Recognition of human language processing as human processing of information requires consistency with regard to notions as a processing system, processing of options, a program, information pool, signal specificity, and use of feedback. Human logical skill does not work in denial of the nervous system. The system shall be discussed as the information processing and managing structure, beginning with the single cell, and ending with the intricate connectedness of the human brain. Coherence averred in the above terms, natural feedback shall be appreciated for a principled phenomenon.
For the thesis with footnotes, go to Chapter 1 page
1.1. Feedback-mediated phenomena at the cellular level of human neural structures
Positive and negative feedback processes have been evidenced in human nervous systems already at the level of single cells, during electric potential change. As within the ionic hypothesis by A. L. Hodgkin and A. F. Huxley, action potential generation exemplifies positive feedback, in the depolarizing phase. Alternately, the active transport system to provide for relative intracellular stability would work on negative feedback (Vander et al., 1985).
The basic level of the nervous system organization, cellular activity deserves acknowledgement in functions as advanced as language. Individual cells are indispensable to the nervous system as elemental components. Higher variables, inclusive of speech and language, need neural network deterministic efficacy, neural networks to build on particular synapses.
An action potential to be a brief, all-or-none reversal in neuron polarity (ibidem), natural language can be stated to use processing of options. Importantly, neuron singular impulse is more than likely to fall within systemic allowance for error. Perceivable language capacities not to have required action potentials never have been averred for humans, and saltatory propagation belongs with combined synaptic effects.
1.2. Intercellular communication: the spatio-temporal aspects of language processing
A single neuron may link with thousands of synapses. Signals are initiated by joined synaptic activity and launched mostly in series. Concerning natural neural diversity and specialization, the spatial arrangement of synapses or cell receptors might be stated essential to human information processing, neuron particular sites further potentially to exhibit varied thresholds. Second messenger extrasynaptic interaction also is known to take place in areas of high-density unmyelinated brain tissue, spatial adjacency thus affecting neural conveyance. Flexibility as already in the single cell permits a multiplicity of responses, dependent on neural signal type, as well as occurrence (Vander et al., 1985).
The temporal closure on neural communication yet cannot be disregarded, as inhibitory and excitatory signals summate in real time (ibidem). In the neural transmission for language as well, the time interval must constitute a meaningful determinant, to allow goal-oriented and skilled behavior. These are the grounds to posit for the actual outcome of neural correlativity to represent a biological function of space and time to an extent greater than assumed within the theories of extrinsic timing (in Puppel, 1988).
The theories approve of the temporal aspect as extrinsic to the speech plan, the temporal closure to be set on phonetic segments in the speech act implementation phase. A major argument to the contrary may come with the property of the nervous system constantly to show part preparatory actuation, diagnostic techniques as PET-scan or MRI to specialize in discernment of the degree of cellular engagement, and not detection of activity as such: continual biological performance pertains with any live cell.
Neurons not participating in a specific speech plan cannot be thought inactive, their resting state to rely on a dynamic balance between cell interior and exterior. Even action potentials may become generated during the preparatory activity. However, excitation outcome as in an isolated cell is predictable only in terms of statistic approximation (Vander et al., 1985), and standard linguistic flexibility would require well-timed, compound and selective neural summation.
Psycholinguistic research endorses word sense as a real-time process (Burkhanov, 1998). The tenet ancillary rationale may come with generative phonology to cognize negotiation of meaning (Jassem, 1987). These would be indeed the spatial arrangement of neurons along with network intrinsic temporal closure to account for the necessary reliability in the neural linkage that conciliates human formulation of linguistic content.
M. Coles and P. Duncan-Jones (in Ciarkowska, 1993) stipulated for functional aspects of biological activity to correspond at lower and higher levels of systemic structuring. In keeping with the position, feedback reliance should hold true with single neurons as well as brain language capable networks. In the light, cellular level feedback would influence the biological and psychological actuality.
1.3. Inner dynamics at the systemic level of human internal organization
Correlating neural schemata may accrue into networks. Schemata alone can embody speech sound or letter shape representations, networks to be essential in neural planning for spoken or written discourse (Puppel, 1992). As already emphasized, neuron preparatory activity is not bound to result in command execution, or signal at all. The fact increases complexity, in detecting the exact relationship between neural actuation and motor behavior (Vander et al., 1985). The inner neural determinism for speaking and writing employs intrinsic dynamics rather than strictly a hierarchy.
