Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Distributed Systems

  • Dawn E. BoumanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_2138


Parallel distributed processing (PDP)


Distributed systems is a model of neural networking, using a computational systems approach to describe complexities of cognitive processing. In contrast to early explanations of brain functioning which focused on discrete, localized functioning, parallel distributed systems models in cognitive psychology emphasize the nonlocalized, parallel, simultaneous, and interactive nature of processing. By describing the interaction between regions of the brain, the decentralized role of the cortex is highlighted. The theory of distributed systems was initially explored for acquired reading disorders and later applied to a variety of cognitive areas including perception, memory, attention, and language.


References and Readings

  1. Cytowic, R. (1996). The neurological side of neuropsychology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  2. Parks, R. W., Levine, D. S., & Long, D. L. (1999). Fundamentals of neural network modeling: Neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Rogers, T. T., & McClelland, J. L. (2014). Parallel distributed processing at 25: Further explorations in the microstructure of cognition. Cognitive Science, 38, 1024–1077.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Rumelhart, D. E., & McClelland, J. L. (1986). Parallel distributed processing: Explorations in the microstructure of cognition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neuropsychology and Medical PsychologyUniversity of Cincinnati, Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation MedicineCincinnatiUSA