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Keywords:

  • Binding;
  • Conceptual combination;
  • Convolution;
  • Creativity;
  • Emotion;
  • Neural engineering framework;
  • Neural networks;
  • Neurocomputation;
  • Representation

Abstract

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.