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LEARNING — Summary of Basic Principles

(References are to pages and figures in Pathways of the Brain)

1. Knowledge as connections — the information is in the connectivity.

2. Therefore, learning must consist of building connections.

3. Evidently, learning comes in degrees. For example, lexicalization: Lexemes can be weakly or strongly entrenched. Therefore, connections must have varying strengths.

4. Learning as the strengthening of connections. (Stronger connections are easier to use.)

5. What about new connections? Do new connections actually get built in the learning process?
There is an alternative:

(Ordinary RN diagrams show only dedicated nections and established connections.) Cf. Fig 10-5.



Prior state










6. The basic learning process: Connections get strengthened as reward for contributing to activation of a nection. 177-8, 212-7.

7. Consequences of connection strengthening:

8. Requirement for assuming the prior existence of latent nections and latent connections: the abundance hypothesis — proliferation of latent nections and connections. 176, Fig. 10-5.

9. Learning as a Darwinian process (cf. Edelman). Selection. 176-8.

10. Threshold functions; adjusting threshold functions as part of the learning process (179, Fig. 12-1, 211).

11. The proximity hypothesis 217-224. (Has application to localization of subsystems.)

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This page was last modified on 12 September 2005.

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