The History of Psychology: Fundamental Questions

By Margaret P. Munger | Go to book overview

37
V. S. RAMACHANDRAN AND SANDRA BLAKESLEE
with the regular ed ending, and produce errors like CAMED as the past of COME. These phenomena mirror those observed in the early phases of acquisition of control over past tenses in young children.The generativity of the child's responses—the creation of regular past tenses of new verbs and the overregularization of the irregular verbs—has been taken as strong evidence that the child has induced the rule which states that the regular correspondence for the past tense in English is to add a final ed (Berko, 1958). On the evidence of its performance, then, the model can be said to have acquired the rule. However, no special ruleinduction mechanism is used, and no special languageacquisition device is required. The model learns to behave in accordance with the rule, not by explicitly noting that most words take ed in the past tense in English and storing this rule away explicitly, but simply by building up a set of connections in a pattern associator through a long series of simple learning experiences. The same mechanisms of parallel distributed processing and connection modification which are used in a number of domains serve, in this case, to produce implicit knowledge tantamount to a linguistic rule. The model also provides a fairly detailed account of a number of the specific aspects of the error patterns children make in learning the rule. In this sense, it provides a richer and more detailed description of the acquisition process than any that falls out naturally from the assumption that the child is building up a repertoire of explicit but inaccessible rules.There is a lot more to be said about distributed models of learning, about their strengths and their weaknesses, than we have space for in this preliminary consideration. For now we hope mainly to have suggested that they provide dramatically different accounts of learning and acquisition than are offered by traditional models of these processes. We saw in earlier sections of this chapter that performance in accordance with rules can emerge from the interactions of simple, interconnected units. Now we can see how the acquisition of performance that conforms to linguistic rules can emerge from a simple, local, connection strength modulation process.We have seen what the properties of PDP models are in informal terms, and we have seen how these properties operate to make the models do many of the kinds of things that they do. The business of the next chapter is to lay out these properties more formally, and to introduce some formal tools for their description and analysis. Before we turn to this, however, we wish to describe some of the major sources of inspiration for the PDP approach.
NOTE
1. In this and all other cases, there is a tendency for the pattern of activation to be influenced by partially activated, near neighbors, which do not quite match the probe. Thus, in this case, there is a Jet Al, who is a Married Burglar. The unit for Al gets slightly activated, giving Married a slight edge over Divorced in the simulation.

37
V. S. RAMACHANDRAN AND SANDRA BLAKESLEE

Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (1951–) received his medical degree from Stanley Medical
College, Chennai, India, and his Ph.D. from Trinity College at the University of Cambridge.
He is currently a professor of psychology, the neurosciences program, and the director of
the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego, and an ad-
junct professor of biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California.
He has received numerous awards, including an honorary doctorate of science (D.Sc.)
from Connecticut College. One example of his recent scholarship is the coauthored article
“The Perception of Phantom Limbs: The D.O. Hebb Lecture” (Brain, 121, 1603–1630).
Sandra Blakeslee (1943–) earned a B.S. in political science from University of California at

-492-

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The History of Psychology: Fundamental Questions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Part 1 - What is the Mind? 1
  • 1: Plato 2
  • 2: Hippocrates 4
  • 3: Aristotle 20
  • 4: Saint Augustine of Hippo 35
  • 5: Saint Thomas Aquinas 46
  • Part 2 - Mechanisms of Mind 67
  • 6: RenÉ Descartes 68
  • 7: John Locke 81
  • 8: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz 96
  • 9: David Hume 113
  • 10: Immanuel Kant 127
  • Part 3 - Scientific Methods 141
  • 11: Gustav Theodor Fechner 142
  • 12: Hermann Von Helmholtz 154
  • 13: Hermann Ebbinghaus 168
  • 14: Ivan Pavlov 178
  • Part 4 - Emotion and Instinct in Animals and Humans 187
  • 15: Charles Darwin 188
  • 16: Margaret Floy Washburn 203
  • 17: William James 215
  • 18: Francis Galton 232
  • Part 5 - Human Development 249
  • 19: Milicent W. Shinn 250
  • 20: Sigmund Freud 258
  • 21: Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon 270
  • 22: Hugo MÜnsterberg 288
  • Part 6 - What is the Goal of Psychology? 295
  • 23: Wilhelm Wundt 296
  • 24: Max Wertheimer 308
  • 25: E. B. Titchener 324
  • Part 7 - Learning 331
  • 26: John B. Watson 332
  • 27: Edward C. Tolman 341
  • 28: D. O. Hebb 357
  • Part 8 - Cognition 367
  • 29: Jean Piaget 368
  • 30: L. S. Vygotski 387
  • 31: B. F. Skinner 399
  • 32: Noam Chomsky 408
  • 33: Sir Frederic C. Bartlett 430
  • 34: Ulric Neisser 447
  • Part 9 - Considerations of Context 467
  • 35: James J. Gibson 468
  • 36: James L. Mcclelland, David E. Rumelhart, and Geoffrey E. Hinton 478
  • 37: V. S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee 492
  • Bibliography of Readings 511
  • Bibliography of Biographical References 513
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