fit the set of constraints including memory limitations, letterbox is part of the human visual system.  It is located in the same brain area in all readers.  It responds automatically to written words.  Unconsciously it extracts the identity of a letter string regardless of superficial changes in component letter shape, size or position.  It signals the identities to two major sets of brain areas that encode sound patterns (temporal) and meaning (frontal) lobes. 
network structures and spoken language organization. 

Once writing became symbolized the structures had to be standardized and learned.  And the mix of pictograms and descriptions of sounds encouraged incremental expansion. 

The Alphabet: A Great Leap Forward
Dehaene explains how the early writing systems grew more and more complex with time constraining their use to a small group of specialists.  The virus like infection of writing needed to become simplified to allow it to infect a broader population base.  As the scribes of other tribes on the edges of mainstream society, such as the speakers of Semitic languages include Arabic, Amharic and Hebrew.  They have an unusual morphology that emphasizes consonants.  The designers of Proto-Sinaitic writing exploited this building a representation of an abstract consonant grid that only required about two dozen shapes in the consonant lexicon.  They also used the acrophonic priciple to leverage mnemonics. 
, looked to adopt writing they were able to borrow useful signs from the earlier architectures but by adopting alphabetic is a writing process where representational signals (letters and graphemes) refer to speech sounds (phonemes) rather than meanings.  Dehaene asserts the principle probably emerged in small groups of people on the fringes of mainstream society.  The first example is Proto-Sinaitic.  Alphabets allow for a drastic reduction in the number of signs required to be learnt. 
representations vastly reduced the learning required.  Writing with an alphabet quickly spread worldwide. 

Phoenicians added explicit notations for vowels initially introduced to correct for pronunciation drift.  The Greeks completed the process creating the modern alphabet.  Due to Greek miss-mappings aleph (A), iota (i), omicron (o) and upsilon (u) became vowels.   Other representations were added including graphemes is a series of one or more letters that maps onto a phoneme in the target language.  The grapheme 'tt' in 'button' maps to the phoneme 't'.  Dehaene notes that English has an extensive set of:
  • Simple frequently used graphemes including 't', 'k' and 'a'. 
  • Simple but less frequent graphemes including 'b', 'm', 'f'. 
  • Irregular ones including 'i', 'o'. 
  • Complex graphemes including 'un', 'ch', 'ough', 'oi' and 'au.'   The human visual system treats learned graphemes as units.  
such as 'o' conjugated with 'u' to denote the sound u with upsilon left representing the sharper pronunciation. 

Dehaene notes that in consequence and for the first time the Greeks had a complete graphic inventory of their language sounds and writing had been stripped of its pictographic and syllabic origins.  This minimal set of symbols was easily learned by the letterbox area is part of the human visual system.  It is located in the same brain area in all readers.  It responds automatically to written words.  Unconsciously it extracts the identity of a letter string regardless of superficial changes in component letter shape, size or position.  It signals the identities to two major sets of brain areas that encode sound patterns (temporal) and meaning (frontal) lobes. 
and established a direct link to speech sounds coded in the superior temporal of the cerebral cortex is involved in associating sensory input with comprehending language (TEO), storing new memories, visual memory, emotion and deriving meaning.  The temporal lobe is located bellow the parietal lobe, and between the frontal lobe and occipital lobe. 
cortex. 

