Thursday, April 27, 2006

2.1 The machinery of the cerebral cortex (3)

What is meant by Explicit and Implicit?

"An explicit representation is one that has more logical depth than an implicit one because it is, in essence, the summation of all the implicit information."

Things to note. Here Koch is careful enough to use the concept of explicit and implicit in the context of representation, and not necessarily of cells' representations. Even though all his examples are representations by single cells. Here the problem is, that if we continue his claim, the logical outcome is that there must be an explicit representation of the whole field of consciousness at some level. And we all know that this is not going to happen at the single cell level.

Something that I would have liked Koch to discuss is what exactly has to be represented. It seems as though in all the examples he presents, the cells do in fact have explicit representations of some things, but at the same time implicit representation of others. As I said before, if there was indeed a pure explicit representation of consciousness it would have to be of the whole field of consciousness.
For example, he shows in figure 2.4 a cell in IT of monkeys that responds preferentially when the monkey views a side views of bearded people. This cell might be representing explicitly 'bearded man seen from the side' but at the same time it might form part of an implicit representation of 'uncle Joe' who has a beard.


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