THE NAME PATHWAY, AN ELEMENTARY COGNITIVE MODEL OF NAMES AS SENSORY REPRESENTATIONS
S. Balachandra Dass
DOI : 10.3844/amjnsp.2014.1.9
Volume 5, 2014
Names function as sensory representations, but the relationship between names and sensory stimuli/responses remains unclear. This study proposes the existence of a class of stimulus-response pathways, the name pathway, where a name is a reproducible and communicable symbol and the name pathway is one where the same name is both the stimulus and the response. Once a stimulus-response "name" pathway is formed as a result of reinforcement-based learning and in concert with the formation of the associated stimulus-response "sensory" pathway for a named object, act or process, Hebbian cross-pathway connectivity between the sensory and name pathways allows each pathway’s stimulus to activate the other’s response. The model proposes that every higher-order cognitive function exists only because it was named and that each such function may be defined mechanistically to be the outcome of the "recognition," "interpretation," and "retrieval" of sensory experiences from networks of names for that function.
© 2014 S. Balachandra Dass. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.