Selfhood and Consciousness: A Non-Philosopher's Guide to Epistemology, Noemics, and Semiotics (and Other Important Things Besides) [Entries Beginning with "J/K/L"]

 

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First published online 13:00 GMT 28th February 2006, Copyright Derek J. Smith (Chartered Engineer). This version [HT.1 - transfer of copyright] dated 09:00 GMT 9th March 2011

 

BUT UNDER CONSTANT EXTENSION AND CORRECTION, SO CHECK AGAIN SOON

 

 

G.3 - The Glossary Proper (Entries J to L)

 

 

Jackson-Meynert / Jacksonian Model: See Hughlings Jackson, John and Meynert, Theodor Hermann.

 

 

Jacquard, Joseph: [French weaver (1752-1834).] [Click for external biography] See materialism and underlying mechanism.

 

 

James, William: [American philosopher-psychologist (1842-1910).] [Click for external biography]. See consciousness, James' theory of and the entry for the James-Lange theory of the emotions.

 

 

James-Lange Theory: This is the name given to the particular theoretical position as to the relationship between overt behaviour and the experience of the emotions, which holds that we feel the emotion after the behaviour has been instinctively triggered, and not that we feel the emotion first and then behave in accordance with that feeling. The interpretation was published independently in Europe by Lange (1885) and in America by James (1884), and we reproduce the core argument from the former in the entry for Lange, Carl Georg.

 

 

Janet, Pierre: [French psychiatrist (1859-1947).] [Click for external biography] See hysteria.

 

 

JAS: See Jenkins Activity Scale.

 

 

Jennifer: See case, Jennifer.

 

 

Jessie Gilbert: See case, Jessie Gilbert.

 

 

Job Execution Scheduling: [See firstly contention scheduling.] Within computer science, this is the facility provided by virtual machine mainframe operating systems for managing the "job queue" - that is to say, the various demands on the machine's resources. [See Section 1.2 of our e-paper on "Short-Term Memory Subtypes in Computing and Artificial Intelligence" (Part 5), for a longer introduction, if interested.]

 

 

Jones, David: [Welsh artist-poet (1895-1974).] [Click for external biography] David Jones was the author, amongst other things, of "In Parenthesis" (Jones, 1937, 1962), a first-hand account (thinly disguised as fiction) of the assault during the Battle of the Somme by the 38th (Welsh) Division on Mametz Wood, France, July 1916, from which many did not return [see modern monument]. Jones is relevant in the present context as a fine exploration of the sort of compulsions born of survivor syndrome. [Compare Ancient Mariner and Aneurin.]

 

 

Jones, Ernest: [Welsh psychoanalyst (1879-1958).] [Click for external biography] Jones is noteworthy in the context of the present glossary for his work as Freud's biographer. 

 

 

Joseph Rowntree Foundation: This is the charitable body [corporate homepage] founded in 1904 by the Quaker philanthropist Joseph Rowntree to help counter the effects of social deprivation in Britain. It is noteworthy in the context of the present glossary for its work on the problem of homelessness and other sequelae of toxic parenting.

 

 

Judgment: In everyday usage, "judgment" is both a process and the outcome of that process. As a process, it is "the formation of an opinion or notion concerning something by exercising the mind upon it" (O.E.D.), whilst as an outcome, it is the proposition by which that opinion is given its communicability. [See now judgment, analytic and judgment, synthetic.]

 

 

Judgment, Analytic: [See firstly a priori knowledge.] This is one of the two types of reasoning identified by Kant (1781, 1787/1996) as capable of generating a priori knowledge (the other being synthetic judgment). A judgment is to be deemed both analytic and a priori, if the proposition in question is inherently superficial, as would be the case, for example, with "all bachelors are unmarried" (Kitcher, 1996, xxix), where the truth of the predicate is already attributional to the subject. [Compare judgment, synthetic.]

 

 

Judgment, Synthetic: [See firstly a priori knowledge.] This is one of the two types of reasoning identified by Kant (1781, 1787/1996) as capable of generating a priori knowledge (the other being analytic judgment). A judgment is to be deemed both synthetic and a priori, if the proposition in question might genuinely be informing you of something you did not already know, as would be the case, for example, with "all the monks are unmarried", where the truth of the predicate needs to be established as a new attribute of the subject. [Compare judgment, analytic.]

 

 

Jung, Carl: [Swiss psychoanalyst (1875-1961).] [Click for external biography] Jung is noteworthy in the context of the present glossary for his distinctive brand of psychodynamic theory. See the entries for aggression, psychodynamic theory and, alien abduction, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and Personification (1)

 

 

Kant, Immanuel: [German philosopher (1724-1804).] [Click for external biography] The best way to learn about Kant's right to a place in this glossary is to work your way through all the entries beginning "transcendental .....", and their onwards links.

 

 

Karla: See case, Karla.

 

 

Kate: See case, Kate.

 

 

Kelly, George Alexander: [American psychologist (1905-1967).] [Click for external biography] See personal construct theory, perspectives, humanistic, and aggression, humanistic theory and.

 

 

Kernberg, Otto F.: [Austrian-born American psychotherapist (1928-).] [Click for external biography] Kernberg is noteworthy in the context of the present glossary for his work on borderline personality disorder and personality, splitting of.

 

 

Kierkegaard, Søren Aabye: [Danish theologian-philosopher (1813-1855).] [Click for external biography] We mention Kierkegaard in the present context for his interest in "the pathology of selfhood". Here is Hannay (1998) on this .....

 

"[Kierkegaard] thinks the sickness is self-induced - not induced by itself, as could be said of any disease - but induced by the people whose sickness it is. [.....] The morbid condition he discerns is one we 'cause' just by wanting to be or to remain in it. [.....] The sickness is called 'despair', and Kierkegaard calls it a sickness of the spirit [.....] the fact that human beings are self-conscious. [..... It is] the wish to be rid of oneself ....." (Hannay, 1998/2006 online).

 

 

Kinaesthesis: See proprioception.

 

 

Kintsch, W.: [American cognitive scientist (1932-)] [Homepage] See LTWM and representation.

  

 

Klein, Melanie: [Austrian psychoanalyst (1882-1960).] [Click for external biography] See Kleinian School.

 

 

Kleinian School: This is the name given to the followers of Melanie Klein's version of psychodynamic theory, predicated as it was upon the insistence that aggression is indeed a primary psychological drive [see under aggression, psychodynamic theory and for the history of the debate on this issue]. Amongst those she influenced were William Fairbairn, Donald Winnicott, Margaret Mahler, Edith Jacobsen, Otto Kernberg, and Heinz Kohut. [See now object relations theory.]

