Regularities, context, and neural coding: Are universals reflected in the experienced world?

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (4):701-702 (2001)
Barlow's concept of the exploitation of environmental statistical regularities may be more plausibly related to brain mechanisms than Shepard's notion of internalisation. In our view, Barlow endorses a bottom-up approach to neural coding and processing, whereas we suggest that feedback interactions in the visual system, as well as chaotic correlation dynamics in the brain, are crucial in exploiting and assimilating environmental regularities. We also discuss the “conceptual tension” between Shepard's ideas of law internalisation and evolutionary adaptation. [Barlow; Shepard].
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