Information processing requires a processing system, a program, and signal specificity, along with option, feedback, and information pool management. Human logical skill does not work in denial of the nervous system. The system can be discussed as an information processing and managing structure, beginning with the single cell, and ending with the intricate connectedness of the human brain. Congruence averred in the above terms, natural feedback shall be appreciated for a principled phenomenon.
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 Alan Lloyd Hodgkin and Andrew Fielding Huxley, action potential generation employs positive feedback, in the depolarizing phase. Alternately, the active transport system works on negative feedback, to provide for relative intracellular balance (Vander et al., 1985).
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; exteroceptive language capacities require action potentials, and saltatory propagation favors combined synaptic effects. The basic level of nervous system organization, the individual cell deserves acknowledgment in neural higher variables, yet only as part in network efficacy, neural networks to build on neuron particular sites.
1.2. Intercellular communication: the spatio-temporal aspects of language processing
A single neuron may link with thousands of synapses. Signals are mostly initiated by joined synaptic activity and launched in series. Neural diversity and specialization makes synapse or cell receptor spatial arrangement essential, neuron particular sites often to develop 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 multiple responses, dependent on neural signal type, as well as occurrence (Vander et al., 1985).
Therefore, the temporal closure on neural communication cannot be disregarded, inhibitory and excitatory values to summate in real time (ibidem). In neural transmission for language, the time interval must constitute a meaningful determinant, for coherent speaking or writing. These are the grounds to posit for the actual outcome of neural correlativity to represent a biological function of space as well as 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 focus on the degree of cellular engagement, rather than its presence alone: continual biological performance pertains with any living cell.
Neurons not to participate in a speech plan thus cannot be referenced as 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, outcome of excitation as in an isolated cell is predictable only in terms of statistic approximation (Vander et al., 1985).
The biological functioning in real time would be impossible without intrinsic feedback. 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 for single neurons as well as language capable networks in the brain.
1.3. Inner dynamics at the systemic level of human internal organization
Neurons tend to connect into schemata, which correlate into networks. Schemata alone can embody speech sound or letter shape representations; networks are essential in neural planning for spoken or written discourse (Puppel, 1992). As already emphasized, neuron preparatory activity is not bound to result in signal. The fact makes detection and measurement for the relationship between neural actuation and motor behavior more complex (Vander et al., 1985). For speech and language, the nervous system is known to employ inner dynamics rather than strictly a hierarchy.
Brain 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 helps coordinate eye movement, cardiovascular and respiratory performance, the neural patterns for sleep, as well as wakefulness and focused behavior (ibidem).
A subcortical body, the brainstem assists phonation and visual language processing, whereas cortical activity can alter the patterns for breathing, the very reticular form to convey the cortical signal to the autonomic compass of human internal organization. Autonomic activity remains vital in skeletal and smooth muscle engagement for bodily balance, or pupillary response, human inner structuring indubitably to need intrinsic feedback, for real-time dynamics.
John Lacey’s experiments on human situational stereotypes in environment intake or rejection (in Ciarkowska, 1993) were to explore systemic relationships within human bodily structure. Lacey noted that cortical commitment affected cardiac outputs, the effect to hold not only for individuals to assess concurrent experimental contexts, but also those acting on expected courses of events. The researcher reported the pattern was wider than direct response, and 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 person-specific stereotypes for neurophysiological response. The researchers stated their unique variables corresponded with psychological tasks, thus to evidence a learned factor to autonomic functioning. Autonomic activity is supposed mostly reflex. Person-specific neurophysiological patterns would require neural path negotiability.
1.4. Multicellular path functioning: a reflex arc
By definition, reflexes are automatic and undeliberate 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 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, neurochemical 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 is 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 in contexts not accompanied by exertion (ibidem).
Therefore, it is not impossible for the nervous system to merge reflex and learned performance, further to allow a degree of negotiation; the capacity yet cannot be a program and it must involve intrinsic 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, as well as 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.