Learning to Read
Dehaene argues children must connect the object recognition system to the language circuit.  They do this in three phases:
  1. Pictorial - where the visual system supports processing of visual data into what and how.  To do this it has two distinct paths: The ventral path and the dorsal path. 
    represents a few dozen notable words as objects, recognized by superficial details. 
  2. Phonological - where they learn to decode graphemes is a series of one or more letters that maps onto a phoneme in the target language.  The grapheme 'tt' in 'button' maps to the phoneme 't'.  Dehaene notes that English has an extensive set of:
    • Simple frequently used graphemes including 't', 'k' and 'a'. 
    • Simple but less frequent graphemes including 'b', 'm', 'f'. 
    • Irregular ones including 'i', 'o'. 
    • Complex graphemes including 'un', 'ch', 'ough', 'oi' and 'au.'   The human visual system treats learned graphemes as units.  
    into phonemes are the smallest speech units explicitly representing discrete speech sounds.  The phoneme 't' is a part of Tuna, stop and foot. 
    .  This requires learning to decode words into letters and linking of the letters/graphemes to speech sounds.  Initially build explicit representation of speech sounds.  Subsequently discover through instruction, phonemic awareness is the discovery that speech is made up of phonemes.  Jose Morais showed it requires teaching of an alphabetic code to occur.  Illiterate adults fail to detect phonemes in words. 
    .  The anterior insula (near Broca is the inferior frontal cortex.  It is involved with spoken language.  Lesions have resulted in an inability to speak or write even though language is understood.  's area) supports phoneme processing. 
  3. Orthographic - when word recognition becomes fast and automatic due to the development of a vast lexicon of visual units.  Word length ceases to play a role in ease of reading. 
Letterbox is part of the human visual system.  It is located in the same brain area in all readers.  It responds automatically to written words.  Unconsciously it extracts the identity of a letter string regardless of superficial changes in component letter shape, size or position.  It signals the identities to two major sets of brain areas that encode sound patterns (temporal) and meaning (frontal) lobes. 
circuits are changed during each of these phases.  The children use trial and error to support the specialization. 

Neuronal recycling suggests that during the first year of life linguistic (Speech comprehension) and visual development is a phase during the operation of a CAS agent.  It allows for schematic strategies to be iteratively blended with environmental signals to solve the logistical issues of migrating newly built and transformed sub-agents.  That is needed to achieve the adult configuration of the agent and optimize it for the proximate environment.  Smiley includes examples of the developmental phase agents required in an emergent CAS.  In situations where parents invest in the growth and memetic learning of their offspring the schematic grab bag can support optimizations to develop models, structures and actions to construct an adept adult.  In humans, adolescence leverages neural plasticity, elder sibling advice and adult coaching to help prepare the deploying neuronal network and body to successfully compete. 
(invariant visual recognition) prepare for reading: 
The relationship between grapheme and phoneme development is a phase during the operation of a CAS agent.  It allows for schematic strategies to be iteratively blended with environmental signals to solve the logistical issues of migrating newly built and transformed sub-agents.  That is needed to achieve the adult configuration of the agent and optimize it for the proximate environment.  Smiley includes examples of the developmental phase agents required in an emergent CAS.  In situations where parents invest in the growth and memetic learning of their offspring the schematic grab bag can support optimizations to develop models, structures and actions to construct an adept adult.  In humans, adolescence leverages neural plasticity, elder sibling advice and adult coaching to help prepare the deploying neuronal network and body to successfully compete. 
is likely reciprocal.  Reading acquisition progresses from simple to complex rules.  Errors are induced by irregular words and increased syllable complexity.

Many children see colors associated with letters for a short period of development is a phase during the operation of a CAS agent.  It allows for schematic strategies to be iteratively blended with environmental signals to solve the logistical issues of migrating newly built and transformed sub-agents.  That is needed to achieve the adult configuration of the agent and optimize it for the proximate environment.  Smiley includes examples of the developmental phase agents required in an emergent CAS.  In situations where parents invest in the growth and memetic learning of their offspring the schematic grab bag can support optimizations to develop models, structures and actions to construct an adept adult.  In humans, adolescence leverages neural plasticity, elder sibling advice and adult coaching to help prepare the deploying neuronal network and body to successfully compete. 
.  A few continue to see this association.  Dehaene notes that this effect is in line with neurons associated with color being some of those recycled is Stanislas Dehaene's hypothesis that human brain architecture obeys strong genetic constraints, but some circuits have evolved to tolerate some variability.  Part of the visual system is not hardwired, but remains open to changes in the environment.  A range of brain circuits, defined by genes, provides "pre-representations" that our brains can compare to future developments in its environment.  During brain development, learning mechanisms select which pre-representations are best adapted to a given situation.  Within an otherwise well-structured brain, visual plasticity gave the ancient scribes the opportunity to invent reading.  for reading. 

