Instinct vs. Associated Programmed Responses

Adam Turkelson aturkelson at home.com
Wed Jul 19 02:45:54 EST 2000


Hello,

I am an independent researcher working with AI and natural language
processing. I spent the majority of the day working with a project of
mine -- electronically recreating the human brain. A fascinating hobby if
you ask me. Anyway, I hypothesize that the key to the human brain is simply
the process in which it can learn. It is this learning process that I am
mainly interested in. Correct me if I am wrong, but most human learning is
done associatively. The ideas of one thing are learned through another --
language is a prime example (e.g. associating a ball with the sounds
produced to represent the object). So how does one determine if the reaction
of a human to a situation, event or stimuli is instinct or an associated
programmed response? For instance: A baby will always flinch or react and
usually cry as a result of a sudden loud noise - this seems to be instinct.
An adult running out into the middle of a street and becoming scared when a
car is heading for them - this, in my opinion, is a programmed response. In
the instance of the baby, it has not yet learned what is bad and what is
good. It does, however, still seems to react to a situation it has never
encountered without any thought - instinct. In the instance of the adult and
the car, the adult has learned that (car = heavy)|(car = fast)|(fast, heavy
car = pain)|(pain = fear)|(fast, heavy car = fear) - associated programmed
response.

So where is the line drawn between associated programmed responses and
instinct? Further more, how exactly is an instinct 'hardwired' into the
human brain? Please let me know if you would like me to elaborate on my
ideas/questions - I could easily write hundreds of pages containing my
ideas, but I was attempting to save the space.

-Adam








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