 

 

Knowledge: [See firstly epistemology.] "Acquaintance with facts, range of information" (O.E.D.). The Platonic view of knowledge was that it was the seeing or grasping of ideas within the mind (Hare and Russell, 1970, p22), which is not that far removed from the modern view that knowledge is the sum total of the representations of the world contained in a given mind, on all subjects (including our own selves). The fact that there are different ways to encode the external world means that a number of underlying memory types combine in different ways to support a rich array of different knowledge types. Knowledge thus becomes "an individual's utilization of information and data complemented by his or her unarticulated expertise, skills, competencies, ideas, intuitions, experience, and motivations" (McQuay, 2005). However, if this term proves too general in technical arguments, then use the more precise propositional knowledge and procedural knowledge instead.

 

 

Knowledge Economy: [See firstly knowledge.] This term became popular in the 1990s to describe the growing systemic reliance of the economies of the Western world on knowledge, either directly as a marketable commodity, or indirectly as the key to competitive advantage in conventional commerce. Although the term itself is only young, Mokyr (2002) helpfully traces the notion of the economic value of knowledge all the way back to the Greek myths, to Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, and observes that procedural knowledge (which he names gamma knowledge) and propositional knowledge (which he names omega knowledge) normally exist in a stable equilibrium maintained by a negative feedback. We make the occasional new invention, but in isolation its impact is not enough to change our way of life. Our procedures, in other words, do not substantively change our understanding of the world. Every now and then, however, in the periods we know as Industrial Revolutions, this feedback mechanism suddenly flips to provide positive feedback, so that advances in procedural knowledge become part of that understanding and generate demand for more of the same. [See now knowledge management.]

 

 

Knowledge Management: [See firstly knowledge economy.] The applied (not to say blatantly commercialized) arm of theoretical epistemology. The study of the dynamics of individual knowledge in an organizational environment, carried out with a view to securing corporate advantage. One of the support industry skills of knowledge management is the sort of business analysis carried out during information systems development, or, more specifically, the sort of data analysis carried out during the logical design phase of a computer database. [See now wisdom.]

 

 

Knowledge Net: This is Kintsch's (1998) synonym for propositional network, as the underlying mechanism of mental representation.

 

 

Knowledge Types: [See firstly epistemology and knowledge] A classificatory breakdown of knowledge; an epistemology. The point is that for all but the simplest of organisms, the very act of existing involves the acquisition and use of knowledge. We need to know how to hunt, how to feed, how to mate, how to fabricate, and how to communicate. We need to recognize all the beings, places, and things in the world, and we need to know for each whether it is good or bad to eat, whether it is friend or foe, etc. When we get it right, we are comforted or sheltered or rewarded in some way. When we get it wrong, however, we go hungry or cold. Or worse. Knowledge helps us face up to these problems and make the decisions necessary to behave effectively. So what, then, is knowledge? As recently as 1972, Karl Popper, in his influential book on the philosophy of science, "Objective Knowledge", stated that "knowledge consists of information received through our senses" (Popper, 1972, p61). Here are some other views: "Private Knowledge consists of the events of consciousness. [] Common Knowledge, for all practical purposes, is that part of private knowledge that can be expressed by means of words. Propositions are sentences which assert or deny something []. Facts are propositions which are true" (Burniston Brown, 1952, p43 - italics original); "Knowledge is the name we give to conceptual structures built from and tested against our own experiences of actuality" (Skemp, 1979, p30); "Knowing that, knowing how, and being able to are different, though closely connected" (Skemp, 1979, p167 - italics original); "Learning how or improving in ability is not like learning that or acquiring information" (Ryle, 1963, p58 - italics original); "Declarative knowledge refers to factual knowledge [and] often takes the form of a series of related facts. [] procedural knowledge refers to the knowledge underlying skillful actions" (Best, 1992, p7 - italics added). One of the most critical distinctions (see the quotations from Ryle, Skemp, and Best above) is the one between knowing that and knowing how.

 

 

Kohut, Heinz: [Austrian (later American) psychoanalyst (1913-1981).] [Click for external biography] Kohut is noteworthy in the context of the present glossary for his work on the psychology of self

 

 

Kopf: [German = "(fig.) brains, ability; understanding, judgment, sense; memory; will" (C.G.D.).] See mind.

 

 

Kraepelin, Emil: [German psychiatrist (1856-1926).] [Click for external biography] Kraepelin is noteworthy in the context of the present glossary for his work on the cognitive impairments typically associated with schizophrenia - see under cognitive deficit for some of the details.

 

 

Kretschmer, Ernst: [German psychiatrist (1888-1964).] [Click for external biography] Kretschmer is noteworthy in the context of the present glossary for his contribution towards personality theory.

 

 

Krystal, John H.: [American clinical pharmacologist.] [Homepage] Krystal is noteworthy in the context of the present glossary for his attempts at filling in the explanatory gap between psychopharmacology and psychiatry. In Krystal et al (2005), for example, he dicusses biochemistry in the light of psychoses and cognitive function.

 

 

Külpe, Oswald: [German philosopher (1862-1915).] [Click for external biography] See Würzburg School.

 

 

KZ Syndrome: See survivor syndrome.

 

 

Label: See indexing.

 

 

Laing, Ronald David ("R.D."): [Scottish psychoanalyst (1927-1989).] [Click for external biography] Laing is noteworthy in the context of the present glossary for his work on aggression, hearing voices and and self, divided.  He also provides a good example of the humanistic perspective with his "existential phenomenology", an approach to psychotherapy which he introduces as follows .....

 

"In existential phenomenology, the existence in question may be one's own or that of the other. When the other is a patient, existential phenomenology becomes the attempt to reconstruct the patient's way of being himself in the world. [..... N]o matter how circumscribed or diffuse the initial complaint may be, one knows that the patient is bringing into the treatment situation, either intentionally or unintentionally, his existence, his whole being-in-his-world" (Laing, 1960, p25).

 

 

Lange, Carl Georg: [Danish physiologist (1834-1900).] Carl Lange is most remembered nowadays for his contribution to what went on to become famous as the James-Lange theory of the emotions. The original publication was Om Sindsbevaegelser ("The Mechanism of the Emotions") (Lange, 1885/1912), and the essence of the argument may be seen in the following extract (a long passage, heavily abridged) .....

 

"We have in every emotion as certain and manifest factors: (1) a cause, -- a sense impression, which acts as a rule by the aid of memory, or of an associated idea; -- and thereafter (2) an effect, namely, the previously discussed vasomotor changes, and further, issuing from them, the changes in the bodily and mental functions. The question now arises: What lies between these two factors? Is there anything at all? If I begin to tremble because I am threatened with a loaded pistol, does first a psychical process occur in me, does terror arise, and is that what causes my trembling, palpitation of the heart, and confusion of thought; or are these bodily phenomena produced directly by the terrifying cause, so that the emotion consists exclusively of the functional disturbances in my body? [.....] The current opinion, as already remarked, amounts to the statement, that the immediate effect of a process followed by an emotion is of a purely psychical nature, (therefore, either the creation of a new mental force, or the modification of a previous mental state). Furthermore, it affirms, that this event in the soul is the actual emotion, the true joy, sorrow, etc.; whereas the bodily phenomena are only subsidiary phenomena, which indeed are never lacking, but are nevertheless in and of themselves wholly unessential. [.....] If we cannot rely, therefore, in this question upon the testimony of personal experience, because it is here incompetent, the matter is thereby naturally not yet explained. If the hypothesis of psychical emotions be not made necessary by subjective experience, it may nevertheless be requisite if without it one cannot perhaps understand how the bodily manifestations of the emotions come into existence. We have consequently first to investigate, whether the bodily manifestations of the emotions can come into existence in purely bodily ways. If that is the case, the necessity of the psychical hypothesis is thereby removed. [.....] Where this happens in an individual, he becomes according to circumstances, depressed or distracted, anxious or unrestrainedly merry, embarrassed, etc. Everything is without apparent motive, and even though he is conscious of having no reason whatever for his anger, his fear, or his joy. Where is there any support here for the hypothesis of psychical emotion? (pp673-680).

