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 Post subject: Aptic Structures: Definition?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:46 pm
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Hi, all.

Tucked away in a footnote in Origins is a reference to "aptic structures." Would someone please define this term for me as Jaynes intended it? And it's best to dumb it down since I'm no scientist. :wink: I'd appreciate hearing any comments, too, as to how these aptic structures may or may not be akin to the Jungian concept of "archetypes."

Many thanks!

Celestia


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 Post subject: Aptic Structures: Definition?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:17 am 
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My understanding is Jaynes uses this term to describe structures in the brain (he says "organizations in the brain" which I take to mean groupings of neurons) that are responsible for certain genetically based instinctual behaviors (for example, mating behavior or a mother caring for her young).

However, he also felt that experience could modify certain genetically-based behaviors, so the behavioral responses produced by aptic structures aren't purely instinctual in humans the way they would be in insects, lower mammals, etc.

In other words, they are groupings of neurons in the brain that are responsible for certain pre-programmed instinctual behaviors that can be modified by experience.

Jungian archetypes can perhaps be viewed in a more scientific light as universal genetically programmed behaviors (or "ideas") — so there is a similarity. However, I know that Jaynes did not subscribe to the Jungian concept of a collective unconscious (he mentions this in his lectures) and would probably see archetypes as somehow genetically encoded.

Maybe someone else can elaborate a bit or provide a better discussion of the term.

You might also read a description of the "Baldwin effect" (that over time learned behaviors can become instinctual through selection) which is somewhat related to Jaynes's notion of aptic structures.


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 Post subject: Aptic Structures: Definition?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:11 am 
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Moderator wrote:
You might also read a description of the "Baldwin effect" (that over time learned behaviors can become instinctual through selection) which is somewhat related to Jaynes's notion of aptic structures.


Thanks for your help. And I did do a bit of reading on The Baldwin Effect.

Should any other scientific novices be interested in this concept, here's an article that even I understood: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/ip/davidpapineau/S ... rnBald.htm

Celestia


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