Pattern Thinking

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1990 - Всего страниц: 180
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In a significant contribution to the study of the brain and behavior, Coward develops a system model for the human brain based on a new physiologically based theory of learning and memory. The work is primarily intended for neuropsychologists, but will be of interest to anyone concerned with understanding the brain as a functioning system. The author has twenty years' experience in most of the different aspects of designing complex electronic systems. Such a system today has up to several billion hardware components such as individual transistors, and millions of lines of software. Coward argues that the methodology used to handle the design of such systems can be modified and adapted to understand the brain. In the design of electronic systems, the concept instruction makes it possible to rigorously translate from high level operational descriptions to detailed descriptions in terms of machine code and transistor structures. In the brain, the concept pattern can make it possible to translate between the descriptions of psychology and physiology and make functional understanding possible. Any change in the state of a neuron can be interpreted on a system level as the recognition of a pattern. Pattern is precisely defined and includes both objects and changes to objects. Based on these observations, Coward designs a model called the cascaded pattern extraction hierarchy to explain the functioning of the brain, showing that the brain can be visualized as a pattern extraction template, in which successive layers are able to extract increasingly complex patterns from relatively simple input.

Coward demonstrates that as a pattern extraction template, the brain forms a hierarchy in connectivity space. Early layers--those closest to sensory input--can be interpreted as extracting patterns from simple sensory input. Later layers generate action recommendations, and later still, they select actions, all within the same pattern extraction paradigm. According to the model, the firing of a neuron at these points constitutes both pattern recognition and action recommendation. Coward's system model not only provides a framework for understanding and predicting psychological phenomena, including the functioning of personality, but also accounts for such apparent anomalies as the difference between short and long term memory and the fact that localized brain damage does not remove the memory of individual events. Widely useful for studies of brain and behavior, Pattern Thinking also suggests how to identify promising areas to investigate in the treatment of psychological illnesses.

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Pattern and Meaning
Brain Physiology
Connection and Function
Brain Architecture
Senses and Creativity
Pattern and Mind
Memory and Action
Pleasure Pain and Personality
Personality Alternatives
Consciousness of Self
An Artificial Personality
Pattern Thinking and Reality
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Sleep and Creativity

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Стр. 34 - When an axon of cell A is near enough to excite a cell B and repeatedly or persistently takes part in firing it, some growth process or metabolic change takes place in one or both cells such that A's efficiency, as one of the cells firing B, is increased.
Стр. 63 - Looking back, then, over this review, we see that the mind is at every stage a theatre of simultaneous possibilities. Consciousness consists in the comparison of these with each other, the selection of some, and the suppression of the rest by the reinforcing and inhibiting agency of attention.
Стр. 64 - The purpose of this chapter and the next is to show how...
Стр. 1 - great variations in cell type, synaptic type, transmitter, pre-, epi-, and post-synaptic mechanisms, graded transmitter release, regional specialization within the neuron, and other similar factors
Стр. 8 - The process of thinking can be visualized as a continuously evolving group of cascades of neuron firing, extending in parallel across the hierarchical pattern extraction template that is the brain.
Стр. 59 - Parallel regions in the network search for similar patterns, some of which can be combined to demonstrate the presence or absence of higher order patterns.
Стр. 14 - Creativity includes the ability to take a range of subpatterns, perhaps from areas of experience not previously linked, and see a new pattern. That pattern had repeated unnoticed in the past or can be made to repeat in the future.
Стр. 10 - The justification of the system model is threefold. First, it can be mapped into current brain physiology. Second, it can provide convincing descriptions of neuropsychological phenomena, which may, of course, evolve with developing knowledge of structural specialization.
Стр. 5 - Sensory input sets up a combination of neuron firings, which are then available wherever those axons are connected in the brain.
Стр. 10 - SUMMARY Viewed as a whole, these ideas result in a system model of the brain as a modulated pattern extraction hierarchy.

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Об авторе (1990)

L. ANDREW COWARD has worked for the last twenty years for Northern Telecom and its R&D subsidiary, Bell Northern Research on the application of advanced technology to complex telecommunications products. His academic training was in theoretical physics, including a Master's degree from Downing College, Cambridge.

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