 

 

Lange, Friedrich Albert: [German neo-Kantian philosopher and political theorist (1828-1875).] Lange joined the University of Bonn as lecturer in the mid-1850s, quickly specialising in the history of the materialist philosophers. He saw deep flaws in the materialist position, but was also far from impressed with Hegelian idealism (regarding Hegel as little better grounded in reality than the Schoolmen of the middle ages). "What was needed was a philosophical approach that would be compatible with the recent successes of materialist explanations as deployed by the natural sciences " (Hussain, 2005 online, §4). Now Lange was particularly impressed by Helmholtz's work on the experimental physiology of optics and acoustics, because this had brought hard science and mental philosophy together in a way that Wundt and James would shortly be capitalising upon in their respective laboratories of experimental psychology. He therefore reworked Kantian theory to cope more effectively with the available experimental data, publishing his ideas in Geschichte des Materialismus ("The History of Materialism") (Lange, 1866/1925) a decade later. Helmholtz's influential "Goethe address" (Helmholtz, 1953) was not forgotten, as Hussain now explains .....

 

"Lange was one of the first in this period to argue that the appropriate response to the philosophical situation in Germany at the middle of the nineteenth century was to return to Kant. [.....] He sees himself as agreeing with Helmholtz when Helmholtz 'resolves the activity of the senses into a kind of inference' [Ref.]. It does not follow, he emphasises, that 'the search for a physical mechanism of sensation, as of thought, [is] superfluous or inadmissable. [.....] He concludes: 'The senses give us, as Helmholtz says, effects of things, not faithful pictures let alone the things themselves. To these mere effects however belong also the senses themselves, together with the brain and the supposed molecular movements in it. We must therefore recognise the existence of a transcendent world order, whether this depends on 'things-in-themselves', or whether [.....] it depends on mere relations [Ref.]" (Hussain, 2005 online, §4).

 

In1872, Lange was appointed professor of philosophy at Marburg University, where he corresponded for a while with the young Hermann Cohen [see separate entry]. His insistence on at least a partly materialistic basis to cognition has led to his system being described as "a psychology without a soul". He was also an opponent of the method of introspection, for the very reason set out in the Helmholtz extract above.

 

 

Lange, Karl: [German Herbartian educational theorist (1849-1893).] [No significant external biography available] In the present context, we note Karl Lange as the author of Über Apperzeption ("On Apperception") (Lange, 1879/1889), in which he reported practical studies on the best way to educate children.

 

 

Language Difficulties: See learning disability and special educational need, the basics.

 

 

Language of Thought: This is Fodor's (1975) term for "mentalese", that is to say, the lingua franca of the mind's most abstract thought processes. In the context of the present glossary, we may see it as an array of sememe activations made linguistically coherent by the rules of some form of internal grammar, and capable, moreover, of entering the speech production hierarchy at the "top" and thereby being converted into appropriately surface utterance. This is a complex issue within philology and psycholinguistics, but here is how one theorist has tried to state the very nub of the problem (a long passage, heavily abridged) .....

 

"WHAT THE PRIVATE LANGUAGE MUST BE LIKE: [.....] Where we have gotten to is this: If learning a language is literally a matter of making and confirming hypotheses about the truth conditions associated with its predicates, then learning a language presupposes the ability to use expressions coextensive with each of the elementary predicates of the language being learned. But [.....] one can learn L only if one already knows some language rich enough to express the extension of any predicate of L. To put it tendentiously, one can learn what the semantic properties of a term are only if one already knows a language which contains a term having the same semantic properties" (Fodor, 1975, p80).

 

[Compare the Richens-Booth continuous form interlingua and Frege's notion of the Begriffsschrift.]

 

 

Language of Thought Hypothesis (LOTH): See language of thought.

 

 

Lanius, Ruth A.: [Canadian psychiatrist.] [No suitable homepage] Lanius is noteworthy in the context of the present glossary for her work on functional connectivity and dissociation.

 

 

Lateral Connectivity: The layered microstructure of the cerebral cortex was first noted by Gennari in 1776 and Baillarger in 1840, and then analysed in greater detail by Brodmann (1909) and von Economo (1929) [see the separate e-resource on this, noting how Layers I, IV, and V are horizontal dendrite layers]. [For a state-of-the-art application of the notion, see the entry for functional connectivity.]

 

 

Law of Closure: See closure, Gestalt Law of.

 

 

Law of Common Fate: See common fate, Gestalt Law of.

 

 

Law of Continuity: See continuity, Gestalt Law of.

 

 

Law of Proximity: See proximity, Gestalt Law of.

 

 

Law of Similarity: See similarity, Gestalt Law of.

 

 

Laycock, Thomas: [British neurologist (1812-1876).] [Click for external biography] See Hughlings Jackson.

 

 

LD: See learning disability and special educational need, the basics.

 

  

Learned Helplessness: This is Seligman's (1975) term for a generalised failure to engage with life's problems and challenges consequent upon prior experience of failure. Seligman and Maier (1967) originally noted the phenomenon while studying conditioning in dogs. Using a "yoked pairs" paradigm, they exposed two dogs at a time to an electric shock, but gave only one of the two dogs control over a conditionable avoidance response. With "normal" dogs, the pattern was that the innate capacity for both the classical and operant forms of conditioning soon shaped behaviour so as to avoid noxious events. However, if the power to benefit from experience was somehow taken away from the animal, its inability subsequently to learn to avoid a non-random [i.e., predictable] shock diminished relative to a control animal. It had learned not only that life was painful, but - and this was far more debilitating - it had learned that there was nothing it could do about it. The pain was now "noncontingent" upon any stimulus, and so commanded no reinforcing power. It was not long before this animal conditioning paradigm got adopted by human developmental psychology. In one of the early studies, Hiroto (1974) used loud noise as the noxious stimulus, and found that human subjects who were taught the noncontingency of avoidance in the experimental environment subsequently produced less avoidance behaviour elsewhere. During the 1980s, an impressive body of literature on learned helplessness in humans grew up (e.g. Cullen and Boersma, 1982; Berger, 1983; Stipek, 1988). This research was prompted by the strong suspicion that the learned helplessness phenomenon might actually be a key contributing factor to human unhappiness in general and mental illness - not least depression - in particular. One of Seligman's explanatory notions in this respect was that of "explanatory style" - what mattered, in fact, was not the learned noncontingency in itself, but how you rationalised that fact to yourself. It was "perceived noncontingency" which was debilitating in humans, and, although difficult to assess, in animals as well.

