Author(s): Grossberg, S. |
Citation: Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4, 233-246
Abstract: How are our brains functionally organized to achieve adaptive behavior in a changing world? This article presents one alternative to the computer analogy that suggests brains are organized into independent modules. Evidence is reviewed that brains are in fact organized into parallel processing streams with complementary properties. Hierarchical interactions within each stream and parallel interactions between streams create coherent behavioral representations that overcome the complementary deficiencies of each stream and support unitary conscious experiences. This perspective suggests how brain design reflects the organization of the physical world with which brains interact. Examples from perception, learning, cognition and action are described, and theoretical concepts and mechanisms by which complementarity might be accomplished are presented.