Biocognitive - Epistemology

contextual coemergence

Dr. Mario E. Martinez, a clinical neuropsychologist, established the Biocognitive Institute™ in 1998. He developed a theory of mind-body-culture he calls Biocognition to suggests how cognition and biology coemerge with their cultural history in a bioinformational field that seeks maximum contextual relevance.

The Biocognitive model evolved from research in psychoneuroimmunology, neuroscience, and cultural anthropology. It proposes that biocognitive interpretations are communicated linearly and locally through the immune, nervous and endocrine pathways and are expressed in manifest portals throughout the body. Concurrently, the biocognitive communication is impressed non-linearly with indeterminate locality in the totality of the bioinformational field (mind-body-culture). This concept of developmental biocognition, assumes that our cognition and our biology are dynamically interwoven with our cultural history and cannot be reduced to their components.

Consciousness is viewed as a coherent expression of inseparable cognitive, biological and historical cultural processes that coemerge in bioinformational fields. In the biocognitive model, disease is defined as a learned conflict between our operative consciousness and incongruent behavior. When a conflict remains unresolved, it triggers a chronic stress response that compromises our biological functions at their most genetically vulnerable levels. Biocognitive theory refutes the concept that divides disease into organic and mental pathology. It proposes instead that both components are inseparable from their cultural contexts.

Dr. Martinez argues that the life sciences must transcend Newtonian reductionism and Cartesian dualism, as well as their consequent upward and downward causalities where mind and body remain divided, and one entity originates from the other. Biocognitive theory offers a construct of contextual coemergence as an alternative to attributing cause to the simplest level of the organism where cognition is explained microbiologically (upward ), or to the most complex where organic processes are attributed cause at the level of consciousness (downward).

Contextual Coemergence attributes cause to the biocultural histories that are simultaneously exchanged between communicators in a shared bioinformational field that seeks maximum contextual relevance. This process of communication decontextualizes bioinformation into unstable fractals (biotic non-linearity) for storage, and recontextualizes the unstable traces, from indeterminate locality to determinate biocognitions (linear mind-body codes) during retrieval, based on the contextual relevance demanded by the bioinformational fields.

Contextual Coemergence involves linear and non-linear pathways, as well as determinate and indeterminate locality processes. Consequently, biocognition proposes a model of linearity and non-linearity, in bioinformational fields of determinate and indeterminate locality. Although these complementarities are extrapolated from research in complexity and neurophenomenology theories, they are only beginning to be explored in the cognitive and biological sciences.

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