A Connectionist Simulation of Attention and Vector Comparison: The Need for Serial Processing in Parallel Hardware
CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND PSYCHOLOGY PROJECT
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Given the massively parallel nature of the brain an obvious question is why are so many information processing functions serial In particular, this paper addresses the issue of the comparison process. Behavioral data show that in perceptual matching tasks such as memory scanning and visual search performance is systematically affected by stimulus load, in that required processing time increases with each additional comparison item. It is arguable whether this indicates a processing system that performs serial comparisons, or a system for which comparisons are done in parallel but reaction time is affected by load because of other system limitations. In this simulation we show that in a modular connectionist system vector transmission is possible in parallel, but the comparison process within a module must be done serially unless accuracy is sacrificed.
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