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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 […]

31 Jul Modeling Non-Random Synaptic Links

Random Hairdo

I have discussed the different meanings of “random” in “The Random Hamlet” and “That’s so Random!” in which the mathematical definition presumes there is some not yet known law that governs the phenomenon, where other definitions suggest that randomness means that the phenomenon is not governed by any law. Remember our reference to Rosenblatt’s early contributions in […]

28 Jul Patterns in the Mind

Learning Head

As we look for suitable solution designs for representing the knowledge and processes we humans use to communicate, we realize that we have no idea what knowledge in the brain looks like. Further, we only have relatively vague ideas about the processes that occur in the brain as we produce and comprehend words, phrases and sentences. […]

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 […]

08 May Three-Dimensional Model of Language

Syntax Morphology Tense

Topographical maps of concepts in a text provide useful views of language. Fortuna et al in Semantic Knowledge Management (pp. 155-169) describe how three-dimensional topic maps can both give meaningful insights into clusters of related content, such as news stories or published papers. I have frequently stressed the importance of concept associations in the brain, in cognitive […]

16 Apr From Concept to Communication

Yorrick’s First Concepts A conceptually structured model of learning might suggest that Yorrick, or any other human, first acquires concepts, and later, a vehicle for communicating concepts: language. During Yorrick’s early development, his concepts are linked entirely to physical sensations and perceptions: hunger, soreness, the sucking instinct, and the like. One of the first discoveries […]

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 […]