Institut fuer Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene e.V.
Contextual emergence of mental states from neurodynamics (note changed time)
Tuesday 15th of April 2008 at 04:00pm
The concept of contextual emergence has been proposed as a non-reductive, yet well-defined
relation between different levels of description of physical and other systems. It is illustrated
for the transition from statistical mechanics to thermodynamical properties such as temperature.
Stability conditions are shown to be crucial for a rigorous implementation of contingent contexts
that are required to understand temperature as an emergent property.
Such stability conditions are meaningful for contextual emergence beyond physics as well. They
allow us to address a key issue in cognitive neuroscience, the relation between neurobiological
and mental levels of description. For a particular class of partitions of the neurobiological phase
space, so-called generating partitions, the emergent mental states are stable under the
neurodynamics. In this case, mental descriptions are (i) faithful representations of the
neurodynamics and (ii) compatible with one another. Numerical tests and experimental data
will be shown to demonstrate the viability of the approach.
508-20 Evans Hall
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