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welcome to Cognitive Neuroscience:
Emergence of Mind from Brain.
I'm Jay McClelland, and I'm the director
of the Stanford Center for Mind,
Brain and Computation.
This lecture is intended as an
introduction to the cognitive neuroscience
series of Henry Stewart talks.
In this lecture,
we'll ask the question: how does the brain
give rise to experience,
thought, and behavior?
One perspective on this question is the
view that the brain consists of a large
number of separate modules,
each essentially doing its own thing, for
example, there might be a module for
object recognition, another module for
the appreciation of music, and yet
another for understanding language.
The perspective that I'll take
in this lecture is different.
Our perspective is that our cognitive
abilities emerge from interactions of
neurons within and across brain areas.
Neurons may be specialized to
contribute certain special things to
particular aspects of our mental
functions, but in general,
they work in concert with many other
neurons in a large and diverse range of
brain areas to give rise to functions
such as the ones that I mentioned before.
Here is an outline for the lecture.
After the introduction
that we've just concluded,
we'll turn to building blocks and
basic principles of neural computation.
Next, we will consider how neural
activity represents information.
Then we'll consider
the macrostructure of mind and brain,
how functions are organized
across different brain areas.
In the last substantive section of the
lecture we'll consider how neurons learn
to represent and to process information.
Finally, I'll have some concluding
comments about what we know, and
what we don't know about mind and brain.