By Gary F. Marcus
An try to combine theories approximately how the brain works, one who says that the brain is a computer-like manipulator of symbols, and one other that says that the brain is a huge community of neurons operating jointly in parallel.
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Additional info for Algebraic Mind: Integrating Connectionism and Cognitive Science
Elman’s sentence-prediction model for example, uses a single node for each distinct word that it represents. Moreover, not all symbol-manipulators use localist representations. For example, digital computers are canonical symbol-manipulators, and some of their most canonical symbols are distributed encodings. , Chomsky & Halle, 1968). My point is that attempts to differentiate multilayer perceptrons from symbol-manipulators cannot rest on questions such as whether there are context-independent mental representations of categories or whether mental representations are distributed.
227) seems to suggest this when he writes An individual’s overall-theory-of-the-world, we might venture, is not a large collection or a long list of stored symbolic items. Rather, it is a specific point in that individual’s synaptic weight space. It is a configuration of the connection weights, a configuration that partitions the system’s activation-vector space(s) into useful divisions and subdivisions relative to the inputs typically fed to the system. Book titles like Connections and Symbols (Pinker & Mehler, 1988) seem to further this impression.
Although I take the evidence for free generalization to be strong, I am not claiming that every generalization that we draw is freely generalized across all potential instances in its domain. For example, some of the generalizations that we draw in the area of motor control may be far more restricted. Ghahramani, Wolpert, and Jordan (1996) conducted an adaptation experiment in which subjects used a computer mouse to point to computer-generated visual targets. Subjects received feedback, but only for one or two specific locations; when they pointed outside these locations, they received no feedback.