Protein Analysis Meets Visual Word Recognition: A Case for String Kernels in the Brain
Article first published online: 20 MAR 2012
Copyright © 2012 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Volume 36, Issue 4, pages 575–606, May/June 2012
How to Cite
Hannagan, T. and Grainger, J. (2012), Protein Analysis Meets Visual Word Recognition: A Case for String Kernels in the Brain. Cognitive Science, 36: 575–606. doi: 10.1111/j.1551-6709.2012.01236.x
- Issue published online: 4 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 20 MAR 2012
- Received 8 December 2010; received in revised form 23 August 2011; accepted 1 September 2011
- String kernels;
- Visual word recognition;
- Orthographic coding;
- Visual Word Form Area
It has been recently argued that some machine learning techniques known as Kernel methods could be relevant for capturing cognitive and neural mechanisms (Jäkel, Schölkopf, & Wichmann, 2009). We point out that ‘‘String kernels,’’ initially designed for protein function prediction and spam detection, are virtually identical to one contending proposal for how the brain encodes orthographic information during reading. We suggest some reasons for this connection and we derive new ideas for visual word recognition that are successfully put to the test. We argue that the versatility and performance of String kernels makes a compelling case for their implementation in the brain.