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Layman (Cog Sci Person) seeks explanation

Mike Reddy mreddy at comp.glamorgan.ac.uk
Thu Jun 15 15:33:23 EST 1995

Hi! As a Cognitive Scientist/AI/Alife/Neural Network sort of person (well
that's labelled him), I'd like to avoid reinventing Mother Nature's wheel.
I'd like your suggestions for sources, or directo explanations of the
following concepts in Brain structure and development:

What are the processes involved in the early stages of brain development,
which are essentially the hard-wiring of nerve connections between
different specialised areas of the brain (e.g. eye nerves to vision

How is this achieved? More importantly, how did this pre-determined
structure evolve? Is it genetic, or something else?

What is the mechanism involved in determining nereve connections (in
learning and memory, if I'm not being too naive about our current
knowledge of how the brain works)? What chemical or electrical signal
encourages a particular neurone to want to send feelers along to
g=connecto up with another? What is it that makes one nerve more
'interesting' than another? Is there such a process, or is it all part of
the hard-wiring phase?

I'm interested because my guts tell me that dynamic neural networks (DNNs)
are potentially more powerful than the static, forward flow kind that is
currently in favour. A hunch tells me that the 'learning' and modification
of such a network of DNNs should be self-modifying rather than having
modifications imposed upon them by some outside means, as happens in
Neural Nets at present. I'm looking for how the structures evolve in the
first place and how they modify themselves (chemical feedback?) during
maintenance. My ultimate aim is to build a bloody good model of learning
and symbol fixing using a fairly low level representation mechanism (an
ambitious objective I know). Thank you for your time.

Yours Mike Reddy
Email: mreddy at comp.glamorgan.ac.uk CU-Seeme: (On Request)
Web: http://www.comp.glam.ac.uk/pages/staff/mreddy/mreddy.html
Snail: J228, Dept. of Computer Studies, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan. CF37 1DL Wales, UK. +44 1443 482 240 Fax: +44 1443 482 715

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