Learning, Memory and Cognitice Development: They're All in Your Connections
Third Floor, Levis Faculty Center 919 West Illinois Street Urbana
Jay McClelland's research examines the nature of human cognition within the Parallel Distributed Processing framework: cognitive functions are viewed as emerging from the distributed and interactive activity of neurons in many regions of the brain; learning, memory, and cognitive development are all thought to arise from changes in the strengths and patterns of connections among the participating neurons. This approach has led to new ways of thinking about what it means to know, to learn and to remember, and captures the gradual changes in cognitive abilities that occur in the course of development. His talk will focus on a complementary learning systems theory that has arisen within this framework. The theory posits that the brain contains two learning systems, one fore the rapid initial formation of new associations and one for the gradual discovery of the underlying structure in ensembles of events and experiences. He will explain how they work together in the intact system and fractionate following damage to the brain.
Walter Van Dyke Bingham Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Carnegie Mellon University