Dehaene stresses that the alternative whole language teaching strategy ignores the need to learn grapheme - phoneme mappings and should be avoided.  He does have proposals for educators:

The Dyslexic Brain
Reading scores fit a normal distribution.  The complexity of the reading chain and the dependencies on internal and external factors such as teaching for its correct development is a phase during the operation of a CAS agent.  It allows for schematic strategies to be iteratively blended with environmental signals to solve the logistical issues of migrating newly built and transformed sub-agents.  That is needed to achieve the adult configuration of the agent and optimize it for the proximate environment.  Smiley includes examples of the developmental phase agents required in an emergent CAS.  In situations where parents invest in the growth and memetic learning of their offspring the schematic grab bag can support optimizations to develop models, structures and actions to construct an adept adult.  In humans, adolescence leverages neural plasticity, elder sibling advice and adult coaching to help prepare the deploying neuronal network and body to successfully compete. 
leave many points for failure.  Never the less a causal chain from gene to dyslexic is expressed as severe reading problems.  However, these problems fall on a normal distribution of reading skills.  The majority of the problems affect the letterbox region.  But many issues are indirect.  In particular disorganization of the left lateral temporal region disrupts phonological generation of the alphabet mapping required for neuronal recycling in the letterbox.  Because of the long chain of dependencies in neuronal recycling required for the letterbox to support reading there are many potential developmental aspects that can fail.  A variety of gene mutations have been found to induce dyslexia. 
behavior is being uncovered.  Dyslexia can be inherited.  The temporal lobes anatomy is disorganized in dyslexia.  When reading some of the areas, including the left lateral temporal cortex processes phonological information in speech.  It supports the generation of the alphabet mappings required for the neuronal recycling of the letterbox.  Its disorganization will result in reduced development of the letterbox and display as dyslexia. 
and the letterbox is part of the human visual system.  It is located in the same brain area in all readers.  It responds automatically to written words.  Unconsciously it extracts the identity of a letter string regardless of superficial changes in component letter shape, size or position.  It signals the identities to two major sets of brain areas that encode sound patterns (temporal) and meaning (frontal) lobes. 
, do not activate as much as in proficient readers.  Dehaene notes that remedial interventions are providing cures. 

Dyslexia is often the result of a failure to represent speech sounds correctly.  Less frequently it is due to spatial attention deficits

The disorganization of the temporal lobe is due to incorrect deployment of neurons along the glial tracks support neurons: Creating the initial structural tracks along which the neurons travel, Insulating them by deploying the myelin sheath - an activity which is influenced by sleep, Storing energy for them and removing debris from damage to neurons.  Robert Sapolsky notes Glial cells outnumber neurons ten to one.  They include various subtypes.  They greatly influence how neurons speak to one another, and also form glial networks that communicate completely differently from neurons. 
during development is a phase during the operation of a CAS agent.  It allows for schematic strategies to be iteratively blended with environmental signals to solve the logistical issues of migrating newly built and transformed sub-agents.  That is needed to achieve the adult configuration of the agent and optimize it for the proximate environment.  Smiley includes examples of the developmental phase agents required in an emergent CAS.  In situations where parents invest in the growth and memetic learning of their offspring the schematic grab bag can support optimizations to develop models, structures and actions to construct an adept adult.  In humans, adolescence leverages neural plasticity, elder sibling advice and adult coaching to help prepare the deploying neuronal network and body to successfully compete. 
.  This process is specified by genes which have been found mutated in dyslexia.  Another gene that contributes to dyslexia specifies the deployment of the corpus callosum is a large tract of nerve cells that connect the cerebral cortex on one side of the head to that on the other side. 