Corticospinal and brainstem paths remain mostly outside interoception, in bodily movement generally. The former connectivity type part manages the hand; the latter is essential in positioning and movement of the head, especially in response to personally relevant phenomena (ibidem). Not only writing, also the fine motor behavior of the speech act exercises a substantial amount of established neural patterns. At the segmental level, language production and perception use routines not to need much focus to the fine motor detail, unless a disturbance should occur. Locally, antagonistic muscle inhibition can be governed by elementary neural formations (Puppel, 1992).
As relevant motor patterns require relevant neural patterns, the term of a neuro-motor pattern has been coined (Vander et al., 1985). Favorable reference to speech and language might advocate the term of neuro-motor-articulatory mastery (Puppel, 1992). Humans have been found capable of shaping own behavior, via relevant pattern formation.
1.6. Relevant neuro-motor patterns
Operative specifics 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 neuro-motor pattern founding yet have been developed (Vander et al., 1985). Already at pattern formative stage, conscious practice cannot be labeled as opposed to, or independent of under-sense activity.
First and foremost, behavior repeated implementation 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. In a language learner, attention to speech sound quality or letter shape detail is considerably increased. Repetitiveness having encouraged new synaptic concord, dependence on feedback may gradually diminish, to advance behavior ease and economy. Skilled movement observably affords 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 may further compare with reflex behavior (Puppel, 1992). The language speaker never has awareness of the neural specifics in pattern forming and use; however, the inner monitoring for speech and language never ceases completely.
The neocortex 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 the feedforward, the anticipatory neuro-motor planning to allow that speech and language segments become preformed, mostly in syllabic scopes, for smooth speech or writing (ibidem). The volitional CNS abilities are naturally integrated with sensory compensation.
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1.7. Sensory compensation
Human monitoring of own body operates on pools of sensory information. The pooling allows elaboration on paralleled inputs, whenever intra-modal adjustability cannot moderate the disadvantage (Vander et al., 1985). Language skill depends primarily on auditory, tactile, and visual sense data; however, the kinesthetic and proprioceptive modalities contribute to the central monitoring structures for speaking or writing as well (Puppel, 1992).
In bodily posture, as in language and speech, distortions to proprioception or kinesthesia promote reliance on visual inputs. Limitation to the visual modality impels increased attention to touch, hearing, kinesthesia, and proprioception. Auricular obstruction directs 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, also 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, and the person knowingly may learn to keep own voice down, relying on tongue tactile variables more.
Feedback reconcilement thus can be stated to function within the ideational or psychological levels for speech and language, though much less is known about the detail and manner of their work, in comparison with speech motor aspects (Puppel, 1994). Since the nervous system pools information for relevant patterns as well as their feedback compensatory adjustment, the pool model for human internal balance can be discussed.
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. The biochemical gain and loss between the organism and the environment needs to balance with intra-systemic inputs, for homeostasis to be achieved. 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, both increase and decrease in body temperature causes neurophysiological activity that counters change. The homeostatic feedforward anticipates body temperature, using thermo-sensitive sites inside the body that support a discrepancy against receptors in the skin. Most feedforward is learned, and humans are capable of a degree of climatic adaptation. Importantly, homeostatic operative values never balance error signals fully. The difference is to help keep receptors active (ibidem).
The homeostatic pool allows psychological insight into sensory deprivation (Lindsay and Norman, 1991). Healthy and otherwise unimpeded volunteers exhibited perceptual defects, when limited on own peripheral inputs; low-level unvaried stimulation proved even more “hallucinogenic” than deprivation alone. Tolerance to feedback impoverishment proved 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 nervous system was unable to uphold the spectrum of the operating point wide enough, for neural controls to work. Sensory impoverishment, as well as continued unvaried stimulation, provoked receptor reactivity lowering, which was interpretable for a response within a system to have a spectrum for a threshold. Intrinsic feedback must have participated in maintaining the threshold reference and regenerating homeostasis; therefore, feedback reliance may be advanced for a natural principle in human inner environment entire. Human brainwork and signal specificity come to the foreground, as regards the role of feedback in human language.
