Connectionism and the Mind: Introduction to Parallel Processing in Networks

Connectionism and the Mind: Introduction to Parallel Processing in Networks

by WilliamBechtel (Author), Adele Abrahamsen (Author)

Synopsis

The newest cognitive models are inspired by the properties of the brain itself. Variously referred to as "connectionist", "parallel distributed processing" or "neutral-network" models, they explore the idea that complex intellectual operations can be carried out by large networks of simple, neuron-like units. The units themselves are identical, very low-level, and "stupid" - intelligent performance is derived from the pattern of connection strengths between units, and the fundamental cognitive activity is pattern recognition and completion. In contrast, in traditional models knowledge is represented symbolically, and the basic cognitive activity is the manipulation of symbols in accord with rules. "Connectionism and the Mind" provides an introduction to this newly emerging approach to understanding the mind, and includes exposition of several of the actual simulations that connectionists have developed. In addition, this book addresses the implications of connectionism for theories of the mind, both philosophical and psychological. Finally, "Connectionism and the Mind" examines the relation of connectionist models to philosophical accounts of propositional attitudes, and to a variety of other inquiries in cognitive psychology, linguistics, developmental psychology, artificial intelligence and neuroscience.

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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
Publisher: Wiley–Blackwell
Published: 13 Dec 1990

ISBN 10: 0631165770
ISBN 13: 9780631165774

Author Bio
William Bechtel is a philosopher of science whose research has focused on the foundations of cognitive science, theory development in the life sciences, and relations between scientific disciplines. His publications include Integrating Scientific Disciplines (1986), Philosophy of Science (1988) and Philosophy of Mind (1988). He is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego.

Adele Abrahamsen is a cognitive and developmental psychologist whose work has focused on language and on the relation between linguistics and psychology; most recently she has studied the onset of language in the vocal and manual modalities. She is an Associate Research Scientist at Georgia State University and is author of Child Language (1977).