Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Clark & Thornton: Trading spaces

Constraining solution space to improve generalization

John A. Bullinaria a1
a1 Centre for Speech and Language, Department of Psychology, Birkbeck College, London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom


I suggest that the difficulties inherent in discovering the hidden regularities in realistic (type-2) problems can often be resolved by learning algorithms employing simple constraints (such as symmetry and the importance of local information) that are natural from an evolutionary point of view. Neither “heavy-duty nativism” nor “representational recoding” appear to offer totally appropriate descriptions of such natural learning processes.