The neocortex is the tissue of the highest intricacy. However, it is the brainstem reticular structure to mediate long-distance neural transmission, in skill elaborating as well as use. Reticular projections help guide multisynaptic pathways and communicate the autonomic, central, and peripheral extents of the nervous system. The brainstem has been indicated for neural information processing by ten cranial nerves, of the twelve. It coordinates eye-movement control, cardiovascular and respiratory performance, the neural patterns for sleep, as well as wakefulness and focused behavior (ibidem).
A subcortical body, the brainstem helps shape phonation and visual language processing, whereas cortical activity can alter the heart rate, blood pressure, or skin conductance, the very reticular form to convey the cortical impulses to the autonomic compass of human internal organization. With focus to language, autonomic activity is vital in skeletal and smooth muscle engagement for breathing, or pupillary response.
John I. Lacey’s experiments on situational behavior stereotypes in environment intake or rejection (in Ciarkowska, 1993) were to explore systemic relationships within human inner structuring. Lacey noted that cortical commitment affected cardiac outputs. He observed the effect not only for individuals assessing concurrent experimental contexts, but also for the inner interworking on expected courses of events. Implying a pattern wider than direct response, he explained the impression by intellective faculties over autonomic lifework with afferent feedback.
Engel, Malmo and Shagass (ibidem) proceeded further with the notion of psychosomatic variance and postulated individual behavior stereotypes, to connote person-specific patterns for neurophysiological response. The researchers stated their unique variables corresponded with psychological tasks, evincing a learned factor to autonomic functioning. Autonomic activity is supposed mostly reflex. Stereotype inner dynamics would require insight into neural path negotiability.
1.4. Multicellular path functioning: a reflex arc
In the strict sense, reflexes are automatic and indeliberate behaviors. Typical constituents of a reflex arc are the receptor, the afferent pathway, an integrating center, the efferent pathway and the effector. Neurophysiological research yet would declare that “most reflexes, no matter how basic they may appear to be, are subject to alteration by learning; that is, there is often no clear distinction between a basic reflex and one with a learned component” (Vander et al., 1985).
A sample reflex arc may involve a stimulus to nerve A looped via the brain to nerve B. Nerve B may synapse on endocrine gland B1. The gland having secreted a hormone, gland C may become stimulated to communicate with a muscle by means of another messenger, chemical C1, for example. However, it is unseldom difficult to apply standard names to arc components. Beside reflex arc noted structural diversity, neurochemicals of reflex productiveness have a potential for multiple accomplishment.
Messengers can act as neurotransmitters when released from neuron terminals, as hormones or neurohormones when acting via the bloodstream, and as paracrines or even autocrines. Vasopressin may serve for an example of a multifunctional messenger. A vasoconstrictor in homeostatic controls, vasopressin may be released upon change in peripheral blood vessel resistance. Connoted with response to stress, it has been found of influence to learning and memory also in contexts not accompanied by exertion (ibidem).
The natural neural flexibility to allow stereotype merging of autonomic and learned performance would require sustained inner feedback. The question to arise is whether voluntary conduct might incorporate reflex commitment, and if there would be an accompanying feedback scope.
1.5. Reflex and voluntary behavior
Exactness in the use of the term “voluntary”, with regard to live structures inclusive of man, has been disputed. Esteeming skill and knowledge, majority of human behavior would belong somewhere in a continuum between the voluntary and the involuntary, rather than within clearly defined boundaries of consciously actualized intention (Vander et al., 1985).
Walking, though conscious and volitional by standard, employs co-exercise of muscle structures that rely on networks of interneurons. The networks engage neural information pools by spinal local levels. Interneurons may work as “signal changers” between afferent and efferent terminals (ibidem). The same interneurons may take descending inner command and participate in local reflexes. A motor pattern change to follow local feedback is in a good degree reflex. Locomotion can contribute to cognitive mapping and language.
The descending, corticospinal and brainstem paths remain mostly outside interoception, in bodily movement generally. The former connectivity type part manages the hand; the latter is essential for positioning and movement of the head, especially in response to individually relevant phenomena (ibidem). Not only writing, also the fine motor behavior of speech acts exercises a substantial amount of established neural patterns.
At the segmental level, language production and perception rely on routines not to need much focus to the fine motor detail, unless a disturbance should occur. Locally, routine antagonistic muscle inhibition can be governed by elementary neural formations. Language routines use sensory feedback, to combine local and central neural command (Puppel, 1988).
An outline on relevant neuro-motor patterns may broaden the view to intended movement in human behavior. Relevant motor patterns require relevant neural patterns (Vander et al., 1985). Favorable reference to speech might advocate the term of neuro-motor-articulatory mastery (Puppel, 1992).
