Whitney Tabor, University of Connecticut


Whitney Tabor, University of Connecticut

Sage 4101

February 10, 2010 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM


 Self-organization refers to a phenomenon in which many independently acting but interacting elements exhibit organized structure at the scale of the group.  A number of orderly phenomena in physics, chemistry, and biology appear to work this way.  Drawing on empirical evidence from the study of sentence processing, I'll suggest that human natural language processing works this way too.  Sometimes, this view is taken as a repudiation of the theory that the mind manipulates symbols.  In the second part of the talk, I'll offer a more nuanced view:  symbols are, in fact, very central to human mental systems, but if we insist on framing the theory in terms of symbolic computation alone, much of what's actually going on will be invisible to us.

Dynamical Insight into Structure in Connectionist Models

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