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The Symbolic Imagery Hypothesis: A Production System Model Volume I Disclosure Number: IPCOM000147891D
Original Publication Date: 1973-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2007-Mar-28
Document File: 108 page(s) / 8M

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Moran, Thomas P.: AUTHOR [+2]


The Symbolic Imagery Hypothesis: A Production System Model Volume I

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The Symbolic Imagery Hypothesis: A Production System Model

Volume I

Thomas P. Morsn

Department of Computer Science Carnegie-Mellon University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213

December, 1973

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This lliesi5 puts forllt the hypothesis that hu~nait visual imagery can be modelled by discrete syrnbalic structures and prmcsscs (such as arc prevalent in cornputer science). Given some basic assumptions abrrut the information processing structure of the human cognitive processor, tlie neiurt. a~id
mechanics of symbolic imagery are dl:scribed; and general arguments'bpporting this kind of model arc outlined.

Tlic corc of 11s thcsis is an ernpil.ica1 inyestigatinn ol this hypothesis using the task oi "spatially understanding" a two-diroensional conliguration la path) presented as a verbal sequence of cnn~y~ass
rlirt:~:tians. Verlral ~~rolocnlr;
froni a singlc subjrct on lour vath lrrot~leins were collcclcd as data. Two of thcse protocols arc analyzed is dctnil by a cnmputer simulation. The sirnutatinn program is in- tile form nf a produtl~on system, that is, a system of symbolic cui~riitio~~-arti~i~~
ru1r:n. The prugram assumes a linlitrd capacity short-term mcmnry [STMI ot syrr~bnlic exytressions (cognitive "chtrnks") which Ihc rlrles test and manipulate.

The simulatirrn models in fine detail llle sobject's sequence of knowlcrlge states of the paths in tlic twn ~rrofrlrms. Thc pnstulated nod el of the subject's internal representatinn is a hierarchic structlrrr nl 1-xprrssinn~
dt!serihing 12s rccngniztrd figore types in thr paths. The eificacy ul this rrjircsri~tatinn is dtx~~lonstrateif
by the many dilfcrent processes that the program is able to usc it fur: tfie SI~LICIIII.P is si111[11e to C I I I I S ~ ~ I I C ~

                               within ~ I I P STM limits; it is easily "read" to pruducr. a vcrbal description of it; and I! is adc~ltrarc for calci~liiting sylnmetry and sl~atial aligiirl~i~ill

       ~.t-liili(ins. Tliis case st11dy shows that syrnhol structurcs and processes are sullicienl tri cxlrltiin (in a rcasnnahly parsirlioninus and gcncral way) tlic suhjcct's manilest understanding of tl~r
path tonligl~ratinns.

Thr lorus of "visual imagery" in such a symhnlic sybtem is th1.n identilicd as the symbol r~~a~iilt~~lalinn
of tlie Si'M cxyresr.ions contdinirrg visilal-spatial infornlation. The symbolic inla!gc:ry hypnthcsis is then further cxamincd by curtsirlcrir~g its consequences in other i t .

!! i5 ;lrg~~ed
that. bv assuming plausible il~lormdtion processing strategies, a

syetr?rri c;rn account lor tllc res111ts nf I,C,C. Drrmks' interlercnrc tasks and "ngei

Shepard's nicntal rotation tasks. Finally, it is shown t11,1t syn~bolic imagcry is, by Shcpard's critcrla, "analog".


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