The AHA! Experience: Creativity Through Emergent Binding in Neural Networks
Article first published online: 12 OCT 2010
Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Volume 35, Issue 1, pages 1–33, January/February 2011
How to Cite
Thagard, P. and Stewart, T. C. (2011), The AHA! Experience: Creativity Through Emergent Binding in Neural Networks. Cognitive Science, 35: 1–33. doi: 10.1111/j.1551-6709.2010.01142.x
- Issue published online: 6 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 12 OCT 2010
- Received 18 September 2009; received in revised form 25 March 2010; accepted 27 June 2010
- Conceptual combination;
- Neural engineering framework;
- Neural networks;
Many kinds of creativity result from combination of mental representations. This paper provides a computational account of how creative thinking can arise from combining neural patterns into ones that are potentially novel and useful. We defend the hypothesis that such combinations arise from mechanisms that bind together neural activity by a process of convolution, a mathematical operation that interweaves structures. We describe computer simulations that show the feasibility of using convolution to produce emergent patterns of neural activity that can support cognitive and emotional processes underlying human creativity.