Failure to represent speech sounds can be treated with intensive remedial training in mapping pitch, duration and intensity with rewards provided for success, which has resulted in word recognition scores improving spectacularly. 


Reading & Symmetry
Dehaene explains that the brain has evolved to assume left right symmetry.  Key aspects of reading require awareness of left right asymmetries and neuronal recycling is Stanislas Dehaene's hypothesis that human brain architecture obeys strong genetic constraints, but some circuits have evolved to tolerate some variability.  Part of the visual system is not hardwired, but remains open to changes in the environment.  A range of brain circuits, defined by genes, provides "pre-representations" that our brains can compare to future developments in its environment.  During brain development, learning mechanisms select which pre-representations are best adapted to a given situation.  Within an otherwise well-structured brain, visual plasticity gave the ancient scribes the opportunity to invent reading.  enables this. 

Early in life virtually all children make mirror errors in reading and writing.  This typically resolves between age 8 and 9.  Dehaene explains that our brains were not evolved for reading and have converted through any available means.  The essence of conversion depends on:
A surprising case of mirror dyslexia
Mirror dyslexia is expressed as severe reading problems.  However, these problems fall on a normal distribution of reading skills.  The majority of the problems affect the letterbox region.  But many issues are indirect.  In particular disorganization of the left lateral temporal region disrupts phonological generation of the alphabet mapping required for neuronal recycling in the letterbox.  Because of the long chain of dependencies in neuronal recycling required for the letterbox to support reading there are many potential developmental aspects that can fail.  A variety of gene mutations have been found to induce dyslexia. 
is potentially due to a failure of the reading chain to unlearn symmetry.  Micheal McCluskey had a brilliant student who reported this rare form of dyslexia.  On investigation he found:
  • Reading isolated letters resulted in errors of spatial reversals (p - q, m - w)
  • Reading words resulted in reversal of individual letters and positions mixed up. 
  • Reading sentences resulted in inverted word order. 
  • Spatial relations were never stable and were resolved via context. 
  • Sufferer struggled to copy drawings with 50% chance of a mirror reversal. 
  • Sufferer had mirror errors with grasping. 
  • Flickering lighting or movement removed the problem. 
The patient started reading under a strobe light. 

Toward a culture of neurons
Dehaene asks 'why are humans the only species to have created a culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
and to reuse neurons.'  He suggests it is the vast conscious neuronal workspace that allows for flexible rearrangement of the mental models. 

Resolving the reading paradox
He concludes that there is no reading paradox because the human brain never evolved for reading. 
Richard Dawkin's explores how nature has created implementations of designs, without any need for planning or design, through the accumulation of small advantageous changes. 
Biological evolution is blind
.  The evolution was cultural is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
.  Reading progressively evolved towards a form adapted to our brain circuits.  After centuries of trial and error, writing systems converged onto similar solutions. 

Dehaene is keen to stress two key facets of this brain function:
  1. Cultural acquisition is anchored in tightly defined neuronal circuits. 
  2. Culture is highly constrained by brain structure but the simple rules that apply allow many combinations.  
For reading all the writing systems are based on the morpho-phonological principle is that all writing systems simultaneously represent word roots and phonological structures.  .  As Changizi asserts that in all the world's writing systems the arrangements or configurations of individual strokes tend to be the same. Their frequency follows a universal distribution that closely parallels the features of natural scenes.   showed all rely on a small inventory of visual shapes. 