 

 

Learner's Role: The efficient transfer of knowledge between minds can only take place when the communication channel in question is "open" at both ends. Learners need to have committed themselves psychologically to what is about to arrive, and engaged with a suitable knowledge source (be it a tutor, a peer, a parent, a book, the Internet, a TV documentary, or whatever). The term "learner's role" encompasses said state of mind. Gross (1997/2006 online) explains it this way .....

 

"The child defines himself as a learner through various means, including: (1) how he experiences himself at mastering skills and absorbing information; (2) how others see him and let him know about himself and, (3) how he compares himself to others in terms of mastering a new skill, (e.g., a sibling or peer may be reading while he is just learning the alphabet; the kid down the block is good at ball, while he can barely play 'catch'). The development of a sense of self as a learner starts in very early childhood. Recent research has shown that children, prior to first grade, are already making distinctions about how competent they perceive themselves to be in different learning activities (including math, reading, playing a musical instrument, and sports activities). As they get older, they are increasingly adept at making distinctions about their abilities within broader domains."

 

And again .....

 

"As part of a child's psychological development, there appears to be a mandate to create a coherent self-concept as a learner. It becomes easy to see why a child with learning disabilities can become confused and discouraged. A child with learning disabilities has to assimilate contradictory information about himself as a learner; e.g, 'I'm good at designing models, but I'm slow in reading.' It is easy to see how a child with widely uneven cognitive functioning could become overwhelmed and decide that he's a bad learner and 'why bother!' In such a case, the child's internal view of himself as a learner can result in crippling feelings of hopelessness and failure. One of the biggest psychological challenges for such a child is to develop an accurate self-concept as a learner which takes into account both positive and negative learning experiences. How well a child succeeds at this complicated task depends to a large extent on sustained support and feedback from others early on as well as an ability to integrate what he understands about himself in various learning situations."

 

[Compare academic locus of control.]

 

 

Learning Difficulty: See learning disability and special educational need, the basics.

 

 

Learning Disabilities "Tsar": At the time of going to press (July 2006), this was a senior official at the UK Department of Health, working alongside the National Director for Learning Disabilities, and answerable to the Minister for Care Services. The first incumbent of this post was Nicola Smith, previously at MENCAP. [see Department of Health press release.]

 

 

Learning Disability (LD): See learning disability and special educational need, the basics.

 

 

Learning Disability, Cognitive Science of: There has always been a two-way flow of benefit between those who deal hands-on with a disability in the field, and the theoreticians and philosophers who merely talk in abstract terms about that disability at academic conferences. In one direction, we have clinicians and practitioners providing theoreticians with one of their main streams of data, namely case reports. Theoreticians then relate those data to the available formal theories of the mind, testing them, and improving them when necessary. In the other direction, it is not unknown for the theories - the cutting edge of cognitive scientific thinking - to be used to generate new therapies .....

 

ASIDE: For an example of the interplay of a clinical practicum and a theoretical model, we need look no further than the formative years of the psychoanalytic movement. It was case histories of the effects of hypnosis and free association which prompted Freud's initial conceptualisation of the psychosexual world, but it was peer-review of the theory which fed back into the enhanced clinical techniques used by post-Freudians such as Rank, Lacan, and Winnicott.

  

 [See also learning disability, grieving and and learning disability, depression and.]

 

 

Learning Disability, Grieving and: [See firstly grieving process.] Rothenberg (2006 online) has studied the grieving process in adults with learning disabilities, and warns us that learning disability needs to be understood as a loss to be grieved after. The dynamics of denial in bereavement, for example, are fundamentally the same as the dynamics of denial in disability. Consider .....

 

"By understanding one's limitations, an individual can discover how to compensate, achieve and celebrate his or her unique learning style. If someone can not accept that he has these difficulties, then he may be in denial. This can result in self-loathing and a tendency to compare oneself to others. If the person is struggling with learning and sees that others approach these same tasks with ease, he is going to have a negative self-concept. He may begin to think that he is "stupid," which may lead to low self-esteem, failure to try and further feelings of failure. A negative spiral of despair may result" (Rothenberg, 2006 online).

 

Similarly, in due course, with the anger and depression stages .....

 

"Once the shock wears off, the individual with learning disabilities may find that he is angry. He may think about times that he did not receive the help he badly needed. He may think of people who might have helped, but for whatever reason, did not. He may feel 'robbed' of the support that he might have had if others had recognized his problems earlier. An individual may feel enraged because others have misinterpreted his difficulties as laziness or emotional problems. When it is determined that there is a real neurological reason for the difficulties, he may, for the first time, feel entitled to his anger. There also can be self-directed anger because he did not acknowledge his learning problems sooner. There can be rage directed towards whatever or whomever he thinks may be responsible for the learning disabilities in the first place - a feeling of 'Why me?' Just as it is critical to address feelings of denial so that the process or mourning can begin, it also is important to address the anger so that it does not become a crippling force. If an individual with a learning disability becomes enmeshed with blaming or self-pity, he robs himself of the possibility of moving forward. Once the rage is addressed, he is often left with a feeling of profound sadness. [.....] It is a difficult loss to realize the loss of the idealized self -- the self that was supposed to be. We all have dreams and images of ourselves as we develop emotionally and cognitively that can help, in a constructive manner, to drive us toward various goals. Having to give up certain images of the self and dreams that we have had in order to bring them more in line with reality is something that everyone faces as they become adults. An adult with a learning disability often will be faced with limitations that others may not experience" (Rothenberg, 2006 online).

 

Smith (1991, p186) movingly describes all this as grieving "for what could have been". [See also masking.]

 

 

Learning Disability and Special Educational Need, the Basics: [See firstly disabilityand mental health.] Although the terms "learning disability" and "special educational need" tell you at a glance what they are broadly about the clarity ends there, for they are nowhere near as synonymous as they look. A physical disability, for example, will count as an SEN under UK law if it impairs either (a) mobility around an educational establishment, or (b) the ability to engage with the visual and auditory material on offer, but it is not itself a learning disability. It is also possible to have a special educational need for language remediation or AD/HD management, even though neither of these is, strictly speaking, a learning disability either. The charity MENCAP list cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, and Asperger's disorder as learning disabilities [check it out], and mention Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome as possible underlying causes. The ICD-10 separates "mental retardation" from "disorders of psychological development" and "behavioural and emotional disorders with onset usually occurring in childhood and adolescence". The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities lists AD/HD, Angelman's syndrome [check it out], autistic spectrum disorders, and Down syndrome. Queens University, Belfast, lists dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and Asperger's disorder as examples of specific learning difficulties which might attract additional support resources in university education [check it out]. So in short it's a bit of a dog's breakfast. Here are the main categories to consider, each one showing in parenthesis the Internet hit-rate (mid-July 2006, UK pages only) and giving onward links if and when appropriate .....