1.6. Relevant neuro-motor patterns
Already at pattern formative stage, volitional practice cannot be labeled as opposed to, or independent of reflex activity. There is no clear borderline, on neurophysiological as well as functional grounds, between consciously learned and acquired behaviors, this to include patterns for speech and language. Operative details of the complex neural loops to mediate motor behavior as well as neural network hidden layers for pattern shaping may never become uniformly recognized. Some hypotheses concerning the biomechanisms for neuro-motor pattern founding yet have been developed (Vander et al., 1985).
First and foremost, frequency of pattern use alters the number or effectiveness of synapses between relevant neurons (ibidem). Early stages of neuro-motor pattern formation do heavily depend on feedback for guidance. Repetitiveness encourages new synaptic concord, and dependence on feedback gradually decreases, to advance speed and economy. Skilled movement affords much less focus to articulation or the graphemic particular.
To cluster or syllable extents, established patterns for speech and language may compare with programs, in their working as open-loop consecutions. The working has been evidenced for the segmental level of natural language, and further can compare with reflex behavior (Puppel, 1992). However, inner monitoring for speech and language never ceases completely.
The cortex feeds back with the articulators or the grip in the hand, and may instruct change to an ongoing neuro-motor sequence. Sustained feedback has an error-detecting role. It also helps feedforward, the anticipatory neuro-motor planning. This would be the feedforward to allow that speech and language segments become pre-planned, mostly in syllabic scopes, to enable smooth articulation or writing (ibidem).
Speech and language patterns require goal-oriented behavior for forming, which standardly is possible throughout lifespan, with a feedback capacity. Inner feedback other roles would be pattern verification and potential for change. Even well-established language patterns can change, with a conscious method. The volitional, CNS abilities are naturally integrated with sensory compensation, which supplements inner flexibility.
1.7. Sensory compensation
Language pattern establishment depends on auditory, tactile, and visual sense data by standard. The inner, cortical monitoring for formed routines operates on pools of sensory information. Pooling allows feedback faculties to elaborate on paralleled inputs, when intra-modal adjustability cannot moderate disadvantage (Vander et al., 1985).
Kinesthetic and proprioceptive modalities make part the information for central monitoring structures, during speaking or writing (Puppel, 1992). Distortions give rise to promoted reliance on visual inputs. Limitation to the visual modality impels increased attention to touch, hearing, kinesthesia, and proprioception. Auricular obstruction draws focus onto tactile and visual variables (Vander et al., 1985).
Intra-modal adjustability may show in a person’s raising his or her voice to speak, even if wearing headphones on purpose. The elevated auditory feedback would be to help verify the spoken performance, though own speech patterns belong with validated neural linkage. The adjustment might accord a resolve by the cerebral cortex. Knowingly, persons may learn to keep own voices down, relying on tongue tactile variables more.
Feedback reconcilement thus would work with inner, ideational levels for speech and language, though less is known about details and manner of the work, in comparison with speech motor aspects (Puppel, 1994). Since human nervous systems favor pooling of information for relevant patterns as well as their feedback compensatory adjustment, the pool model for human internal balance can be discussed (Vander et al., 1985).
1.8. The pool model for internal balance
Inner biochemical equilibrium can influence perceptual and cognitive faculties directly, as showing in distortions compelled by illness or extrinsic factor presence. Homeostasis needs the biochemical gain and loss between the organism and the environment to balance with intra-systemic inputs. In humans, the homeostatic operating point is a spectrum of variables. Another term for the spectrum is that of the homeostatic pool (Vander et al., 1985).
Human homeostasis works essentially on negative feedback. In thermoregulation, increase or decrease in body temperature causes neurophysiological activity to counter change. Homeostatic feedforward anticipates body temperature, thermo-sensitive sites inside the body to support a discrepancy with receptors in the skin. Most feedforward is learned, humans having developed a degree of climatic adaptation. Homeostatic operative values never balance error signals fully. The difference is to help receptor activity upkeep (ibidem).
The pool model would advocate a psychological inquiry into experiments with sensory deprivation (Lindsay and Norman, 1991) also for undisturbed humans. Healthy and otherwise unimpeded volunteers exhibited perceptual defects when limited on own peripheral inputs, low-level unvaried stimulation to have proved even more “hallucinogenic” than deprivation alone. Tolerance to feedback impoverishment became evidenced lower than for fasting, and financial offers were unable to motivate further endurance. The participants resigned, and regained balance (ibidem).
