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04 Jul Cognitive Multi-Processing

Layered Model

Today I’ll address parallel computing and models for breaking down computational problems. I will not address the question of autonomy today, but save the question of empowering independent agents for a future post. ANS and Multiprocessors Artificial Neural Systems (ANS) are probably the closest approximation of the mechanical brain paradigm, so it is useful to know how […]

28 Oct Chemicals And Cognitive Performance

Lightning Brain

Outside Influences Mind-altering chemicals, stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens to name a few, affect the entire process of cognition, from receiving and processing input, through recognition and reasoning. They often even improve or impair our ability to act, affecting everything from muscle performance to language production and comprehension. Bacteria and viruses can also impact people. Things that come from outside […]

08 Aug The Fourth Dimension

Time as 4th Dimension

To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season… Time is a fundamental and omnipresent element of context. It goes intrinsically with space, so much so, that we sometimes hear about a “time-space continuum” in which all things occur. Space and time are relevant to brain processes: electrical potential moves through physical pathways and brain […]

17 Jul Are you who you say you are?

Identity Exposure

Humans are capable of prolonged kindness and extreme altruistic behavior. We are also capable of aggravating selfishness and unthinkable cruelty. Different levels of each polar opposite behavior exhibit themselves in the same person – indeed, every person. I believe that context plays an important role in these phenomena: the context of one’s upbringing, ones socio-economic […]

15 Jul From Perception and Learning to Logic

Software of Thought

Perception and Learning I am not a cognitive scientist, so all I have said in this section is based on the work of others. On the other hand, I have probably spent more time seriously studying cognition than most computer geeks, and I have tried to form my perspectives around the best of our knowledge. The […]

28 Apr Mosaic of Concepts

Stereo Vision

KR Mosaic On our way to knowledge representation (KR), we’ve looked at concepts and logical propositions and words and taxonomies. I know this can all be a bit confusing, but please bear with me a little longer. Word relations are more than a two-dimensional mosaic of related concepts – they form a deep hierarchy with multiple […]

03 Apr Causal Chains in Action

Pulling Together

Expectations are often influenced by our understanding of cause and effect. In physical interactions between our bodies and the external environment, and in social interactions between other complex people, we are capable of predicting an outcome long before it actually comes to pass. We are also capable of predicting an outcome immediately before it comes to pass, as […]

02 Apr Context and Expectations

Keyboard Music

Expectations are context based, top-down ideas of what comes next. These top-down ideas feed perceptual processing centers in the brain, helping us focus on what matters, ,and sometimes blinding us to other possibilities.  The two types of context we will consider today are sensory and non-sensory. Sensory context applies to anything in the physical world […]

31 Mar [Mountcastle 1978]

20 Mar Section 4 Intro – Perception and Cognition

Sensory Perception

Wha’cha Thinking? All the developers in the world could work forever to try to imitate brain functions, and even if they begin with a good understanding of the physiology of the brain and the microscopic mechanisms of electrical transmission between neurons, would have great difficulty passing a Turing test without some knowledge of perception, memory and cognition. Add Searle’s more demanding Chinese […]