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


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.