chapter  13
CHARM: A multimodular model of human memory
WithJ. Metcalfe
Pages 9

Results emerging from the cognitive neurosciences are converging on a semimodular neo-Kantian perspective: different areas of the brain have different functions, and deal with different kinds of information-sometimes exclusively, sometimes only preferentially-and they also transform the information in their care in different manners, so influencing the person’s consciousness. The Kantian view-that the mind/brain imposes its own organisation and so alters and limits what the person can perceive and remember-has been multiplied to apply to each separate semimodular subsystem, which emphasises the modalities, features, combinations, and peculiarities for which it has an affinity, and mostly ignores the preferences of the other regions of the brain, except insofar as they alter its input. In contrast to the surely too-simple hope that there would be one universal learning mechanism that would apply throughout the brain and would explain everything, the mind/brain seems to be a Tower of Babel, with some modules speaking Fourier transform, others lateral inhibition, some convolution, or correlation or some other complex learning rule, others spreading activation, still others only summation.