RE: [JOIN] ktpr joining the list and possibly interesting insight

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Feb 15 2003 - 19:03:23 MST

I'm familiar with this stuff; I read Pribram's "Brain and Perception" very
carefully some years ago, and talked to him about it at length once...

I think it's a very deep and interesting, though somewhat speculative,
theory of human perception, especially applicable to visual and auditory
perception. I'm more skeptical about Pribram's ideas the more they verge on
the cognitive rather than purely perceptual domain...

It may be that the brain somehow DOES use a Fourier or wavelet transform to
represent abstract concepts, though. A neuron translates intensity of input
into frequency of output and in this sense it automatically operates in the
"frequency domain," in a limited sense.

Of course, even if the brain uses this mechanism, this doesn't imply that
AGI's should do so.

And, it's far from understood how the brain might use this kind of
representation for abstract stuff...

-- Ben

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf Of Kwame
> Porter-Robinson
> Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2003 6:50 PM
> To:
> Subject: [JOIN] ktpr joining the list and possibly interesting insight
> About me:
> I have a degree in Computer Science and Graphic
> design. I am a self employed 3d modeler/texturer. I am
> 22 years old. I live in Rhode Island, if that matters.
> ---
> Mr. Yudkowsky (and SL4 if appropriate),
> The requirements for concept functionality and the
> beginning section of 2.5 in LOGI may be approached in
> a large part by the Holographic Brain Theory [Karl
> Pribram]. Please hear me out because this might prove
> to be a valuable insight.
> Please take a look at:
> "This paper will discuss in detail the concept of a
> holograph and the evidence Karl Pribram uses to
> support the idea that the brain implements holonomic
> transformations that distribute episodic information
> over regions of the brain (and later "refocuses" them
> into a form in which we re-member)
> ....
> Holonomic theory where Fourier-like transformations
> store information of the sensory modalities in the
> spectral (or frequency) domain. The sensory stimulus
> is spread out (or distributed) over a region of the
> brain. A particular example (in the case of vision)
> would be that particular cortical cells respond to the
> spatial frequencies of the visual stimulus."
> ---
> While I was reading LOGI I got a "memory flash" of
> reading The Holographic Universe, a book that covers
> holographic theory in part. My intuitive response to
> the points in "A constructive account of concepts and
> symbolstuff would need to supply:," is that a
> holographic structure would be useful:
> A. Holographic patterns can be superimposed over
> another to determine similarity, as in comparing two
> sheets of acetate. If concepts are encoded as
> patterned representations of sensory imagery (Fourier
> form, etc.) then concepts could be compared instantly
> for similarity or differences. If concepts were
> (spatially or otherwise) structured in somewhat, the
> quality and nature of difference could be determined
> by a mere glance. (well... perhaps).
> B. Holographic representations include the whole
> structure in every portion. A symbolstuff
> representation encoded holographicly, somehow, would
> contain (however precisely) the whole. In this sense
> such a symbolstuff representation would definitely
> have internal complexity because it could access any
> part of the whole from within (via an inverse
> transform function). Now whether this kind of
> complexity is useful is another story. I believe a
> richness is needed, not a quantitative aspect.
> C. I'm not sure how you would manipulate set of
> sensory experience to abstract new concepts but if
> difference/similarity operations and a holonic context
> is needed, a holographic representation would provide
> this very efficiently.
> Again, this was just a flash of insight and I hope
> it's somewhat useful.
> thank you for you time,
> Cheers
> ktpr
> __________________________________________________
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