 

Clumsy Child Syndrome: [252 hits] See developmental dyspraxia (below).

 

Developmental Dyscalculia: [221 hits] This is the technical term for numeracy problems as they afflict the general child population and as they manifest themselves in everyday education as a specific learning difficulty (below). For a detailed introduction to the symptoms and main theories of developmental dyscalculia, see Sections 4 and 6 of our e-resource on "Mathematical Cognition".

 

Developmental Dyslexia: [21,700 hits] This is dyslexia as it afflicts the general child population and as it manifests itself in everyday education as a specific learning difficulty (below). For a detailed introduction to the symptoms and main theories of developmental dyslexia, see Section 4 of our e-resource on "Dyslexia".

 

Developmental Dyspraxia: [956 hits] [US = "developmental coordination disorder"] Usually referred to in the vernacular as "clumsy child syndrome", developmental dyspraxia reflects a failure on the part of the motor hierarchy to develop smooth control over the skeleto-muscular resources at its disposal. As a result, the processes of selecting a motor schema for execution, initiating it, and then seeing it through to completion, are jerky and uncoordinated. It is apparent from inspection of the motor hierarchy that there are a number of potential fail points in the control system. Moreover, since the most likely physiological root cause seems to be a quite diffuse neuronal immaturity, the motor deficits tend to co-occur with other types of pathology, such as lack of imaginative play, learning difficulties, poor concentration, literacy problems, and relationship problems.

 

Dyscalculia: [72,800 hits] Avoid this term since it fails to distinguish between the acquired and the developmental variants of the disorder. See instead developmental dyscalculia.

 

Dyslexia: [3 million hits] Avoid this term since it fails to distinguish between the acquired and the developmental variants of the disorder. See instead developmental dyslexia.

 

Dyspraxia: [261,000 hits] Avoid this term since it fails to distinguish between the acquired and the developmental variants of the disorder. See instead developmental dyspraxia.

 

General Learning Disability: [13,800 hits] A child with general learning disability has a learning disability across the spectrum of educational domains [compare specific learning difficulty (below), where the deficit is restricted to just one domain, such as literacy]. Communication and comprehension are typically both affected, and since critical comparison with the "normal" population is inevitable, the child's self-esteem suffers accordingly.

 

Language Difficulties: [423,000 hits] Language difficulties are special educational needs, but not strictly learning disabilities (because language is not learning in the sense that one sits down in a classroom environment deliberately to do it). We cover this topic under the entries for semantic-pragmatic disorder and specific language impairment.

 

Learning Difficulty: [281,000 hits, but will pick up the 56,800 "specific learning difficulty" entries as well] Children have a learning difficulty if they (a) have a "significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age", and (b) "have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities of a kind provided for children of the same age". Learning difficulties are thus the defining factor in establishing special educational needs.

 

Learning Disability (LD): [2.3 million hits] In UK practice, this term "used to be known as mental handicap or mental retardation" (Royal College of Psychiatry website). It is roughly divisible into two areas, namely "general learning disability" and "specific learning difficulties", although, strictly speaking, this leaves specific language disorders not properly accounted for.

 

PMLD: See profound and multiple learning difficulties (below).

 

Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD): [165,000 hits] Applies to cases with at least two learning disabilities, severe enough in total to exclude the child from mainstream education.

 

Special Educational Need (SEN): [271,000 hits] Under this body of UK legislation and social provision, a child has an SEN if the system says s/he has, and in making this judgment the system will have assessed whether the child's failure to thrive educationally in the normal school environment is "significant". This includes children with a physical disability who accordingly find it difficult to access educational provision, but would be quite capable of being educated by it if they could gain that access. The problem with this state of affairs, of course, is what happens to you if you come close to the trigger level but are then judged not quite "bad enough" to qualify for the (not inexpensive) package of benefits at stake. The answer here appears to be "not much" [although we would be happy to accept correction on this].

 

Special Need: [187,000 hits] In effect, and for the purposes of the present glossary, special needs are the same thing as special educational needs.

 

Specific Language Impairment: [34,000 hits] See the separate main entry.

 

Specific Developmental Dyslexia: [40 hits] Perhaps the most common of the specific learning difficulties. But avoid the term as such, because although it is strictly correct the word "specific" repeats the superordinate classifier, and the form "developmental dyslexia" better reflects the fact that we are dealing with a developmental rather than an acquired disorder.

 

Specific Dyslexia: [219 hits] Same as specific developmental dyslexia, and same comments apply.

 

Specific Learning Difficulty: [56,800 hits] This is probably the most popular term to describe problems such as dyslexia and dyscalculia, where the deficit is confined to one area of learning, leaving the child essentially normal in all other respects. [Compare general learning disability, where the deficit has to be "across the board".]

 

Specific Learning Disability: [652 hits] Avoid this term in favour of specific learning difficulty.

 

Specific Learning Disorder: [39 hits] Avoid this term, because it is not underwritten by UK law or professional practice and is rarely used academically. Use instead either learning disability, specific learning difficulty, or special educational need as appropriate.

 

 

Learning Disability, Depression and: [See firstly learning disability and special educational need, the basics.] Hollins and Sinason (2000) get straight to the heart of this particular problem .....

 

"An estimated 300,000 children and adults with severe learning disabilities live in the UK, and over 1,000,000 have a mild learning disability. The majority of the latter live in relative poverty []. Many people have coexisting physical disabilities and, not surprisingly given the burden they carry, there is an increase in emotional disturbance in proportion to the severity of the learning disability"

 

Hollins (2000) explains how the psychiatry of learning disability is only some 25 years old. She outlines how something as predictable as deaths in the learning disabled patient's family used to go unremarked and untreated by clinical staff, even to the point of leaving the patient out of the funeral arrangements! Bed and breakfast, yes; but development of, and respect for, the person, apparently not. She accordingly recommends involving the patient's family in case management, and that, in turn, makes the entire parent-child dynamic relevant. On this point, she stresses the role played by "the three secrets", thus .....

 

"All mothers bravely give birth knowing that their child will die some day, but they usually assume it will be after their own death, and that their child will, by then, be capable of looking after him- or herself. But if the child is disabled, parental fear of their own or their child's mortality may become an early preoccupation, particularly if insecure attachment patterns have become established. Denial of their own mortality may provide a more comfortable way of coping with the extra dependency and interdependency needs of their son or daughter, and may lead to no plans being made for their child's own adult life. Is this why the whole subject of death is such a painful secret where people with learning disabilities are concerned? The denial of a person's emotional life by parents and others may seem to be protective, but should have no place in our professional care. A person with learning disabilities will have similar emotional needs to other people, but their expression of emotion may or may not be similar. This will depend on whether they have found an acceptable form of expression for their feelings. Sometimes the expression of a normal human emotion may be dismissed as attention-seeking behaviour, or described in different terms. For example, when my son loses his temper, instead of having a ‘short fuse’, he has ‘challenging behaviour’. There are two other secrets which are commonly kept from people with learning disabilities: one is the secret of their sexuality, and the other is the secret of their disability and dependency []. Ignorance of both of these can lead to behavioural and relationship difficulties, and both are probably contributory to the increased risk of abuse faced by people with learning disabilities."

