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Göteborgs universitets publikationer

The essential connection between representation and learning

Författare och institution:
Helge Malmgren (Filosofiska institutionen)
Publicerad i:
10th annual meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC-10), Oxford, June 23-26, 2006,
Konferensbidrag, poster
Sammanfattning (abstract):
The core of the so-called “simulation theory” of mental representing is the idea that in the absence of peripheral stimulation, the brain creates an output which is in certain respects perception-like. This output can fulfil the main functions of perceptual states in the absence of the latter. In the present paper, I argue that another clause should be incorporated in the simulation theory, namely, that both kinds of output – perceptions and mental representations – are re-registered in the brain in the same way. In other terms: they are fed back through shared channels. Phenomenologically and epistemically, this feedback may correspond to the fact that we are conscious both of our perceptions and of our thoughts. More importantly from a theoretical point of view, the feedback clause allows several fundamental principles of learning to be derived from the simulation theory together with certain simple and plausible constraints on the brain as a causal system. The basic reason for this is that in the presence of common feedback channels and under the mentioned constraints, similarity between perceptions and representations tends to stabilise the system while dissimilarity tends to disrupt it. Strict proofs of these propositions, and formal derivations of learning principles, are here given for two special cases: randomly composed, deterministic finite systems, and continuous systems whose time derivatives fulfil certain specified conditions. Systems of the former kind are shown to behave like Popperian hypothesis-testing machines with quasi-random generation of hypotheses from data. In the long run, they will with high probability adapt to environmental constraints of a categorical or hypothetical form, substituting “internal stimuli” for the environmental ones. These systems can even be classically conditioned. Systems of the mentioned continuous kinds will behave as perfect inductive reasoners. If exposed to a categorical environmental constraint, they will gradually build up an internal simulation which is guaranteed to approach the external stimulus. The fact that a properly formulated simulation theory both agrees with our phenomenological intuitions and offers a fundamental explanation of learning phenomena is, it is argued, a strong argument for its correctness.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Psykologi ->
Psykologi (exklusive tillämpad psykologi) ->
Filosofi, etik och religion ->
Filosofi ->
Teoretisk filosofi
Mental representation, imagery, simulation, learning
Ytterligare information:
Poster vid: 10th annual meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC-10), Oxford, 23-26 juni 2006.
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2007-09-29 19:11
Posten ändrad:
2010-02-23 11:22

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