Perception, Connectionism, and Cognitive Science

  • Christine A. Skarda
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 130)


Recent findings in neurophysiology and cognitive science point to the same conclusion: cognition can be explained without appeal to the representations and rules of earlier cognitivist explanations. Yet if this is true, we want to know what form the alternative explanation will take and what processes are responsible for cognitive phenomena like perception. In this paper l discuss three issues: (1) the correct characterization of the alternative to cognitivism; (2) the resulting view of perception based on the alternative; and (3) the implications of this alternative explanatory framework for cognitive science.


Olfactory Bulb Cognitive Science Connectionist Model Reinforcement Contingency Neural Dynamic 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Amari, S.: 1983, ‘Field theory of self-organizing neural nets’, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics SMC-13 No. 5, 741–749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Babloyantz, A. and Destexhe, A.: 1986, ‘Low-dimensional chaos in an instance of epilepsy’, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 83, 3513–3517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Crutchfield, J., Farmer, J., Packard, N. and Shaw, R.: 1987, ‘Chaos’, Scientific American 255, 46–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Freeman, W.: 1975, Mass Action in the Nervous System. Academic Press.Google Scholar
  5. Freeman, W. and Skarda, C.: 1985, ‘Spatial EEG patterns, nonlinear dynamics and perception: The neo-Sherringtonian view’, Brain Research Reviews 10: 147–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Freeman, W. and Skarda, C.: 1988, ‘Mind/brain science: neuroscience on philosophy of mind’, in: LePore, E. and van Gulick, R. (Eds.) Festschrift for John R. Searle. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  7. Freeman, W. and Viana Di Prisco, G.: 1986, ‘EEG spatial pattern differences with discriminated odors manifest chaotic and limit cycle attractors in olfactory bulb of rabbits’, in: Palm, G. (Ed.) Brain Theory. New York: Springer Verlag.Google Scholar
  8. Garfinkel, A.: 1981, Forms of Explanation. Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Garfinkel, A.: 1983, ‘A mathematics for physiology’, American Journal of Physiology 245 (Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology) (14), R455–466.Google Scholar
  10. Grossberg, S.: 1981, ‘Adaptive resonance in development, perception, and cognition’, in: Grossberg, S. (Ed.) Mathematical Psychology and Psychophysiology. American Mathematical Society.Google Scholar
  11. Hinton, G.: 1985, ‘Learning in parallel networks’, Byte 10, 265.Google Scholar
  12. Hopfield, J.: 1982, ‘Neural networks and physical systems with emergent collective computational abilities’, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 79: 2554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kohonen, T.: 1984, Self-Organization and Associative Memory. New York: Springer Verlag.Google Scholar
  14. Nicholas, J. and Tsuda, I.: 1985, ‘Chaotic dynamics of information processing. The “magic number seven plus-minus two” revisited’, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 47, 343–365.Google Scholar
  15. Rumelhart, D., McClelland, J. and PDP Research Group: 1986, Parallel Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructures of Cognition. Vol. I. Foundations. MIT Press/Bradford.Google Scholar
  16. Skarda, C.: 1986, ‘Explaining behavior: Bringing the brain back in’, Inquiry 29, 187–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Skarda, C. and Freeman, W.: 1987, ‘How brains make chaos in order to make sense of the world’, Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10, 161–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine A. Skarda
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecole PolytechniqueCREAParisFrance

Personalised recommendations