Neural Darwinism: The Theory of Neuronal Group Selection

By Gerald M. Edelman | Go to book overview

10
Selective Networks and
Recognition Automata

Recognition automata 271 · Design features of Darwin II 272 · Performance of the automaton 279 · Generalization 283 · Association 284 · Textoretics 289


INTRODUCTION

The proposal that perceptual categorization depends upon classification couples acting concertedly in global mappings and the view that memory is recategorization together provide a cogent description essential to the theory, but they do not necessarily guarantee performance. Moreover, while the three major premises of the theory of neuronal group selection (developmental transformation leading to a primary repertoire, synaptic selection to yield a secondary repertoire, and teentry) can all be stated reasonably simply, their actual operation in interacting nonlinear networks is highly complex. For both of these reasons, it would be useful to be able to explore such interactions in model systems. This bears upon the self-consistency of the theory: Can a prewired network or congeries of networks based on selective principles and reentry respond stably and adaptively to structural inputs to yield pattern recognition, categorization, and association without prior instructions, explicit semantic rules, or forced learning? Can we exemplify in a functioning model the proposals embodied in the last chapter?

In order to explore these questions, an automaton called Darwin II has been devised and simulated in a large digital computer by George

-271-

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