SELFCONSTRICTION: A smart trade-off?

mervyn at xs4all.nl mervyn at xs4all.nl
Tue Mar 25 15:44:00 EST 1997


The following paper is available as html-document (english and dutch
version online). The paper also provides links to references and
general neuroscience resources. All comment and reactions welcome!
 
SELFCONSTRICTION - A Smart Trade-Off ?
 
ABSTRACT 
 
In this article the imagined evolution of an organism introduces a
controller that exhibits simple behavior by means of a few neural
connections. Step by step this controller is developed until a model
occurs that shows predictive power for certain aspects of human cognition
and behavior. This model could explain the existence of the trade-off
between optimal adaption to changing a context and optimal performance
within a stable context. It is suggested that the hypothalamus and the
four diffuse systems are responsible for this trade-off. Computer
simulations that illustrate the features of the developed
'self-constricting' neural network are reported on.
 
CONTENTS:
 
INTRODUCTION 
In this paragraph a imaginary organism is discussed that can search for
food by means of a few neurons. A choice is made between two equally
competitive controller variants is made. A choice that later on in the
evolution of the organism will prove to be decisive for its developing
mental abilities.
 
MISMATCH DETECTION & MINIMIZATION 
In this paragraph the symmetrical variant is interpreted as being a
controller element that can match a measured aspect of the organism
physical state to a target state (e.g. a full stomach). By means of an
array of these so called mismatch detectors a neural network can be
trained to help satisfy the needs of more complex organism.
 
SELFCONSTRICTION 
In this paragraph the organism is developed further: external sensors
provide it with information coming from its environment. The
'self-constricting' property of the symmetrical variant turns out to be
able to force the neural network to define, for each moment, a target
state for external sensors on the basis of earlier experience. The more
complex this experience becomes, the more complex the behavior will it
exhibit to avoid re-adjustment of its world model.
 
THE TRADE-OFF BETWEEN ACTION AND ADAPTION 
In this final paragraph a process is discussed that, thanks to the used
reinforcement mechanism, is able to tackle the settling-time problem. The
process (network-modulation), its distinctive side-effects included, is
proposed to occur within the human brain as well, in which it is
'implemented' by the hypothalamus the four diffuse systems.
 
LOCATION: http://www.xs4all.nl/~mervyn/servo.html
 
 




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