Artificial Neural Nets

David Longley David at
Wed Apr 26 06:46:20 EST 1995

In article <3njd56$db0 at>
           gfrancis at "Greg Francis" writes:

> Can anybody give me examples where neurophysiology studies produced better (or
>  even different) theories of cognition? (I will not accept general claims of
>  modularity, distributed coding, and the like, I am looking for something 
>  specific.
> --
> Greg Francis, PhD    | "It's the opposite of fun. It's golf."
> Cognitive Psychology | Ellen Degeneres, "These Friends Of Mine"
> Purdue University    |
> Assistant Professor  | NeXTMail OK.

One specific research programme  which I always felt was on the right track
and was an example to us all,  was Richard  Thompson's group working  on  a
'Systems Approach' to understanding  Classical  Conditioning. Using  rabbit
Nictitating Membrane Responses and all of the  fancy scheduling used by the
leaders in experimental psychology (animal),  they seemed  to be doing more 
or less what my colleagues at N.I.M.R were doing..... but with behaviour.

Since most  working in the Classical Conditioning  field seem quite content 
to  use  'cognitive' language  when  discussing the *relations*  which  are 
established in the *conditioning* process, I  have  never really understood 
why everyone interested in understanding how we or other animals *actually* 
work (rather than how we might build *intelligent machines*) should  choose 
to work any other way. In some of their early work they convinced  me  that
the hippocampus was necessary for various elements of temporal conditioning.

Not much of a response I'm afraid, but it is a strongly held one.
David Longley

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