Dehaene argues that reading is only one of many cultural inventions.  He assumes each is constrained by our neuronal architecture.  So bridging laws must integrate the laws of human psychology with the historical, political and economic forces that shape society.  Donald Brown documents 400 features shared by all cultures including: Use of color, number terms, territoriality, facial expressions, music, games and legal systems.  Sperber and Fodor argue describes the aggregate ideas of: Alan Turing, Alan Newell, Herbert Simon, Marvin Minsky, Hilary Putnam & Jerry Fodor; that beliefs and desires are information, bound through sense organ triggered associations with neuronal or other symbolic representations that once triggered give rise to other symbols and muscular actions generating behaviors.  For Steven Pinker the theory allows behavior to be explained by beliefs and desires and makes the beliefs and desires part of the physical universe.   the brain has a collection of specialized modules each providing some domain of competence.  Sperber argues that the modules evolved for some use (proper domain) but have been extended to support culture (actual domain).  Dehaene sees learned associations as equivalent to the 'actual domain'.  Dehaene dislikes the idea of 'modules' since he judges the cortex is vastly more variable, redundant and plastic.  But he sees neuronal recycling is Stanislas Dehaene's hypothesis that human brain architecture obeys strong genetic constraints, but some circuits have evolved to tolerate some variability.  Part of the visual system is not hardwired, but remains open to changes in the environment.  A range of brain circuits, defined by genes, provides "pre-representations" that our brains can compare to future developments in its environment.  During brain development, learning mechanisms select which pre-representations are best adapted to a given situation.  Within an otherwise well-structured brain, visual plasticity gave the ancient scribes the opportunity to invent reading.  as enriching Sperber's modules. 
Dehaene notes that reading, mathematics and music are recent inventions and limited in their presence in cultures.  He thinks this is because they must be learned. 

Dehaene is keen to identify a set of cultural invariants.  He notes potential items from the arts - infants appreciate music, mathematics - simple objects are anchored in the brain, and the natural sciences - naturally build taxonomies, Religion

Why are we the only cultural species?
Dehaene asks 'why are we the only cultural is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
species.'  He reflects that it is not known.  But he suggests humans are uniquely able to invent and transmit cultural objects.  A primitive representation of intention, belief and goals is present in all apes.  But it is amplified in humans.  Michael Tomasello argues the human brain is pre-adapted for cortical transmission, with a well-developed theory of mind of mind is the capability of adults, and even young children, to see that others think and perceive the world differently to them.  It typically develops around age three to four.  It supports the child's development of empathy.  It is associated with the DMPFC, precuneus, superior temporal sulcus & temporoparietal junction.  Subsequently more capabilities appear including: Understanding a second person's theory of mind about a third person, Perspectives and Irony. 
module.  With this:
  • Adults can represent the extent and limits of their children's knowledge. 
  • Helps children understand the communicative and pedagogical intensions of adults. 
  • Helps each human to represent themselves, know their mental states and change them. 
Dehaene notes that children learn language by listening while they track the gaze of the person talking and decide what they are referring to. 

A global neuronal workspace
Dehaene adds another essential aspect necessary to create culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
: unparalleled imagination -- a capacity for new combinations of ideas.  He suggests the huge human frontal lobe adds this capability by providing a global neuronal workspace.  In children the ability to integrate is limited until they complete development is a phase during the operation of a CAS agent.  It allows for schematic strategies to be iteratively blended with environmental signals to solve the logistical issues of migrating newly built and transformed sub-agents.  That is needed to achieve the adult configuration of the agent and optimize it for the proximate environment.  Smiley includes examples of the developmental phase agents required in an emergent CAS.  In situations where parents invest in the growth and memetic learning of their offspring the schematic grab bag can support optimizations to develop models, structures and actions to construct an adept adult.  In humans, adolescence leverages neural plasticity, elder sibling advice and adult coaching to help prepare the deploying neuronal network and body to successfully compete. 
of the brain.  He argues that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is
  • The front part of the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex.  It evolved most recently.  During adolescence when the PFC is still deploying, older brain agents provide equivalent strategies: ventral striatum.  The PFC has been implicated in planning, working memory: dorsolateral; decision making: Orbitofrontal cortex; and social behavior.  Different PFC circuits track internal reward driven strategies and externally signalled advice.  The PFC chooses between conflicting options, letting go or restraint, especially between cognition and emotions.  It imposes an overarching strategy for managing working memory.  It is essential for thinking about multiple items with different labels.  It includes neurons that are interested in particular sub-categories: Dog, Cat.  Once it has made a decision it signals the rest of the frontal lobe just behind it.  Glucocorticoids decrease excitability of the PFC.  
provides each of us with a Turing machine, a machine specified by mathematician Alan Turing which is the blueprint for the electronic programmable computer.  It consists of an infinite tape on which symbols can be written.  A movable read/write tape head which can move about the tape and write on or read symbols from the tape.  A set of rules that tell the head what to do next. 