1.9. Signal specificity and the human brain
Phylogenetically distinctive in regions and ontogenetically individual, human brains are capable of labile neural networks. Failure by a constituent labile formation may bring an array for the effect. Further, 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 are named 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, whereas transverse paths intercommunicate the hemispheres, the corpus callosum making the most acknowledged connective (Akmajian et al., 1984).
The aforesaid brainstem reticulate structure can consolidate 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 rhythmic variance 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 are vital in goal or idea formation and thus recognition. Frontal associative areas have parietal, temporal, and limbic connectivity; it helps compare sense data and facilitates discernment for language, memory, and attention (Vander et al., 1985). Frontal feedback is able to influence the limbic emotional component.
Of areas broadly associated with speech and language, the Broca is adjacent to the motor strip. It attends to 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 bring association with trace auditory features. The parietal capacity can be stipulated to work in feedback with memory established 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 and language 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 (ibidem). Standard language skill requires simultaneous operating grammatical scopes along with variables of cognitive validity. Neural communication for speech and language thus would combine with inputs on all available sensory modalities, together with specifics from the sophisticated neural network schemata for intellection enactment. With regard to the constraints a view to Wernicke or Broca areas exclusively would impose, the notion of the human language faculty may be put forth, selectively to embrace the brain entire.
As a closed-loop capability over open-loop sequences, feedback is part any spoken or written act. Two basic types of feedback secure the course, interoceptive and exteroceptive modalities. The interoceptive loops work for tactile, as well as proprioceptive and kinesthetic information, of also cognitive mapping value. The exteroceptive loops work mainly on auditory and visual inputs. The monitoring competence does not become inactive for language intellectual exercise. Own language activity constitutes the strongest single factor to integrate the functioning of the entire brain.
Interoceptive or exteroceptive feedback are classes in which to note rather than delimit on the senses, tongue tactile variables to be interoceptive, and palpation exteroceptive. A dual model as well 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 verbal activity within an environment as inclusive of other humans.
Figure 1. The dual-loop feedback model for conversational exchange.
Personally as well as inter-personally, the notion of a feedback loop should not be understood for parallel with that of a closed circuit or mere reiteration 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 elaborate on signal before further exercise by the brain. In interlocutory contexts, the environmental loop may stand for linguistic engagement, without which contemporaneous verbal behavior would be that of monologuing individuals.
All information frameworks to require a program, options, and information pools, the human nervous system meets the expectation by standard. Feedback and signal specificity also naturally belong with human neural function. Alive intelligence qualifying with the tenets for information, human quotient differs from artificial systems.
The all-or-none cellular dynamics of the action potential are options. Significantly, individual neurons are not predetermined to produce signals, and singular action potentials are ignored by biological default. A coordinated nerve, muscle, and cognitive capacity, human language can be stated to use options, yet as component in information pools to summate in a supra-cellular manner. Brain graded potentials also are part the linguistic faculty work; more, speech and language observably are not option-driven.
Neural information pooling is discernible already for locomotion, sensory adjustment for speech and language to indicate feedback functions as well, by the ideational or psychological language structures in the brain. The pool model for human homeostasis, along with low tolerance to sensory deprivation, allow positing feedback for a natural principle, that is, a phenomenon of strong regularity and unconditioned occurrence.
Human DNA has been compared with programs as open-loop sequences, and human brains are genetically predisposed for language. However, native or first tongues are not prescribed by the DNA, neither is other skill. These are closed-loop, feedback phenomena to mediate neural pattern build and use, neural patterns further to remain negotiable, via intrinsic feedback. Importantly, feedback productiveness is that of a biological and psychological factor to promote individual progress and sustainment, rather than a physical control for automated workings.
Neural signal specificity is promoted in the central nervous system, especially the brain, and eminent in the speech sound or letter shape detail. There is yet no singular superior structure in the brain to govern linguistic performance. Therefore, the notion of the human language faculty is proposed, to denote brain networked structures of linguistic capability. Feedback or program for the neuro-behavioral priority comes to be discussed, after a consideration of the role of feedback in language learning.