Brain Function and Adaptive Systems: A Heterostatic Theory
AIR FORCE CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LABS HANSCOM AFB MA
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A new theory of intelligent adaptive systems is proposed. The theory provides a single unifying framework within which the neurophysiological, psychological, and sociological properties of living adaptive systems can be understood. Furthermore, the theory offers a new basis for the synthesis of machines possessing adaptive intelligence. The proposed theory is of a heterostatic type. That is to say, it is a theory which assumes that living adaptive systems seek, as their primary goal, a maximal condition heterostasis , rather than assuming that the primary goal is a steadystate condition homeostasis. It is further assumed that the heterostatic nature of animals, including man, derives from the heterostatic nature of neurons. The postulate that the neuron is a heterostat that is, a maximizer is a generalization of a more specific postulate, namely, that the neuron is a hedonist. This latter postulate is interpreted strictly in terms of physical variables, yielding the heterostatic neuronal model that is the basis for the detailed development of the theory.