Fascinating material. Putting on my mind-as-software hat, this screams to me of abstractions and meta-systems. A pattern can be learned, let's say, and a higher-level governor can then apply it elsewhere, running on different but analogous hardware.

I have for a while now nurtured the presumption to a hypothesis of higher-level intelligence as arising from a capacity for metaphor. Cat is to mouse as python is to missionary, so to speak. By picking up relationships and patterns independent of their objects and applying them to unrelated objects, my hypothesis goes, we can come up with novel ideas very efficiently.

What could support this better at the neural level than some capacity to pick up a pattern of firing and run it elsewhere, on different groups of neurons?

Elliott Bignell

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