An Introduction: On Symbolic Processing in Neural Networks

Part of the The Springer International Series In Engineering and Computer Science book series (SECS, volume 292)


Various forms of life have been existing on earth for hundreds of millions of years, and the long history has seen the development of life from single cell organisms to invertebrates, to vertebrates, and to humans, the truly intelligent beings. The biological organizations of various species, from the lowest to the highest, differ in their complexities and sizes. Such differences in internal complexity manifest in the differences in overt behaviors and intelligence. Generally speaking, organizational complexities of various species are proportionate with capabilities displayed by respective species. However, a gap seems to exist when one goes from high vertebrate animals to humans, in that a conscious, rational capacity is readily available to human beings, that does not seem to be present in any other animals, no matter how high they are on the evolutionary hierarchy. There is a qualitative difference. Yet, strange enough, there is no known qualitative difference between the biological make-up of human brains and animal brains. So the questions are: Where does the difference lie? What is the key to the emergence of rational thinking and intelligence?


Connectionist Network Connectionist Model Word Sense Disambiguation Connectionist System Variable Binding 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ron Sun
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science College of EngineeringThe University of AlabamaTuscaloosa

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