Engines of the Brain: The Computational Instruction Set of Human Cognition

  • Richard Granger


Vast information from the neurosciences may enable bottom-up understanding of human intelligence; that is, derivation of function from mechanism. This article describes such a research program: simulation and analysis of the circuits of the brain has led to derivation of a detailed set of elemental and composed operations emerging from individual and combined circuits. The specific hypothesis is forwarded that these operations constitute the "instruction set" of the brain, that is, the basic mental operations from which all complex behavioral and cognitive abilities are constructed, establishing a unified formalism for description of human faculties ranging from perception and learning to reasoning and language, and representing a novel and potentially fruitful research path for the construction of human- level intelligence.