"Goal-seeking directness toward the outer world" (C. EMMECHE, 1994, p.122)
This author comments: "This attention, a requirement for moving around in our living environment, can also be found among other organisms with well developped nervous systems" (Ibid).
The american neurologist W.J. FREEMAN has researched the neurodynamics of intentionality in animal brains, which he considers as the basis for intelligent behavior.
The first stage in the process is observation, whose cerebral effects can be seen through the use of electro-encephalograms. Even in the simple brains of salamanders, for instance, "the simplest actions, such as searching for food or evading predators, requires an animal to know where it is with respect to its world, where its prey or refuge is, and what its spatial and temporal progress is during sequences of attack or escape" (1998, p.4).
FREEMAN states that the limbic system ( a relatively archaic part of the central nervous system) is the organ of intentional behavior: "… the necessary and sufficient part of the vertebrate brain to sustain animal intentional behavior is the ventral forebrain, including those components that comprise the external shell of the phylogenetically oldest part of the forebrain, the paleocortex, and the deeper lying nuclei with which the cortex is connected. These components suffice to support remarquably adept patterns of intentional behavior in dogs, after the newer parts of the forebrain have been surgically removed… and in rats with neocortex chemically inactivated… "(Ibid).
A similar concept was developed earlier by the French philosopher M. MERLEAU PONTY, as "perceptive intentionality" (1945).
It has also taken a psychological meaning, whose multiple shades are not altogether very clear, as announced intentions do not always correspond to hidden ones, while the difference is difficult to fathom. Systemic psychology has still a long way to go!
It seems also to be somehow complementary to J.J. GIBSON's affordance (1986).
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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