Direct memory access using two cues: Finding the intersection of sets in a connectionist model

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 3 (NIPS 1990)

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Janet Wiles, Michael Humphreys, John Bain, Simon Dennis


For lack of alternative models, search and decision processes have provided the dominant paradigm for human memory access using two or more cues, despite evidence against search as an access process (Humphreys, Wiles & Bain, 1990). We present an alternative process to search, based on calculating the intersection of sets of targets activated by two or more cues. Two methods of computing the intersection are presented, one using information about the possible targets, the other constraining the cue-target strengths in the memory matrix. Analysis using orthogonal vectors to represent the cues and targets demonstrates the competence of both processes, and simulations using sparse distributed representations demonstrate the performance of the latter process for tasks involving 2 and 3 cues.