Conceptual Foundations for Multidisciplinary Thinking

By Stephen Jay Kline | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
Integrated Control Information

We will use the phrase "integrated control information" to denote information used in a human-control feedback mode, as defined in Chapter 6. Integrated control information in this sense is a combination of incoming information with a preexisting schemata in the human mind. The integrated information is used to activate muscular responses in a given situation. As we have seen, schemata are relational repertoires that can tie stored chunks of data to solution patterns in the human memory. As a result, integrated control information can quickly activate learned neuromuscular responses in circumstances that may vary somewhat from case to case. Since this kind of information invokes schemata, it often employs deep networks of related information that pass beyond a collection of facts or even use of an explicit "rule." Moreover, the relational networks are different in each human.

In order to see in more detail what the use of integrated control information implies in the human system, let's think about what you do if a truck suddenly appears in front of your car. In reacting to the sudden appearance of the truck, you acquire information (Oops! Truck in the way); you integrate this information with your schemata for driving already stored in your brain (Process information); you bring up action patterns from a relevant schema; and you act using your muscles (Apply the brakes! Turn!) to cause the car to change speed and/or direction.

In the phrase "integrated control information," the modifier "control" reminds us that the information is used in a human-control feedback loop. The modifier "integrated" reminds us of two things: first, that information is acquired via sensing; and second, that the acquired information is integrated with preexisting schemata in the brain. It is the combination of the preexisting schemata

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