Churchland Chapter

Churchland Chapter - Churchland Chapter 1. Should cognitive...

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Churchland Chapter 1. Should cognitive science ignore neuroscience? Neither AI nor cognitive psychology has been inspired by the developing understanding of the microstructure of the empirical brain and of the operations of its elements. The “multiple realization argument” urged that cognitive activity could be realized through different physical systems, like mechanical, chemical, electronic etc. The pattern of activity that constitutes cognition must be sought at a more abstract level than the level of neurons and their interactions. It is better to address the abstract processes directly, with high-level cognitive theory and high- level simulations this rationale has justified a long-standing disinterest in neuroscience. BUT THIS IS FLAWED. 2. How do neurons compute? Each neuron receives inputs from other neurons, which excites (or inhibits) the level of activation. The level of activation is a function of the number of connections, their size of polarity, and of the strength of the incoming signals. Each neuron is constantly emitting an output signal along its axon. 3. What are the similarities between biological and artificial neural nets? Artificial neural nets have various levels of activation. Each unit receives input signals from other units via “synaptic” connections of various weights and polarities. The axonal end branches from other units make connections directly to the “cell body” of the receiving unit. (Corresponding input and output signals and are arranged in networks like in the brain) 4. How do artificial neural nets compute? Total modulating effect E impacting on that unit is the sum of the contributions made by each of the connections. The contribution of a single connection is the product of its weight times the strength of the signal arriving at that connection.
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2011 for the course PSYC 532 taught by Professor Shultz during the Fall '10 term at McGill.

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Churchland Chapter - Churchland Chapter 1. Should cognitive...

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