Resource Constraints on Computation and Communication in the Brain

Sashank Varma

This paper contributes to the emerging literature at the border between AI and cognitive neuroscience, analyzing the resource constraints that shape brain function. The brain is conceptualized as a set of ar-eas that collaborate to perform complex cognitive tasks. Both (1) computation within individual areas and (2) communication between collaborating ar-eas are viewed as resource-consuming activities. The efficient deployment of limited resources is formalized as a Linear Programming problem which the brain is hypothesized to solve on a mo-ment-by-moment basis. A model of language proc-essing is analyzed within this framework and found to exhibit resource utilization profiles consistent with those observed in functional neuroimaging studies of humans.

Subjects: 2. Architectures; 4. Cognitive Modeling

Submitted: Oct 16, 2006

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