If the brain is a vastly complex representamum
(a Peircean term which means "an objective representation") of the lived interactions between
the physical body and its relations with the world, then perhaps there would be no better internal 'representamum', or "framework" for thinking
about something, than the very thing we use for our thinking.
The average human brain is 70 kg, or 1,509 grams. There are around 86.1 billion neurons per brain; 16.3 billion in the cerebral cortex (which includes
the 6 layered pyramidal neocortex; a paleocortex, of 4 or 5 layers; and an archicortex, of 3 layers). In between neurons. There are slightly fewer
than one billion neurons in the "midbrain-brain". Finally, there are an astonishing 69 billion neurons in our cerebellum.
The cerebellum is a strange part of our brain, but not very relevant to the functionality - the "rules" - of how things work. Without the cerebellum
humans aren't that damaged. Granted, everything you do without a cerebellum will lack coordination, smoothness, or style. As much in body, as in
feeling, as in thought - the cerebellum helps coordinate and 'dampen down' the "block-like" circuitry of the brainstem and cortex.
Because of these essentially "spiritual", or 'unifying' functions, the cerebellum has been rightly regarded as a dynamical representation of the
action tendencies between body and world. It is an important structure - but still, a person can still have meaning and live and relatively meaningful
life without it - and so, contemplating this structure does not help much in the way that I intend.
What really matters in terms of brain function are the dorsal corticolimbic system and the ventral corticolimbic system - the "feedforward" and
"feedback" cybernetics of the brain.
I contemplate these structures as a way to regulate myself. In "moving into an environment", my constraint system, or ventral system, will tend to
activate feedforward systems which more or less 'focus on constraints'. This traumatological tendency is defeating if left unchecked - but most
people simply cannot find a perspective accurate enough to represent their experiences, and hence, their representations are offset with the reality
of what is happening to them.
The ventral system constrains; it is what brings reality into focus and differentiates "what matters" from "what doesn't matter". What matters is
initiated in the ventral, which, via the thalamus, becomes associated with specific 'self-states' associated with the dorsal projectional system.
The projection outward is always for the goal of self-enlivenment. Objects (or goals) appear, and the self becomes initiated and "fed forward" by
its dorsal system.
But this is not all. The self is not simply doing what it wants when it wants. Indeed, a self which doesn't notice or recognize necessary constraints
for future well being either doesn't last very long, or is what we would call a psychopath, which, if well educated, can oftentimes live a life
dissembling as a normal person (i.e. a good many politicians). In any case, as social beings, the highest control parameter in our functioning lies,
as countless imaging studies demonstrate, in the cingulate cortex. This makes much sense: the cingulate is the first cortex to emerge which responds
to social rewards - such as the experience of 'being recognized'. All mammals have some sort of cingulate cortex - especially the very social
mammals, such as dogs, whales, dolphins, apes, primates, and elephants.
This diagram, if properly studied, explains how the feedforward and feedback 'steering' in the brain is dynamically linked to higher level dynamics
Shared-intentionality explains the logic of human communication, which is basically the idea of having a 'common ground', or shared sense of
referents. At a biological level, of course, this 'shared ground' is also biophysical convergence to the same states. Thinking and communicating is
fundamentally a symmetry process that is tethered to the teleodynamism of 'shared-intentionality'.
If the top-down vector is the 'situation', and the social-cultural values present in the interactions, then the 'bottom-up' vector is the
cybernetic dynamics of the brains feedback and feedforward networks, as they 'constrain' into focus those elements brought into view by the top-down
In this way, a person can achieve an extraordinarily coherent mental representamum of how the self functions from moment to moment, and hence,
increases the degree of free-will that a human being can exercise.
The cybernetics of being a self are the same thing as the cybernetics of the brain. To get precision knowing, I believe it is very effective to hold
an image in your mind of these basic circuits, realizing that a 'push forward' in your affective assertiveness as a self is the feedforward network;
whereas the constraints, exemplified by a state like anxiety, is there to 'attune' us to the reality conditions of the external world.