Cognition

lmk2 at garnet.berkeley.edu lmk2 at garnet.berkeley.edu
Tue Nov 24 13:58:05 EST 1992


In article <1992Nov24.091819.480 at hpb.hwc.ca> inunn at hpb.hwc.ca writes:
>Help me to understand this.  The input and output (semantic association - 
>are we talking memory?) are invariant but the what's inbetween changes.
>It gets rewired in a sense.  If I'm on track so far, what bothers me is
>if you change the in-between - variance in the olefactory system -
>how do you retain the connection between the stimulus and the memory
>of it?
>
>Ian Nunn

The problem here is in the supposition that the stimulus, memory, and
meaning are all separate entities, needing some sort of digital (or
otherwise) computer to compare and make decisions.  Freeman's theory
is that the state of the system IS the perception, which occurs in
relation to a stimulus.  As the meaning changes, so does the pattern
of electrical activity, presumably.  If you think of this in
cognitive terms, everytime you learn something new it changes everything
else you know, so that even the memory of your grandmother is altered
when you learn a new equation.  I think that many of us would agree
with this after some thought.

So, yes the input is somewhat invariant, and the output is somewhat
invariant (the semantic association), but the output is also somewhat
different.  The perception gets changed, and this is manifested by
a change in the global activity of the particular structure involved.
All of this changing and tuning seems to be centrally controlled.

Leslie Kay
UCB Biophysics



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