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


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.