Within the pool model, the distortions might be explained as difficulty by the nervous system to uphold the spectrum of the operating point wide enough for neural controls to work. Sensory impoverishment as well as continued unvaried stimulation would have provoked receptor reactivity lowering, interpretable for a response within a system to use a spectrum for a threshold. Inner, natural feedback must have been important, for maintained threshold reference in regeneration of homeostasis.
The findings advance inner feedback reliance for a natural principle. Work on pools of biological information to feed back on spectra of biological variables would be motivated by the self-preservation instinct. Human brainwork and signal specificity come to the foreground, as regards the role of feedback in human management of own information and language.
1.9. Signal specificity and the human brain
Phylogenetically distinctive in regions and ontogenetically individual, human brains can form labile neural networks. Failure by a constituent of a labile formation may bring a spectrum for a response. On the other hand, cerebral tissue has a cumulative complementary potential. The brain can replace or even void intellectually defective variables (Styczek, 1983).
Intracerebral coherence becomes possible with neural radiations and tracts. Principally three fiber types may account for the integrative work. Associative connectivities communicate areas within the same hemisphere; projection processes link the cortex with the brainstem, the basal ganglia, the cerebellum, and the spinal cord, while transverse paths intercommunicate the hemispheres, the corpus callosum making the most acknowledged connective (Akmajian et al., 1984).
The aforesaid brainstem reticulate structure can consolidate an interplay of several neural subsystems, extending convergence for descending, local, and ascending pathways. Brainstem links share in brain network learning generally. Another eminent center for coordinating cortical and subcortical inputs is the thalamus to produce the wavelike, rhythmical oscillations in brain activity as perceived in EEG patterns (Vander et al., 1985). Thalamic function is significant in variable isolation and analysis.
The cerebellum feeds back with brainstem nuclei as well as the cerebral cortex, integrating vestibular information from the ears, eyes, muscles, and skin. Cerebellar memory may provide feedforward in movement planning, as well as assist comparison between intended and actualized motor sequences. Timing signals for the cortex and spinal generators, cerebellar inputs are highly specific (ibidem).
The frontal lobes as of the forehead, though argued not to have been phylogenetically differentiated primarily for language, are vital in goal or idea formation and thus recognition. Frontal associative areas have parietal, temporal, and limbic connectivity. The function helps compare sense data and heightens discernment for language, memory, and attention (Vander et al., 1985). Frontal feedback can influence the limbic emotional component.
Of areas broadly associated with speech and language, the Broca is located in the frontal lobe adjacent to the motor strip. It is believed to assist motor program choice for language producing, in feedback with the temporal lobe Wernicke, which acts in language underlying structure formation. Brain occipital regions to furnish visual sense data for the written, and temporal tissues to deliver for acoustic forms of language, parietal structures harmonize the variables, speech potentially to engage trace visual representations for lexical items, and written text to have the power of invoking trace auditory features. The parietal capacity works in feedback with established, memory neural schemata for language.
Primary receptive areas of the brain neighbor on gnostic or secondary areas that enhance signal interpretation. This is most probably the dominant gnostic or secondary auditory area to have the neural array capable of trace auditory forms that Wernicke area can reconstrue (Styczek, 1983). The capacity for signal reprocessing would be the “phonetic buffer” as in Puppel (1998), or the “echo box” as in Lindsay and Norman (1991). The ability to pool and manage auditory information is vital in comprehending spoken discourse.
Systemic specificity for speech is emboldened by cranial nerves. The nerves can be classed with concern to immediacy of effect on speaking (Styczek, 1983). Seven, namely the trigeminal, glossopharyngeal, hypoglossal, facial, auditory or vestibulocochlear, accessory, and vagus fibers take part in shaping speech production directly. The four other, the optic, oculomotor, trochlear, and abducens pairs have a less straightforward, yet influence. The trigeminal, facial, glossopharyngeal, vagus, abducens, and trochlear nerves consist of both motor and sensory fibers, thus qualifying for feedback connectivities thoroughly (Vander et al., 1985).
There is no manner or method strictly to divide between the brain networks that converge for language production and those that connect in language perception or inner, intellectual exercise (Vander et al., 1985). Brain natural integrity prevents such delineation, the integrity to come with intrinsic feedback. Anatomical research is unable to broaden the insight by functional physiology techniques into the matter.
