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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 […]

20 May Cybernetic Modeling for Smarty-Pants

Model Railroad

Introduction Model railroads come in several scales: O, HO and N gauge enable hobbyists to model real-world objects in miniature using successively smaller standards. In N gauge it is possible to build an entire city in the basement. A good model photographed with still or motion pictures may be so realistic that viewers believe they are looking […]

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 […]

20 Mar Thresholds in Fuzzy Logic

Dawn in Tampa

At what point does temperature change from cold to hot? Tell a person (or a computer) that the beach will be closed if the water is too cold, and their interpretation may differ from yours. This statement is subjective, as are many of the values applied to the thermometer at right. But if you tell […]

04 Mar Gnosticism, Mysticism and Hard Knowledge


Neural Network science describes oft rejected explicit knowledge in neurons as “gnostic cells” or “gramma cells” suggesting one neuron knows about gramma. Not all scientists agree with associationist theories that explain learning in the context of things that pre-exist in memory. In fact, an entire school of thought flatly rejects explicit representations that form the core […]

26 Feb Physiology of Learning to Generalize

Learning Cycle

I began this blog heavily concentrating on the physiology of the brain, its cells and the way they interconnect. Learning and association are not dealt with much in those posts other than to describe ways in which the brain and its cells provide mechanisms for these activities. Many of the mechanisms of association are fairly clearly understood […]

13 Feb Remember Yorrick

Excavate Knowledge

Mouldering Memories Sometimes dredging up old memories is a major operation in excavation. Yet we have an amazing capacity to retain information learned long ago and not recalled in recent memory. Today, I’d like to address questions of learning, especially in the context of the earliest learned things. In order to recognize something, we must […]

08 Feb Seeing Within: Proprioception for Robots

Nervous System

I saw a couple movies awhile back, “The Terminator” and “Terminator 2” in which artificial intelligence in computers became hazardous to the survival of humanity. One of the premises, as I recall, was that the critical event that lead to the disastrous attempt of man-made machines to destroy humanity, was when they became “self-aware”. This […]

06 Feb Nature vs Nurture in Intelligence

Nature vs Nurture in Intelligence

The three deep roots of intelligence are biological (built into the flesh), cognitive (based on our unique mental responses to stimuli), and psychosocial (learned through culture-laden experiences). Language springs from the same roots, and becomes inseparably intertwined with intelligence. I came across this article in The Creativity Post that corroborated ideas I have been working on for […]

03 Feb Mapping a Thought

Human Mind

What is truly going on in a network of billions of cells with trillions of connections? Can we even begin to figure it out – is mapping a thought possible? When I was in the midst of my studies in which I initially wrote this, MRIs and CAT scans were the best of our ability […]