Thursday, February 01, 2007

Scholarpedia: Encyclopedia of Computational Intelligence and Computational Neuroscience

Scholarpedia is a free peer reviewed encyclopedia written by scholars from all around the world. It is based on an interesting concept: articles in Scholarpedia are not frozen, but subject to an ongoing process of improvement moderated by their curators. Dr. Eugene M. Izhikevich, Editor-in-Chief of Scholarpedia, continues: "Similar to Wikipedia, every registered user can revise and expand articles in Scholarpedia. The revision can be just a simple grammar fix, an attempt to rewrite an obscure paragraph, a suggestion on how to improve the quality of the article, or an in-depth review of the article with major additions and modifications. In this sense, every user is a reviewer."

Recently, the article on the Self-Organizing Map (SOM) became available in Scholarpedia. The article contains, for example, a short history of the SOM and useful information when applying it. The popularity of the SOM continues strong which I was able to see when glancing through how many articles were submitted to each topic area in the IJCNN conference.

Dr. Walter J. Freeman has written an interesting article on intentionality. He defines intentionality as the circular process of generalization/abstraction of input and specification/concretization of output by which brains achieve understanding of their environments through the cycle of prediction, action, sensation, perception, and assimilation by learning.

Our old friend Professor Robert Hecht-Nielsen (who, for example, gave the dinner speech in the WSOM'97 conference) has written a thought provoking article on something that he calls confabulation theory. The theory, in his words, offers a comprehensive detailed explanation of the mechanism of thought. Citing Hecht-Nielsen, "confabulation theory proposes that cognition is a phylogenetic outgrowth of movement and that cognition utilizes the same neural circuitry that was originally developed for movement." The idea that the motor control and movement would have a central role has certain appeal. In our university, Dr. Harri Valpola has presented thoughts along the same lines.

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