Computational physics of the mind.

Wlodzislaw Duch
Department of Informatics,   Nicolaus Copernicus University,
Grudziadzka 5, 87-100 Torun, Poland.

In: Computer Physics Communication 97 (1996) 136-153

In the XIX century and earlier such physicists as Newton, Mayer, Hooke, Helmholtz and Mach were actively engaged in the research on psychophysics, trying to relate psychological sensations to intensities of physical stimuli. Computational physics allows to simulate complex neural processes giving a chance to answer not only the original psychophysical questions but also to create models of mind. In this paper several approaches relevant to modeling of mind are outlined. Since direct modeling of the brain functions is rather limited due to the complexity of such models a number of approximations is introduced. The path from the brain, or computational neurosciences, to the mind, or cognitive sciences, is sketched, with emphasis on higher cognitive functions such as memory and consciousness. No fundamental problems in understanding of the mind seem to arise. From computational point of view realistic models require massively parallel architectures.

Paper in PDF format, 150 KB

A Note from the Editor of the CPC special issue, Frederick James:

We are pleased to include in this issue most of the invited papers and some of the contributed papers presented at the Tenth School. Of course not all the presentations at such a school are appropriate for a research journal, so we have selected only those we think are of special interest to our readers and of lasting value to the community of computational physicists. We hope that those authors whose papers were not retained will understand that our selection criteria are necessarily somewhat different from those of conferences and schools.

On the other hand, conferences and schools often offer the opportunity to attract papers of considerable interest which would not normally be submitted to a research journal, and this school is no exception. We hope our readers will find inspiration in these more unusual contributions, such as that of Duch on "Computational Physics of the Mind".

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