David A. Medler (1998) Connectionism and Cognitive Theories
. Psycoloquy: 9(11) Connectionist Explanation (8)
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Psycoloquy 9(11): Connectionism and Cognitive Theories
CONNECTIONISM AND COGNITIVE THEORIES
David A. Medler
Commentary on Green on Connectionist-Explanation
Center for the Neural
Basis of Cognition
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Michael R. W. Dawson
Biological Computation Project
Department of Psychology
University of Alberta
Canada T6G 2E9
The relationship between connectionist models and
cognitive theories has been a source of considerable debate within
cognitive science. Green (1998) has recently joined this debate,
arguing that connectionist models should only be interpreted as
literal models of brain activity; in other words, connectionist
models only contribute to cognitive theories at the
implementational level. Recent results, however, have shown that
interpreting the internal structure of connectionist models can
produce novel cognitive theories that are more than mere
implementations of classical theories (e.g., Dawson, Medler, &
Berkeley, 1997). Furthermore, such connectionist theories have an
advantage over more classical approaches to cognitive theories in
that they posit explanatory -- as opposed to merely descriptive --
theories of cognition.
artificial intelligence, cognition, computer modelling,
connectionism, epistemology, explanation, methodology, neural nets,
philosophy of science, theory.
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