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Abstract

This article will present a particular view of pre-rational intelligence as it pertains to pieces of neural circuitry. The subject of this article is the spinal cord. This is only a subsystem within the nervous system, albeit a critical one. Clearly, adaptive and fully intelligent behavior is only the domain of the full organism (see McFarland & Houston 1981; McFarland & Bösser 1994). However, it seems that some measure of ‘intelligent’ function can be ascribed to a neural subsystem. For the purpose of this discussion we will define an intelligent design and intelligent function of neural subsystems as those that minimize the whole organism’s computational load while maximizing the breadth of the system’s output possibilities. The outputs should clearly be of utility to the organism in the context of other neural systems. There is a trade-off between the two competing goals of flexibility and simplicity. We would suggest that optimizing this trade-off in an organism’s various neural subsystems must frequently involve modularity, encapsulation of function and restriction of system structures to designs that support extensibility. Dimensionality reduction at the interface of the subsystem with others is desirable since this reduces computation in other parts of the nervous system. Autonomous computation within neural modules is desirable to support asynchronous activation, concurrence, and extensibility and flexibility of the system.

Keywords

Spinal Cord Movement Organization Basis Field Delaunay Tesselation Reflex Behavior 
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

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Giszter
    • 1
  • William Kargo
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical College of PennsylvaniaHahnemann UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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