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ERIC Number: EJ1107363
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 35
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
Concepts as Semantic Pointers: A Framework and Computational Model
Blouw, Peter; Solodkin, Eugene; Thagard, Paul; Eliasmith, Chris
Cognitive Science, v40 n5 p1128-1162 Jul 2016
The reconciliation of theories of concepts based on prototypes, exemplars, and theory-like structures is a longstanding problem in cognitive science. In response to this problem, researchers have recently tended to adopt either hybrid theories that combine various kinds of representational structure, or eliminative theories that replace concepts with a more finely grained taxonomy of mental representations. In this paper, we describe an alternative approach involving a single class of mental representations called "semantic pointers." Semantic pointers are symbol-like representations that result from the compression and recursive binding of perceptual, lexical, and motor representations, effectively integrating traditional connectionist and symbolic approaches. We present a computational model using semantic pointers that replicates experimental data from categorization studies involving each prior paradigm. We argue that a framework involving semantic pointers can provide a unified account of conceptual phenomena, and we compare our framework to existing alternatives in accounting for the scope, content, recursive combination, and neural implementation of concepts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A