Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

A phase transition between localist and distributed representation

Peter C. M. Molenaar a1 and Maartje E. J. Raijmakers a1
a1 Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands [email protected]


Bifurcation analysis of a real-time implementation of an ART network, which is functionally similar to the generalized localist model discussed in Page's manifesto shows that it yields a phase transition from local to distributed representation owing to continuous variation of the range of inhibitory connections. Hence there appears to be a qualitative dichotomy between local and distributed representations at the level of connectionistic networks conceived of as instances of nonlinear dynamical systems.