 

 

Learning Disability, Legal Background to: In a professional guidance report prepared in 2000, the British Psychological Society cautioned against taking too narrow an approach to learning disability. For example, the assessment of learning disability needs to take into account "biological, psychological, and interactional factors, within the broader social/cultural and environmental context" (BPS, 2000, p2). The paper also states the three "core criteria" for a diagnosis of learning disability as (1) "significant impairment of intellectual processing", (2) "significant impairment of adaptive/social functioning", and (3) "age of onset before adulthood" (p4). It also appeals for a thorough understanding of psychometrics, since psychometric tests are "the principle method" (p4) of assessing levels of the intellectual processing component.

 

ASIDE: Psychometric instruments are not without their uses in assessing the adaptive/social functioning component either. Readers who have no background in psychometrics may pick up a smattering of the vocabulary by spending a few minutes with the entries of validity and reliability in our companion glossary on "Research Methods and Psychometrics".

 

The situation has been coloured of late by legislation, notably the Disability Discrimination Act, 1995, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act, 2001, and the Mental Capacity Act, 2005. The government line is therefore that "everyone with a learning disability can play a part in making decisions about their lives" (HMSO, "Valuing People"). As for children, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 states that disabled children have the right to special care and training, and the right to have their opinions taken into account in decisions made by others affecting them. Indeed, the ability to runs one's own life is the key to promoting the selfhood of the learning disabled child. For their part, the UK government recently announced the creation of a "Learning Disabilities 'Tsar'" to advise on how legislation and public services can be improved.

 

 

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm: [German philosopher-engineer (1646-1716).] [Click for external biography] See consciousness, Leibniz's theory of, as well as the entries immediately following.

 

 

Leibniz-Bayle Debate: See consciousness, Leibniz's theory of.

 

 

Leibniz's "Mill": [See firstly explanatory gap.] This is a thought experiment devised by Leibniz (1714) to help make the point that even were it possible to see the parts of the brain in action we would actually be none the wiser about how those parts served cognition .....

 

"We are moreover obliged to confess that perception and that which depends on it cannot be explained mechanically, that is to say by figures and motions. Suppose that there were a machine so constructed as to produce thought, feeling, and perception, we could imagine it increased in size while retaining the same proportions, so that one could enter as one might a mill. On going inside we should only see the parts impinging upon one another; we should not see anything which would explain a perception. The explanation of perception must therefore be sought in a simple substance, and not in a compound or in a machine" (Leibniz, 1714, Monadology, p5).

 

It is perhaps debatable whether Leibniz would have held so strongly to this view in the light of the emergent properties debate, where the emphasis is on wholes invariably being greater than the sums of their parts. On the other hand, he would have been reassured in his scepticism by the fact that modern neuro-imaging techniques give us a non-invasive means of seeing "the parts impinging upon one another", but are nevertheless regularly at a loss to explain exactly what they are looking at!

 

 

Leibniz's "Other" Mills: See the endnote to the entry for minute perceptions.

 

 

Leibniz's Two Clocks: This is a thought experiment devised by Leibniz (1714) to help put across his rather unique conceptualisation of soul .....

 

"Imagine two clocks [which] always tell exactly the same time. This can be done in three ways. The first is by the mutual influence of one clock on the other; the second, by the attentions of a man who looks after them; the third, by their own accuracy. The first way, that of influence, was discovered experimentally to his great surprise by the late M. Huygens [detail]. The second way of making two clocks (even poor ones) always tell the same time would be to have them constantly looked after by a skilled workman, who adjusts them from moment to moment. I call this the way of assistance. Finally, the third way would be to make these two clocks, from the beginning, with such skill and accuracy that we could be sure that they would always afterwards keep time together. And this is the way of pre-established agreement. Now put the soul and the body in the place of these two clocks. Their agreement or sympathy can also come about in one of these three ways. The way of influence is that of the commonly accepted philosophy; but as we cannot conceive either material particles or species or immaterial qualities which can pass from one of these substances into the other, we are obliged to reject this view. The way of assistance is that of a system of occasional causes; but I maintain that this is to bring a deus ex machina into natural and everyday things. Thus there remains only my theory, the way of pre-established harmony, set up by a contrivance of divine foreknowledge, which formed each of these substances from the outset in so perfect, so regular, and so exact a manner, that merely by following out its own laws [.....] each substance is nevertheless in harmony with the other, just as if there were a mutual influence between them ....." (p192; bold emphasis added so as to pick out the core argument).

 

It is perhaps debatable whether Leibniz would have held so strongly to this view had he lived a hundred years later, and seen, for example, Galvani's demonstration of the electrical nature of the nerve impulse.

 

 

Leonie: See case, Leonie.

 

 

Les: See case, Les.

 

 

Lexicon: See this entry in the companion Psycholinguistics Glossary.

 

 

Libido: This is the formal psychoanalytic name for the sort of energy which Freud (1895) described in his Project for a Scientific Psychology [see Freud's Project]. It is primarily generated by the sexual instinct, and is capable of attaching itself to particular object representations in the unconscious mind by the process known as cathexis.

 

 

Lichtheim's "House": Lichtheim (1885) added to the then-raging localisation of function debate by presenting a set of explanatory diagrams showing how the language centres (as he conceived them to be) were connected up. These diagrams placed auditory memories and motor memories in different centres (the "A" and "M" centres respectively), thus: "We may call 'centre of auditory images' and 'centre of motor images' respectively, the parts of the brain where these memories are fixed" (Lichtheim, 1885, p435). A third concept centre (the "B" centre - from the German word Begriffe) took care of the associated semantic elements of the equation. The beauty of the resulting diagram - affectionately known as "Lichtheim's house" - is that a different aphasic syndrome naturally follows damage to any single pathway or any single centre (compare Charcot above). Lichtheim was also one of the first to recognise the diffuseness of higher-order cognitions (or what we today term the "semantic system" or the "central executive"). In his Figure 7, he placed these in a set of distributed "conceptual centres".

 

 

Limbic Irritability: See abuse-related brain damage.

 

 

Limbic System: See the companion resource.

 

 

Limbic System Checklist (LSCL-33): [See firstly abuse-related brain damage.] This is a measure of limbic system irritability devised by Teicher, Glod, Surrey, and Swett (1993). It consists of 33 rating scale questions, each probing a behaviour suspected to be mediated by structures of the limbic system. Among the areas screened for are "paroxysmal somatic disturbances", "brief hallucinatory events", "visual phenomena", "automatism", and dissociative experiences. Standardisation studies have indicated that control subjects typically score below 10 on the scale, whilst temporal lobe epileptics score over 23. Teicher et al (2006) have described LSCL-33 scores as "dramatically influenced" by abuse history, "more so than any other variable we have examined" (p994).

