Antoine Danchin
University of Hong Kong
It is perhaps in the functioning of the brain that we can make contextual information most prominent. Indeed, while von Neumann and others invented computers with mimicking the brain in mind, the brain does not appear to behave as a Turing Machine. Neither is it a mechanical automaton. There is no “gost in the machine”. However, nobody would doubt that brain manages information, and in a very efficient way. To my view this is a strong indication that the information we describe when considering messages is a tiny part of what information is. Because we use language, built on the exchange of sequences of symbols, exactly as programs are exchanged in computers, linguists often saw the brain as a Turing Machine. But language is deeply associated to meaning, so that beside grammatical syntactic structures, there may exist a variety of superimposed contexts which transmit information mediated by channels that are not those usually considered.
Keywords brain  learning  memory  automata  mechanicism
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