Standard language use requires medically unaltered consciousness and simultaneous operating grammatical scopes as well as variables of cognitive validity. Neural communication for speech and language thus would combine with inputs on all available sensory modalities, along with specifics from the sophisticated neural network schemata for intellection enactment. In the light, a human language faculty is posited, selectively to imply the brain entire in language command. The notion becomes necessary with regard to the constraints a view to Wernicke or Broca areas exclusively would impose.
As a closed-loop sensory capableness, feedback is part any speech or written act. Two basic types of feedback would secure the course, interoceptive and exteroceptive modalities. The interoceptive loops would work for tactile, as well as proprioceptive and kinesthetic information, of also cognitive mapping value. The exteroceptive loops would work mainly on auditory and visual inputs. The monitoring competence does not become inactive for mental language processing. Own language activity constitutes the strongest single factor to integrate the functioning of the entire brain.
Interoceptive or exteroceptive feedback would be classes in which to note rather than delimit on the senses, tongue tactile variables to be interoceptive, and palpation exteroceptive. Also a dual model may represent feedback in interlocutory contexts. The feedback loops would not be visualized according to their interoceptive or exteroceptive nature, but thinking about their egocentric or environmental orientation. The egocentric loop might represent human self-monitoring powers, the environmental loop to symbolize exchange within an environment as inclusive of other humans.
Figure 1. The generalized dual-loop feedback model for conversational exchange.
Intra-personally as well inter-personally, the notion of a feedback loop should not be understood for parallel with that of a closed circuit or mere reiterating of instructions. The self-oriented loop in human speech can be thought to consist of the articulators, the speech sound medium, the ears, the primary auditory cortex, and the secondary areas to reiterate signal, yet before its further elaboration by the brain. Intellectual exercise would involve cellular and supra-cellular feedback, the inner ability simultaneously to work on compound data and variables. In interlocutory contexts, the environmental loop may stand for linguistic engagement, without which contemporaneous verbal behavior would be that of monologuing individuals.
Natural language is vital to human management of information, not only as requisite for scholarly and logical skill. It is language that humans employ to communicate, converse, or correspond. Information reference to solicit a structure capable of options and information pools, the human nervous system meets the expectation by standard. Program, feedback, and signal specificity are further tenets of information frameworks.
The action potential, all-or-none cellular dynamics are options. Significantly, the nervous system ignores singular action potentials by biological default. Individual neurons are not predetermined to produce signals, isolated cell incitation to have tested inconclusive (Vander et al., 1985). Human language as a coordinated nerve, muscle, and cognitive extent thus can be stated to use options in the neural actuation for speech and writing, yet as component in pools of information to summate in supra-cellular manner. Brain graded potentials cannot be ignored in the linguistic faculty work. Speech and language observably are not option-driven.
The present quest along the human internal hierarchy began with the single neuron and concluded with the brain, as the highest level for inner equilibrium. Feedback has been found in cellular as well as systemic functioning by principle. Not only cellular dynamics would be impossible without feedback activity. A frame for relatively autonomous organ subsets in the linguistically variform earthly environment, the human bodily makeup employs feedback for autonomic lifework as well as formation of neural patterns for language.
Human brains are genetically predisposed for language, and human DNA has been compared with programs as open-loop sequences. However, particular neural patterns for language are not prescribed by the DNA. Humans of various origins are able to learn languages as well as language structures and styles of choice. Closed-loop, feedback phenomena mediate every language pattern build. Only some patterns become to work as open-loop sequences, within language segmental level.
Therefore, feedback relates to human self-preservation instinct directly. Feedback productiveness is that of a biological and psychological factor to promote individual sustainment, rather than a physical control for automated workings. Feedback reliance is a natural principle in the human organism as a live entity purposed to sustain in a variable ecosystem.
Conformance with the criteria of a processing system, use of options, information pools, programs, and feedback function having been achieved, signal specificity can be observed about speech sound or letter shapes as produced or perceived by persons of language faculties. The notion of the human linguistic faculty is to denote inner, networked brain structures for linguistic performance. In a broad sense, linguistic specificity may help comprehend feedback as an initially biological phenomenon functionally to expand into inner cognitive convergence or interpersonal communication, dependent on egocentric or environmental orienting.
Differences between humans and artificial intelligence deserve emphasis, particularly on the nature and proportion in the use of terms such as an option or program. Owing to the role in self-sustainment, human information processing would promote specificity as autonomously attainable via information pools and feedback, not as externally governed or implemented options or programs. The thesis is to discuss feedback and program for neuro-behavioral priority, after a consideration of the role of feedback in language learning.