 

 

Limiting Membrane: This is Winnicott's (1960) term for the perceived surface of the infant's physical self, that is to say, that which sets him/her off from the world outside. Consider .....

 

"The result of healthy progress in the infant's development during this stage is that he attains to what might be called 'unit status'. The infant becomes a person, an individual in his own right. Associated with this attainment is the infant's psychosomatic existence, which begins to take on a personal pattern; I have referred to this as the psyche indwelling in the soma. The basis for this indwelling is a linkage of motor and sensory and functional experiences with the infant's new state of being a person. As a further development there comes into existence what might be called a limiting membrane, which to some extent (in health) is equated with the surface of the skin, and has a position between the infant's 'me' and his 'not-me'. So the infant comes to have an inside and an outside, and a body-scheme. In this way meaning comes to the function of intake and output [.....]. During the holding phases other processes are initiated; the most important is the dawn of intelligence and the beginning of a mind as something distinct from the psyche" (Winnicott, 1960, p589).

 

 

Lisa: See case, Lisa.

 

 

Litotes / Litotes: [See firstly figures of speech.] [Greek = "plainness, simplicity" (O.C.G.D.).] This is a habit of phrasal construction wherein an affirmative is deliberately understated by an inbuilt negative, as in "no mean city" or "no small tempest" (O.E.D.). As with all figures of speech, the principal mystery is why the human cognitive system finds so little trouble coping with the resulting construction, even when produced or heard for the first time.

 

 

Little Miss Muffett: This is Ryle's (1949, p63) thought experiment and calls for the reciting of this well-known nursery rhyme backwards, while at the same time introspecting how many separate acts of volition are involved. See the entry for free will, Ryle's theory of for details.

 

 

Liz: See case, Liz.

 

 

Lloyd Morgan's Canon: This is the name traditionally given to Lloyd Morgan's (1894) caution that it is unwise to think of animals in anthropomorphic (human-like) terms, attributing them with human emotions such as love, gratitude, etc., simply because their eyes are bright or their tails are wagging. Thus: "In no case may we interpret an action as the outcome of the exercise of a higher psychical faculty, if it can be interpreted as the exercise of one which stands lower on the psychological scale" (Op. cit., p53).

 

 

LNNB: See Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery

 

 

LoC: See locus of control.

 

 

Localisation of Function Debate: This is the name given to the academic debate which has raged without interruption since the Napoleonic era, over whether brain function is <localised, focal, and modular>, or <distributed, diffuse, and systemic>. Readers may gain a feel for the general issues and the specific confrontations by browsing as follows .....

 

(1) From our Neuropsychology Timeline: Check out the entries Gall, Flourens, Hughlings Jackson, Head, and Lashley.

 

(2) From our Neuropsychology Glossary: Check out the entries for diagram makers and Globalist School.

 

As is not infrequently the case with long-standing academic debates, the localisation of function problem is actually a non-problem. What is really at issue is how you interpreted the available data when you formed your personal position opinion on the issue in the first place. Are you, for example, already a committed Reductionist or Holist, and towards which psychological "School" do you gravitate? The more you are an "-ist" of some sort, the more likely you are to over-focus on the data which bear out your prejudices. In fact, the brain is <localised, focal, and modular> and <distributed, diffuse, and systemic> according to where you happen to be standing when you look at it, and how good your (metaphoric) magnifying glass is.

 

 

Locke, John: [Class-defining British Empiricist philosopher (1632-1704).] [Click for external biography] See the separate entries for abstract idea, abstraction, idea, perception, primary quality, reality, self, semiotics, and substance.

 

  

Locus of Control (LoC): This is the mental dimension and fundamental personality factor proposed by Rotter (1966) to reflect differences in how individuals perceive the causal relationship between what they do mentally and what happens to them physically. Specifically, it is a measure of where they stand on a scale running from "Other people [God, fate, your boss, etc.] run my life" to "I run my own life". Here is Rotter's original presentation of his ideas .....

 

"When a reinforcement is perceived by the subject as following some action of his own but not being entirely contingent upon his action, then, in our culture, it is typically perceived as the result of luck, chance, fate, as under the control of powerful others, or as unpredictable [.....]. When the event is interpreted in this way by an individual, we have labelled this a belief in external control. If the person perceives that the event is contingent upon his own behaviour or his own relatively permanent characteristics, we have termed this a belief in internal control. It is hypothesised that this variable is of major significance in understanding the nature of learning processes in different kinds of learning situations and also that consistent individual differences exist among individuals in the degree to which they are likely to attribute personal control to reward in the same situation" (Rotter, 1966, p1).

 

Later research has found locus of control effects across diverse behavioural domains, including healthcare (e.g., Steptoe and Wardle, 2001) and education. People with an external locus will look to others - "the system" - to help them give up smoking, for example, or study hard. In the present context, we must also mention that locus of control appears to be central to the issue of coping behaviours. [See now locus of control, academic performance and or locus of control, sports performance and as desired.] 

 

 

Locus of Control, Academic Performance and: [See firstly locus of control.] Needing, as it does, to begin at an early age, "schooling" (be it at "school", or elsewhere) can only ever be a given experience. Young children are required to attend and to behave, and are expected to participate without protest in the educational experience. Whether they are listening to the teacher, doing a classroom activity, or being allowed to play, everything is structured by the educational system, such as it is. It is therefore important that, as the child grows older, it is offered increasing opportunity to manage its own learning. In 21st century Britain this expectation contributes a little to the primary and secondary educational experience, but begins to "bite" only in the first year of the university experience AND NOT ALL UNDERGRADUATES TAKE EQUALLY TO IT.

 

ASIDE: In the present author's experience, voluntary level 1 tutorials have an attendance rate of only around 30%, despite attendance being very strongly correlated to examination success.

  

Morris and Carden (1981) looked at the exam performance of US college students in a two-by-two design, grouping by internal or external LOC on one axis and extraversion or introversion on the other. They found that the external locus of control was positively related to their subjects' Neuroticism but unrelated to their Extraversion. They concluded as follows .....

 

"This study adds to the growing body of literature which indicates that extraversion-introversion and external-internal locus of control, despite their similar-sounding names, are independent personality dimensions. [..... T]he major predictor of performance differences was locus of control, with internal scorers making higher grades than external scorers as expected [.....] external extraverts performed the worst of the four groups. [.....] On the one hand, neuroticism scores are a good predictor of situational test-anxiety reactions, both emotionality and worry, while locus of control scores are not. On the other hand, locus of control scores are a predictor of academic performance, while neuroticism scores are not" (Morris and Carden, 1981, pp804-805).