CAS implications of reading
Complex adaptive system
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
(CAS) theory
applies directly to both the architecture and operation of the brain and the cultural emergence of writing Dehaene describes. 

Visual processing neurons, the global neuronal workspace and humans all act as
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
CAS agents
responding to visual
Agents use sensors to detect events in their environment.  This page reviews how these events become signals associated with beneficial responses in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  CAS signals emerge from the Darwinian information model.  Signals can indicate decision summaries and level of uncertainty. 
signals
including writing and supporting
Flows of different kinds are essential to the operation of complex adaptive systems (CAS). 
Example flows are outlined.  Constraints on flows support the emergence of the systems.  Examples of constraints are discussed. 
flows
via cooperation with a network of other agents.  Neurons, specialized eukaryotic cells include channels which control flows of sodium and potassium ions across the massively extended cell membrane supporting an electro-chemical wave which is then converted into an outgoing chemical signal transmission from synapses which target nearby neuron or muscle cell receptors.  Neurons are supported by glial cells.  Neurons include a:
  • Receptive element - dendrites
  • Transmitting element - axon and synaptic terminals
  • Highly variable DNA schema using transposons. 
operate via a DNA (DNA), a polymer composed of a chain of deoxy ribose sugars with purine or pyrimidine side chains.  DNA naturally forms into helical pairs with the side chains stacked in the center of the helix.  It is a natural form of schematic string.  The purines and pyrimidines couple so that AT and GC pairs make up the stackable items.  A code of triplets of base pairs (enabling 64 separate items to be named) has evolved which now redundantly represents each of the 20 amino-acids that are deployed into proteins, along with triplets representing the termination sequence.  Chemical modifications and histone binding (chromatin) allow cells to represent state directly on the DNA schema.  To cope with inconsistencies in the cell wide state second messenger and evolved amplification strategies are used. 
based
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
schematic structure
maintaining nuclear and synaptic
This page discusses the potential of the vast state space which supports the emergence of complex adaptive systems (CAS).  Kauffman describes the mechanism by which the system expands across the space. 
state
and sending and responding to signals.  The signals in the retina are generated by light sensitive receptors.  Otherwise the signals are generated by other neuronal agents.  The basic architecture allows for flows to be processed by additional agents when these emerge.  For example neuronal flows can be translated into speech signals that are processed by other receptive human agents responding to the
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
memetic and genetic schemata
their brains have already encoded.  Most of the signalled information is encoded in the recipient's
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
models
.  But associative agent's signals can act as
Rather than oppose the direct thrust of some environmental flow agents can improve their effectiveness with indirect responses.  This page explains how agents are architected to do this and discusses some examples of how it can be done. 
indirect
This page discusses the tagging of signals in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Tagged signals can be used to control filtering of an event stream.  Examples of CAS filters are reviewed. 
tags
for higher level agents to filter on. 
Read Montague explores how brains make decisions.  In particular he explains how:
  • Evolution can create indirect abstract models, such as the dopamine system, that allow
  • Life changing real-time decisions to be made, and how
  • Schematic structures provide encodings of computable control structures which operate through and on incomputable, schematically encoded, physically active structures and operationally associated production functions. 
Emotional structures
provide modulation of the visual processing chain. 

