[Comp-neuro] A new mechanism for linking some pieces of the cognitive brain puzzle

Herbert Jaeger h.jaeger at jacobs-university.de
Sat Jun 14 19:47:07 CEST 2014

Recipients of this mailing list may be interested to learn about a
newly discovered neuro-computational mechanism. This mechanism, which
I named "conceptors", suggests a common computational principle
underneath phenomena as diverse as

- incremental learning of dynamical patterns,
- attentional focussing,
- neural noise suppression,
- morphing and modulating motor patterns,
- learning pattern classes from a few prototype examples,
- top-down bias control in hierarchical architectures,
- Boolean combination of evidence in pattern classification.

Conceptor-based algorithms are simple, cheap, and robust against noise
and parameter variation. A number of fundamental neuro-computational
problems become efficiently solved:

- conceptors make it possible in the first place to govern a diversity
   of processing modes in a single recurrent neural network,
- they enable incremental learning of temporal patterns with an option
   to quantify and monitor claimed neural memory capacity (coping with
   the catastrophic interference problem),
- they lead to an auto-associative memory for dynamical patterns
   (a generalization of Hopfield networks to temporal patterns),
- Boolean concept combinations and conceptual abstraction can be
   rigorously interpreted and implemented by the dynamics of recurrent
   neural networks (a robust solution for core parts of the
   neuro-symbolic integration problem).

More information:

1. A video of a complex human motion sequence governed by a single
    RNN whose modes are governed by conceptors:

2. An informal introduction with many pictures (11 pages):

3. A comprehensive technical report, including a link to Matlab
    code (195 pages): http://arxiv.org/abs/1403.3369

Dr. Herbert Jaeger

Professor for Computational Science
Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Campus Ring
28759 Bremen, Germany

Phone (+49) 421 200 3215
Fax (+49) 421 200 49 3215
email  h.jaeger at jacobs-university.de


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