Behavioral and Brain Sciences



Open Peer Commentary
Clark & Thornton: Trading spaces

Extracting higher-level relationships in connectionist models


Gary F. Marcus a1
a1 Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 marcus@psych.umass.edu www-unix.oit.umass.edu/-marcus

Abstract

Connectionist networks excel at extracting statistical regularities but have trouble extracting higher-order relationships. Clark & Thornton suggest that a solution to this problem might come from Elman (1993), but I argue that the success of Elman's single recurrent network is illusory, and show that it cannot in fact represent abstract relationships that can be generalized to novel instances, undermining Clark & Thornton's key arguments.