Saturday, September 17, 2005

Robert Hecht-Nielsen @ AC2005 (via DVD)

The next breakout was supposed to be a video conference with Robert Hecht-Nielsen, but something didn't work out ... so they chose to play a DVD of his presentation. Still interesting. The best part was the term "Confabulation Theory"! Yeah ... confabulation is a word that is in the dictionary.

His presentation explained how four key concepts form the foundation of cognition.

He started by proposing that cortical modules exist in the brain, and each of these is responsible for describing one attribute of Objects in the Mental Universe. These cortical modules are made up of groupings of neurons in the form of symbols that we learn at an early age. Each symbol is made up of ~60 neurons. Symbols could be names, colors, or any other attribute of an object. As numerous cortical modules are receiving sensory input, confabulation occurs ... triggering behavior.

Again, he emphasized that it is the quantity of knowledge that allows for confabulation to occur. Billions of knowledge links. One third of our life or more is spent learning the foundations. Language is the essential core of cognition. As we grow up we develop a rich set of symbols, and interconnections between symbols - between cortical modules - by hearing words combined with other sensory experiences.

There is more information about his theories in this article about his new theory of cognition.


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