 

To help formalise research in this area, Trice (1985) produced a psychometric measure of these individual differences, known as the Academic Locus of Control Scale [see separate entry for details]. This was followed up with an 18-item variant of Rotter's original IE-scale, designed to measure students' approach to career development issues (Trice, Haire, and Elliott, 1989). The authors called this latter measure the Career Development Locus of Control Scale (CDLC) and found that it could closely predict which of a class of students approaching graduation had so far done little in terms of sorting out their future employment. Here are four out of the 18 questions, two indicating externality and two indicating internality. .....

 

Q1. Getting a good job is primarily a matter of being in the right place at the right time [true = external]

Q9. I expect to be hired for my first job on the basis of the skills I have worked on developing [false = external]

Q10. One day I will just happen onto a career option that is right for me [true = external]

Q17. I have only a vague idea of what I want to be doing five years after graduation [false = external]

  

TEST YOURSELF NOW: Students wishing to specialise in educational science should try generating half a dozen additional test items of their own, and then checking against the full original to see how close they were. THEY SHOULD THEN SCORE THEMSELVES AND REFLECT UPON WHAT THAT SCORE REVEALS.

 

 

Locus of Control, Sports Performance and: [See firstly locus of control.] ENTRY TO FOLLOW. 

 

 

Logic (of a Process): This phrase refers to the sequence of events by which a problem can be solved. These events can be, for example, movements of, manipulations of, or tests of, memory content. [Now see logic circuit.]

 

 

Logic Circuit: This is the name given to the functional components at the heart of electronic computers, and their task in life is to manipulate one string of binary impulses according to the content of another string of binary impulses. Binary input is thus "processed" in a predetermined and orderly fashion to produce binary output. In the Control Unit, this binary input is the op code, and the corresponding binary outputs are the electronic signals necessary to activate the Arithmetic/Logic Unit. In the Arithmetic/Logic Unit, the inputs are the control signals coming out of the Control Unit, plus any relevant operands, and the output is the required arithmetical result in the required memory location. Logic circuits were originally invented by the likes of Charles Wynn-Williams, Konrad Zuse, George Stibitz, and John Atanasoff, and their basic physical components are called "logic gates". Lewin (1985) describes logic circuits as "combinational networks", and summarises their operating principles as follows .....

 

"A combinational logic circuit is one in which the output (or outputs) obtained from the circuit is solely dependant on the present state of the inputs. [] The classical objective of combinational design is to produce a circuit having the required switching characteristics but utilising the minimum number of components [] Switching problems are usually presented to the designer [] specifying the logical behaviour of the circuit. From this specification a mathematical statement of the problem can be formulated [and] simplified where possible. These simplified equations may then be directly related to a hardware diagram ....." (Lewin, 1985, pp53-54.)

 

The speed of a logic circuit is usually measured in "instructions per second" (nowadays, millions of instructions per second, or "mips"), and this is determined in turn by the "clock rate" of the system.

 

 

Logic Gates: Logic gates are electronic switches capable of executing Boolean decision making, that is to say, combinatory binary symbolic logic of the form developed in the nineteenth century by George Boole and Augustus de Morgan.

 

 

Logical Database Design: This is the first of the two basic phases in the development of a database [the later phase being physical database design]. It includes all the activities already dealt with in the entry for data analysis and normalisation, and concludes when the metadata contained in the data model is further customised for a particular physical implementation, that is to say, on a given machine, under a given operating system and DBMS, for a given corporate customer, and so on. [See now physical database design.]

 

 

Logorrhoea: See this entry in the companion Neuropsychology Glossary.

 

 

Logismos: [Greek = "reckoning, computation, arithmetic; consideration, thought, reasoning, reflection; cause, conclusion, judgment; project; reason, insight" (O.C.G.D.); "reasoning, discursive thought" (Peters).] See ideation.

 

 

Logos: [Greek = "saying [.....]; discourse [.....]; thought, reason" (O.C.G.D.); "speech, account, reason, definition, rational faculty, proportion" (Peters); "rational speech" (Beare, p107); "account of" or "formula for" (Lawson-Tancred, 1986, p117).] In his translator's introduction to Aristotle's De Anima, Lawson-Tancred (1986) warns that logos is "the hardest single word for the Aristotelian translator" (p117). In his view, the most important of the possible face-value meanings of logos is discourse for the purpose of definition, because that is an indicator of how well you understand the thing you are defining. Here is his personal logos on logos .....

 

"For something to be substance in the fullest sense, it must be the possible subject of a definition and thus of fundamental knowledge, and it must thus constitute the logos of a particular thing" (Lawson-Tancred, 1986, p63).

 

 

Long-Term Memory (LTM): For the mainstream neurophilosophy of long-term memory, see this entry in the companion Memory Glossary. For various uses of LTM resources in the construction of the self and selfhood, or for the role which deficiencies in same might play in learning disabilities or mental health problems. See also mental model and motor schema.

 

 

Long-Term Working Memory (LTWM): [See firstly long-term memory and working memory separately.] Ericsson and Kintsch (1995) [useful commentary and extracts] have recently introduced the concept of long-term WM (an assertion which would once have been considered a contradiction in terms) to account for tagging phenomena in complex cognitive behaviours like the comprehension of text. What Ericsson and Kintsch noted was that such highly complex tasks typically require access to large amounts of what is known as "domain specific" - ie. logically themed - knowledge. You might see this, for example, in having the rules fresh in your mind while playing a game of chess, or your knowledge of memory theory fresh in your mind while reading this paragraph. Ericsson and Kintsch therefore proposed the need for matching domain-specific "retrieval structures" capable of rapidly and flexibly retrieving information from LTM, and in some way of pre-organising it to the demands of the problem. These retrieval structures are then the mechanism by which ongoing thought can turn to a particular domain of knowledge and immediately be served up with a "control panel" of sorts, by which the LTM within that domain is best handled. The fact that these retrieval structures were undeniably LTM structures themselves, but could interface flexibly with ongoing cognition, led to them being termed LTWM. For our own part, we see LTWM as demanding precisely the sort of "touch-and-glow" electrochemical medium-term memory promised by second messenger neurotransmission

 

 

Lordat, Jacques: [French army surgeon (1773-1870).] See the separate file.

 

 

LOTH: See language of thought.

 

 

Lotze, Rudolf Hermann: [German philosopher (1817-1881).] [Click for external biography] See objective idealism.

 

 

LSCL-33: See Limbic System Checklist.

 

 

LTM: See long-term memory.

 

 

LTWM: See under long-term working memory in the companion Memory Glossary.

 

 

Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery (LNNB): [See firstly executive function and dysexecutive syndrome.] The LNNB is a 14-subscale battery of "unstructured qualitative" neuropsychological tests [see sales material]. The full test takes around two and a half hours to complete (Anastasi, 1990), and the final paperwork includes a "mountain range" graphic plot (or "profile") of standardised T-score performance on the 14 subscales.

 

 

Lysosome: This is a small spherical organelle containing digestive enzymes. Lysosomes help "sweep up" foreign substances entering the cell.

 

 

 

See the Master References List

 

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