Skip to main content

A Neural Network Test of the Expert Attractor Hypothesis: Chaos Theory Accounts for Individual Variance in Learning

  • Conference paper
  • First Online:
Research and Development in Intelligent Systems XXXIII (SGAI 2016)

Abstract

By positing that complex, abstract memories can be formalised as network attractors, the present paper introduces chaos theory in the field of psychological learning and, in particular, in the field of expertise acquisition. The expert attractor hypothesis is that the cortical re-organisation of biological networks via neural plasticity leads to a stable state that implements the memory template underpinning expert performance. An artificial neural network model of chess players’ strategic thinking, termed Templates for Expert Knowledge Simulation, was used to simulate, in 500 individuals, the learning of 128 positions which belong to 8 different chess strategies. The behavioural performance of the system as a novice, as an expert, and its variance in learning, are all in line with psychological findings. Crucially, the distribution of weights, the learning curves, and the evolution of the distribution of weights support the attractor hypothesis. Following a discussion on the psychological implications of the simulations, the next step towards unravelling the chaotic features of the human mind are evoked.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

Notes

  1. 1.

    See Chassy (2013) for details about the neuroscience background.

References

  1. Alexander-Bloch, A., Giedd, J.N., Bullmore, E.: Imaging structural co-variance between human brain regions. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 14(5), 322–336 (2013)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Chassy, P.: The role of memory templates in experts’ strategic thinking. Psychol. Res. 3(5), 276–289 (2013)

    Google Scholar 

  3. Chassy, P., Gobet, F.: Speed of expertise acquisition depends upon inherited factors. Talent Dev. Excell. 2, 17–27 (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  4. Chassy, P., Gobet, F.: A hypothesis about the biological basis of expert intuition. Rev. General Psychol. 15(3), 198–212 (2011)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Chassy, P., Gobet, F.: Risk taking in adversarial situations: civilization differences in chess experts. Cognition 141, 36–40 (2015)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Ericsson, K.A.: Deliberate practice and the acquisition and maintenance of expert performance in medicine and related domains. Acad. Med. 79(10), S70–S81 (2004)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Ericsson, K.A., Krampe, R.T., Tesch-Römer, C.: The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychol. Rev. 100(3), 363 (1993)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Gobet, F., Chassy, P., Bilalic, M.: Foundations of Cognitive Psychology. McGraw-Hill (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  9. Gobet, F., Simon, H.A.: Templates in chess memory: a mechanism for recalling several boards. Cogn. Psychol. 31, 1–40 (1996)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Grabner, R.H., Neubauer, A.C., Stern, E.: Superior performance and neural efficiency: the impact of intelligence and expertise. Brain Res. Bull. 69(4), 422–439 (2006)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Hebb, D.O.: The Organization of Behavior: A Neuropsychological Approach. Wiley (1949)

    Google Scholar 

  12. Imfeld, A., et al.: White matter plasticity in the corticospinal tract of musicians: a diffusion tensor imaging study. Neuroimage 46(3), 600–607 (2009)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Kandel, E.R.: The molecular biology of memory storage: a dialogue between genes and synapses. Science 294(5544), 1030–1038 (2001)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Kandel, E.R., Dudai, Y., Mayford, M.R.: The molecular and systems biology of memory. Cell 157(1), 163–186 (2014)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. King, A.V., et al.: Microstructure of a three-way anatomical network predicts individual differences in response inhibition: a tractography study. Neuroimage 59(2), 1949–1959 (2012)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Krampe, R.T., Ericsson, K.A.: Maintaining excellence: deliberate practice and elite performance in young and older pianists. J. Exp. Psychol.: General 125(4), 331 (1996)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Levenberg, K.: A method for the solution of certain non-linear problems in least squares. Q. Appl. Math. 2, 164–168 (1944)

    Article  MathSciNet  MATH  Google Scholar 

  18. Maguire, E.A., et al.: Navigation-related structural change in the hippocampi of taxi drivers. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 97(8), 4398–4403 (2000)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Marquardt, D.W.: An algorithm for least-squares estimation of nonlinear parameters. J. Soc. Ind. Appl. Math. 11(2), 431–441 (1963)

    Article  MathSciNet  MATH  Google Scholar 

  20. McCulloch, W.S., Pitts, W.: A logical calculus of the ideas immanent in nervous activity. Bull. Math. Biophys. 5(4), 115–133 (1943)

    Article  MathSciNet  MATH  Google Scholar 

  21. Mishra, D., et al.: Levenberg-Marquardt learning algorithm for integrate-and-fire neuron model. Neural Inf. Process.-Lett. Rev. 9(2), 41–51 (2005)

    Google Scholar 

  22. Moré, J.J.: The Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm: implementation and theory. In: Numerical Analysis, pp. 105–116. Springer (1978)

    Google Scholar 

  23. Newell, A., Rosenbloom, P.S.: Mechanisms of skill acquisition and the law of practice. Cogn. Skills Acquis. 1, 1–55 (1981)

    Google Scholar 

  24. Niogi, S.N., McCandliss, B.D.: Left lateralized white matter microstructure accounts for individual differences in reading ability and disability. Neuropsychologia 44(11), 2178–2188 (2006)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Phillips, R., LeDoux, J.: Differential contribution of amygdala and hippocampus to cued and contextual fear conditioning. Behav. Neurosci. 106(2), 274 (1992)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Prigogine, I.: Les lois du chaos. Flammarion (1994)

    Google Scholar 

  27. Squire, L.R.: Memory and the hippocampus: a synthesis from findings with rats, monkeys, and humans. Psychol. Rev. 99(2), 195 (1992)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Starkes, J.L., Hodges, N.J.: Team sports and the theory of deliberate practice. J. Sport Exerc. Psychol. 20, 12–24 (1998)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Wills, T.J., et al.: Attractor dynamics in the hippocampal representation of the local environment. Science 308, 873–876 (2005)

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to P. Chassy .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2016 Springer International Publishing AG

About this paper

Cite this paper

Chassy, P. (2016). A Neural Network Test of the Expert Attractor Hypothesis: Chaos Theory Accounts for Individual Variance in Learning. In: Bramer, M., Petridis, M. (eds) Research and Development in Intelligent Systems XXXIII. SGAI 2016. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47175-4_10

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47175-4_10

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-47174-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-47175-4

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics