Plaut, D. C. (2001). Models of normal cognitive functions and neuropsychological deficits. In N. J. Smelser and P. B. Baltes (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (pp. 2114-2120). Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Abstract: Researchers interested in human cognitive processes have long used computer simulations to try to identify the principles of cognition, by building computational models that embody a set of principles and then the examine how well the models capture human performance in cognitive tasks. Early models were based on information-processing diagrams in which cognitive processing is carried out by a series of discrete stages. However, formalisms based more closely on neural computation---including connectionist or neural-network models---have proven more effective at capturing the effects of brain damage on cognition. In such models, cognitive processes take the form of cooperative and competitive interactions among large numbers of simple, neuron-like processing units. Many such models use distributed representations in which cognitive entities like words, objects and concepts, are encoded by alternative, overlapping patterns of activity. On this approach, the internal representations needed to perform various tasks are not stipulated in advance but are learned though feedback and interaction with the environment. Connectionist models have been applied successfully to a wide range of neuropsychological domains, including perception, attention, language, memory, executive control and action. Considerable work remains, however, in extending such models to address more complex temporal phenomena.

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From: "Billingham, Geraldine (ELS)"
To: "''"
Subject: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2001 10:47:31 -0000

Dear Professor Plaut

I am contacting you as the author of 'Models of Normal Cognitive Functions and Neuropsychological Deficits', an article commissioned from you for inclusion in the International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes, Editors-in-Chief), to be published later this year.

It has been brought to my attention that the full text of your Encyclopedia article can be accessed as a PDF at your personal homepage. To comply with the terms of your contract with us for the article, I would be grateful if you would arrange for the text of the article to be removed from this homepage. You are, however, most welcome to replace the text with a link to the abstract of your article as soon as it has been added to the Encyclopedia website at

We very much appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Yours sincerely

Geraldine Billingham
Publisher, Social Sciences
Elsevier Science

T: +44 1865 843336
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