• Awareness and Attention: The Evolution of the Dyadic Mind.

    Christopher Collins (see profile)
    Poetics and Poetry, Science Studies and the History of Science
    Poetics, Psychology
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    cognition, attention, evolutionary theory
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    [Abstract. This paper begins by examining some of the claims of Dual-Process Theory (also known as Dual-System Theory), in particular its opposition of rapid, intuitive, automatic thought processes to those that are relatively slow, analytic, and consciously controlled. The former traits we share with our primate cousins and with other mammals, while the latter traits are evolutionarily new and uniquely human. Having outlined this theory, I propose that these apparent opposites are, in fact, correlatives of the same order as ground and figure perception, parallel and serial processing, bi-hemispheric brain functions, and bimanual tool use. Every moment of consciousness entails activity characterized by both broad awareness AND narrowly focused attention. This simultaneous pairing is not only necessary for human survival but also generates manage of our most intense intellectual and aesthetic experiences. The old primate mind and the new human mind thus function, not in separation, but in concert and, whenever they do so, they replicate what I call the “dyadic pattern.” I conclude by suggesting that this pattern, by coordinating older-evolved traits with new traits associated with tool use and language, has provided our species with a means to manage the evolutionary transition from the prehuman to the fully human mind.]
    NOTICE: This is the author's pre-publication version of a chapter published in Collins, Paleopoetics: The Evolution of the Preliterate Imagination (Columbia University Press, 2013, 2014). This version may not reflect changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, corrections, and formatting. For further information, please use the following link: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/paleopoetics/9780231160933
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    1 year ago
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