Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 17, Iss. 2, April, 2013, pp. 205-221
@2013 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


The Metaphor-Gestalt Synergy Underlying the Self-organisation of Perception as a Semiotic Process

David Rail, Neurologist, Sydney, Australia

Abstract: Recently the basis of concept and language formation has been redefined by the proposal that they both stem from perception and embodiment. The experiential revolution has lead to a far more integrated and dynamic understanding of perception as a semiotic system. The emergence of meaning in the perceptual process stems from the interaction between two key mechanisms. These are first, the generation of schemata through recurrent sensorimotor activity (SM) that underlies category and language formation (L). The second is the interaction between metaphor (M) and gestalt mechanisms (G) that generate invariant mappings beyond the SM domain that both conserve and diversify our understanding and meaning potential. We propose an important advance in our understanding of perception as a semiotic system through exploring the affect of self-organising to criticality where hierarchical behaviour becomes widely integrated through 1/f process and isomorphisms. Our proposal leads to several important implications. First, that SM and L form a functional isomorphism depicted as SM <=> L. We contend that SM <=> L is emergent, corresponding to the phenomenal self. Second, meaning structures the isomorphism SM <=>L through the synergy between M and G (M-G). M-G synergy is based on a combination of structuring and imagination. We contend that the interaction between M-G and SM <=> L functions as a macro-micro comutation that governs perception as semiosis. We discuss how our model relates to current research in fractal time and verb formation.

Keywords: cognitive linguistics, construction grammar, criticality, metaphor, gestalt, language development, perception, phenomenology, self-organisation, semiosis, synergy