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Lyndsey C's picture

I-Ponder the I-Function

I am really glad we got into groups today to tease out some of the class' chronic confusion about corrollary discharge signals and I-function responsibilitis. This is definitely not to say we came to any final conclusions, but I really do believe that at the end of each class we come closer to "getting it less wrong" (despite also creating a whole new set of questions that might appear on the surface to only add to the preexisting confusion!)

In following with this idea of an ever growing number of uncertainties, I have a few of my own questions that I wanted to post about. First, we mentioned in class today that "if we can think about what we can and cannot do without an I-Function, we can come closer to understanding what the I-Function is." Although this theory seems to be working well for the class in that we are slowly determining a definition of the I-Function and therefore extracting its primary functions (little by little) I am a little concerned about the order in which we do this. It seems counterintuitive that we would first determine the functions of a mechanism before describing what the mechanism is. Even though this order of operations is perplexing, i wonder if we are learning about it in such a way because it is in fact the ONLY way in which we can understand such a complex mechanism.

But actually, is the I-Function even all that complex? We have ruled out so many proccesses which we initially assumed the I-Function had control over (choice, perception of the self and others, etc). I am still left wondering, what does the I-function do? And if it's presence is not as neccessary for such processes as we once thought, is the fact that humans (and possibly some animals) possess and I-Function no longer the primary factor which sets us apart as cognitively superior?

We also spoke briefly about talk therapy in class today and how it has the ability to adjust expectations and processes of the nervous system. How does this occur? In other words, how does something that is not physical (talk therapy) alter something that IS physical (neurotransmitter relaease, for example). Is the I-function at all involved in this process?

What is the I-function?!?!?! So far all I've got is that it is one's awareness of the self and others and plays a role in the initiation of voluntary vs. involuntary action.


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