Broad Area Colloquium For AI-Geometry-Graphics-Robotics-Vision
Development and Disintegration of Conceptual Knowledge
A case study in Mind, Brain, and Computation
James L, McClelland
Professor of Psychology
Director, Center for Mind, Brain and Computation
May 14, 2007, 4:15PM
Over the past several years my collaborators and I have been developing a model of conceptual knowledge representation that attempts to address the development of conceptual knowledge in childhood, the nature of adult conceptual knowledge representation, and the disintegration of conceptual knowledge in a specific brain disorder known as .semantic dementia.. In this talk I will briefly describe some of the key phenomena in developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience that have attracted our attention. These include differentiation of conceptual knowledge and transitory overgeneralization or .illusory correlations. on the developmental side, and a set of parallel phenomena that occur in semantic dementia: Progressive loss of differentiation, and the re-emergence of overgeneralization and illusory correlations. I will then describe a computational framework for modeling these phenomena, based on principles of parallel distributed processing and on what we know about the areas involved in semantic cognition in the brain. In discussion I will consider how the PDP approach might be seen as providing the neural instantiation of an approximation to a Bayesian model of category learning and representation.
About the Speaker
James L. (Jay) McClelland received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology
from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975. He served on the faculty of
the University of California, San Diego, before moving to Carnegie
Mellon in 1984, where he was a founding Co-Director of the Center for
the Neural Basis of Cognition, a joint project of Carnegie Mellon and
the University of Pittsburgh. In 2006 he moved to Stanford University,
where he is now Professor of Psychology and the founding Director of the
Center for Mind, Brain and Computation.
Over his career, McClelland has contributed to both the experimental and
theoretical literatures, most notably in the application of
connectionist/parallel distributed processing models to problems in
perception, cognitive development, language learning, and the
neurobiology of memory. He was a co-founder with David E. Rumelhart of
the Parallel Distributed Processing research group, and together with
Rumelhart he led the effort leading to the publication in 1986 of the
two-volume book, Parallel Distributed Processing, in which the parallel
distributed processing framework was laid out and applied to a wide
range of topics in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience.
McClelland and Rumelhart jointly received the 1996 Distinguished
Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological
Association and several other awards for their pioneering work in this
area. McClelland is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and he
has received the APS William James Fellow Award for lifetime
contributions to the basic science of psychology.
McClelland currently teaches cognitive neuroscience and conducts
research on learning, memory, conceptual development, spoken language,
decision making, and semantic cognition.
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