Questions on the Nature of memory, personality, etc.

Glen M. Sizemore gmsizemore2 at yahoo.com
Fri May 21 18:15:40 EST 2004


RM: @ Glen

Hi

GS: Hi Robert.


> GS: Just a brief interruption; what is a computation? Is any phenomenon
that
> can be given any kind of quantitative treatment the "result of
computation?"
> Does the Moon "compute" its orbit, for example?



RM: No. If you are looking at the moon and its noisy signal hits your
retinae... then the computation starts.



GS: Well...at least that's a start. But, really, all your saying is that the
light hitting your retinae sets of a series of complicated, but orderly
events, right?



RM: You now... noise reduction, signal enhancement, covert attentional
effects, edge detection, feature extraction...
that stuff.
No need to get philosophical here. Please read on.



GS: Plenty of philosophy in the above. Just as there is plenty of philosophy
in "If you are looking at the moon and its noisy signal hits your retinae...
then the computation starts."
>
> RM: And I'm not talking about abstract symbol
> manipulating theories from cognitive psychology. I'm talking about
> underlying data-processing structures (nets of neurons of varying
> properties).
>
>
>
> GS: Well..presumably you're talking about EPSPs, IPSPs, action potentials,
> neurotransmitter secretions, G-proteins, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
>
>



RM: When I thought of computation, I was thinking of neural networks. BUt
as this terms usually refers to classical neural networks that are
used to learn "anything", I did not use the term "neural network".
Obviously the brain computes,[.]



GS: No, it is not obvious. Though physical, "computation" is not a physical
property of anything. All you are saying is that energy impinging on the
receptors sets off a complicated series of events that are presumably
orderly and subject to description by mathematical means. No? But calling it
"computation," at worst, implies homunculism, and at best, adds nothing.





RM: [.]we don't need to discuss about that, do
we ? Actionpotential rush in, converge, diverge, sum up, inhibit
surrounding neurons, oscillate, backpropagate... WHATEVER. I call it
computation because thats what it is. Please read on.



GS: All you are saying is that energy impinging on the receptors sets off a
complicated series of events that are presumably orderly and subject to
description by mathematical means. No? But calling it "computation," at
worst, implies homunculism, and at best, adds nothing. Again, if
"computation" is more than just "orderliness in nature that can be
described, in principle, by mathematics" then you must say what makes one
thing computation and the other not. My guess is that you cannot do this in
a way that can withstand reasoned criticism.



And..needless to say, I argue that your use of "computation" is homunculism.



I have every intention of reading on, and continuing the discussion.
Contrary to what some would have you believe, I am generally civil to those
who are civil to me.



> RM: Pretty straight forward...
> What do we do now ? Besides the fact that we are in need of new
> terminology we are right inside the Black Box. We can now make
> assumptions classical behaviourism does not offer the tools for. (Does
> it ?)
>
>
> GS: No, it doesn't. But neither does cognitive "science." There is nothing
> new about talking about physiology.

RM: Ahem...
Novelty is not the point here. If we want to explain how "physiology
mediates behaviour" (remember?)
should we leave out the physiology here ? Please keep you comments
till you read the last paragraph :)



GS: Sorry...can't do that. I didn't say that we should "leave out
physiology." And quite frankly, I am stunned that you would say that I did.
Basically, what I said is that the "physiology of behavior" has nothing to
do with the fucking nonsense peddled by cognitive "science."


> RM: I think that we are past a point were we can take a term like "spatial
> attention", get its definition and look for (or propose) underlying
> mechanisms.
>
>
>
> GS: Sorry, I can't figure out what you are saying here.

RM: "spatial attention" was just an example. I think that when we work at
the junction between behaviour and physiology we can create terms like
"spatial attention" or "response selection" to describe putative parts
of a behavioural task.



GS: And you are welcome to that opinion. My whole post has suggested that
that is misguided.



RM: We have to accurately describe what signal processing and control
tasks..



GS: Describe what? You simply do not see where data end and philosophy
begins, and you have misrepresented my position, so I will leave you with
that point for now.



Cordially,

Glen

<snip>





"Robert M?rtin" <robertmaertin at gmx.de> wrote in message
news:85d56b27.0405201156.367880ab at posting.google.com...





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