Laura Cyckowski's blog

distributed representation/pattern-classification algorithms

Projects: 
I read this article for another class, I thought it was good/applicable to our discussions of connectionism/neural networks. It's a recent fMRI study that looked at memory reinstatement. The researchers used pattern association algorithms to look at distributed representations of the brain during cueing/recall. Their results support a more connectionist model of memory encoding citing, for example, that the fusiform face area does contribute to 'face memory' but if such maxima of activation are removed from the representation other areas are just as indicative of the (face) stimulus.

Final Project

Projects: 
I'd like to do a model in NetLogo for the final project, I want to make a simulation of ant colonies based off of Deborah Gordon's work, which I read about in Johnson's Emergence and which was also a part of the talk at the Swarm Exhibit. Anyway, I want to try to model how colony behavior changes as it gets older/larger as well as task allocation based on encounters with other ants/agents and possibly interactions with other colonies. Working on getting some of Gordon's papers now so I'm just starting to play around with ideas how to implement it in NetLogo.

misc.

Projects: 
I've been thinking more about the concept of "purpose" and think that it could be said that an agent has a purpose in that it's activity is necessary (/sufficient) to a system/thing/property (still meaningless w/out an observer), in which way it seems intent is not necessarily implied by purpose and the agent need not be aware of a similar "bigger picture"/"goal" like the observer. Also, wanted to post a link to an interesting set of rules for The Game of Life called Brian's Brain/Brain Rules (I think I saw a module for this in NetLogo as well). The spin on this set of rules is that there are intermediate stages to "life" and most everything reasonably winds up as a glider. I was looking through the modules from the Game of Life again last week and although the ones that start out as already configured patterns are neat the ones that are still most fascinating are the ones that start out very simple and lead to complexity/organization that rivals the former, since these second type are able to account for both a (likely/random/simple) origin and from there a progressive development of the "system" to higher complexity/organization.

my favorite example

Projects: 
My favorite example of emergence thus far has been ideas about consciousness. I was just reading a section of "Gödel, Escher, Bach" in which the author includes a quote, by Roger Sperry on the subject, which I find very palatable: "... if one keeps climbing upward in the chain of command within the brain, one finds at the very top those over-all organizational forces and dynamic properties of the large patterns of cerebral excitation that are correlated with mental states... near the apex of this command system in the brain we find ideas... the causal potency of an idea becomes just as real as that of a molecule, a cell, or a nerve impulse.