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How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?$
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John R. Anderson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195324259

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195324259.001.0001

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The Adaptive Control of Thought

The Adaptive Control of Thought

(p.135) 4 The Adaptive Control of Thought
How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?

John R. Anderson

Oxford University Press

The entire cerebral cortex projects down to the basal ganglia that plays an important role in coordinating cognition. These structures serve as the repository for our procedural knowledge. They have the ability to recognize appropriate cortical patterns and take actions directly without further deliberation. In contrast to declarative memory, procedural memory is a slow-learning system in which new capacities only gradually emerge. This chapter describes how new production rules are acquired in procedural memory and how reinforcement learning mechanisms serve to select among alternative productions. Three examples are described that focus on procedural learning in language acquisition, learning from instructions, and brain imaging changes that occur with procedural learning.

Keywords:   basal ganglia, procedural knowledge, reinforcement learning, production rules, language acquisition, brain imaging

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