Dehaene's operational model of the human visual system represents the developmental deployment of
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolutionarily
specified
Representing state in emergent entities is essential but difficult.  Various structures are used to enhance the rate and scope of state transitions.  Examples are discussed. 
structurally enhanced state
.  The visual chain is valuable enough to be genetically specified
This page reviews the strategy of architecting an end-to-end solution in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its costs and benefits are discussed. 
end-to-end
.  In this case it is necessary to allow learning about the proximate environment to tailor the deployed neuronal networks via
Walter Shewhart's iterative development process is found in many complex adaptive systems (CAS).  The mechanism is reviewed and its value in coping with random events is explained. 
Shewhart cycles
so that non matching
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
models
and managers can be pruned back.  As Dehaene cleverly realized this required plasticity allows for neuronal recycling is Stanislas Dehaene's hypothesis that human brain architecture obeys strong genetic constraints, but some circuits have evolved to tolerate some variability.  Part of the visual system is not hardwired, but remains open to changes in the environment.  A range of brain circuits, defined by genes, provides "pre-representations" that our brains can compare to future developments in its environment.  During brain development, learning mechanisms select which pre-representations are best adapted to a given situation.  Within an otherwise well-structured brain, visual plasticity gave the ancient scribes the opportunity to invent reading.  used to build the reading
This page discusses the strategy of modularity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The benefits, mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
modules


Writing and Reading introduces
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
memetic schemata
that can be used to develop
This page reviews the strategy of setting up an arms race.  At its core this strategy depends on being able to alter, or take advantage of an alteration in, the genome or equivalent.  The situation is illustrated with examples from biology, high tech and politics. 
evolved amplifiers
.  With a
This page discusses the physical foundations of complex adaptive systems (CAS).  A small set of rules is obeyed.  New [epi]phenomena then emerge.  Examples are discussed. 
written rule
enforced by agents law makers can encourage those subject to the rule to behave in ways that is slightly beneficial to the subjects but highly beneficial to the rule makers.  While evolution must
Richard Dawkin's explores how nature has created implementations of designs, without any need for planning or design, through the accumulation of small advantageous changes. 
blindly wait for the emergence of such amplifiers
, law makers can aim to strategically modify the rule sets. 

Neighborhoods seem typical of CAS
This page discusses the benefits of geographic clusters of agents and resources at the center of a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
geographic clusters


The emergence of the alphabet illustrates the need for
Barriers are particular types of constraints on flows.  They can enforce separation of a network of agents allowing evolution to build diversity.  Examples of different types of barriers and their effects are described. 
barriers
to overcome the
Flows of different kinds are essential to the operation of complex adaptive systems (CAS). 
Example flows are outlined.  Constraints on flows support the emergence of the systems.  Examples of constraints are discussed. 
constraints
of
This page reviews the inhibiting effect of the value delivery system on the expression of new phenotypic effects within an agent. 
extended phenotypic alignment


Dehaene proposes the
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
of a global neuronal workspace, and he wonders why we are the only cultural species.  Matt Ridley speculates in the
Matt Ridley demonstrates the creative effect of man on the World. He highlights:
  • A list of preconditions resulting in
  • Additional niche capture & more free time 
  • Building a network to interconnect memes processes & tools which
  • Enabling inter-generational transfers
  • Innovations that help reduce environmental stress even as they leverage fossil fuels

Rational Optimist
that the hunter gatherer unit leveraged fire to capture more resources faster from eating, and cooperated to benefit from the asymmetry of men hunting and women gathering.  This encouraged signalling in support of cooperating (talking) and hunting (silent signs) and allowed for resources to be used to support growth of a bigger brain.  Both of these aspects had the time for evolution to have encoded the specifications of these activities and allow for
Plans change in complex adaptive systems (CAS) due to the action of genetic operations such as mutation, splitting and recombination.  The nature of the operations is described. 
cloning of the cortex and mutation
into the prefrontal network that effectively supports talking and reading. 

'Reading in the Brain' reveals key aspects of how our unconscious reads and writes.  It is packed with insightful details to justify Dehaene's conclusions.  A vision of
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
memetic
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agents
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Key research is reviewed. 
emerge
from the pages! 






































































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This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
Strategy
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This page uses an example to illustrate how:
  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
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