Mind out of time: Wordsworth and neurophenomenology

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If literary art evokes extraordinary forms of cognition in principled ways, then theories and distinctive practices of poetics should prove illuminating for cognitive science. The question is, how to operationalize such theories and practices for controlled experimental study? This paper proposes an answer in terms of the neurophenomenological paradigm developed by Francisco Varela and his students, which seeks to correlate first-person (subjective, introspective) accounts of cognitive experience with third-person (objective, neurophysiological) measures. Given striking correspondences between the neurophenomenological theory of cognitive "transparency" and "breakdown" and the Romantic poetics of defamiliarization, I adopt the Wordsworthian "spot of time" as a test case and use standing literary-critical description to formulate specific neurophenomenological predictions about its defamiliarizing effects. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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