November 30, 2007

Adaptation & Bodymind Capacitiy: Part 1

Using neural nets to simulate learning and the genetic algorithm to simulate evolution in a toy world of mushrooms and mushroom foragers, researchers placed two ways of acquiring categories into direct competition with one another:
In (1) "sensorimotor toil,” new categories are acquired through real-time, feedback-corrected, trial and error experience in sorting them.

In (2) "symbolic theft,” new categories are acquired by hearsay from propositions – boolean combinations of symbols describing them.
The picture of natural language and its origins that emerges from this analysis is that of a powerful integrated & emergent hybrid symbolic/sensorimotor capacity, infinitely superior to its purely sensorimotor precursors, but still grounded in and dependent on them.

Findings suggest that human languages evolved as powerful hybrid symbolic/sensorimotor capacities vastly superior to more biologically dominant human sensorimotor capacities. The research provides further evidence that human bodymind intelligence is: (1) embodied, (2) emergent, (3) adapted and (4) systematically structured in differential ways.


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