Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Schyns, P. G., et al.: The development of features in object concepts

Feature learning, multiresolution analysis, and symbol grounding

Karl F. MacDorman a1
a1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Osaka 560, Japan [email protected]


Cognitive theories based on a fixed feature set suffer from frame and symbol grounding problems. Flexible features and other empirically acquired constraints (e.g., analog-to-analog mappings) provide a framework for letting extrinsic relations influence symbol manipulation. By offering a biologically plausible basis for feature learning, nonorthogonal multiresolution analysis and dimensionality reduction, informed by functional constraints, may contribute to a solution to the symbol grounding problem.