David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):537-556 (1997)
How do minds emerge from developing brains? According to the representational features of cortex are built from the dynamic interaction between neural growth mechanisms and environmentally derived neural activity. Contrary to popular selectionist models that emphasize regressive mechanisms, the neurobiological evidence suggests that this growth is a progressive increase in the representational properties of cortex. The interaction between the environment and neural growth results in a flexible type of learning: minimizes the need for prespecification in accordance with recent neurobiological evidence that the developing cerebral cortex is largely free of domain-specific structure. Instead, the representational properties of cortex are built by the nature of the problem domain confronting it. This uniquely powerful and general learning strategy undermines the central assumption of classical learnability theory, that the learning properties of a system can be deduced from a fixed computational architecture. Neural constructivism suggests that the evolutionary emergence of neocortex in mammals is a progression toward more flexible representational structures, in contrast to the popular view of cortical evolution as an increase in innate, specialized circuits. Human cortical postnatal development is also more extensive and protracted than generally supposed, suggesting that cortex has evolved so as to maximize the capacity of environmental structure to shape its structure and function through constructive learning.
|Keywords||cognitive development constructivism evolution learnability mathematical learning theory neural development selectionism|
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Michael L. Anderson (2010). Neural Reuse: A Fundamental Organizational Principle of the Brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):245.
Stanislas Dehaene & Laurent Cohen (2011). The Unique Role of the Visual Word Form Area in Reading. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (6):254-262.
Michael David Kirchhoff (2012). Extended Cognition and Fixed Properties: Steps to a Third-Wave Version of Extended Cognition. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (2):287-308.
Annette Karmiloff-Smith (1998). Development Itself is the Key to Understanding Developmental Disorders. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2 (10):389-398.
Mirko Farina (2014). Three Approaches to Human Cognitive Development: Neo-Nativism, Neuroconstructivism, and Dynamic Enskillment. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu026.
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