Eric Wasiolek

Life Story



   Personal History
   Family and Friends
   World Travels
   Books and Articles
   Philosophical Papers
   Contact Me
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
- Mahatma Gandhi


































































































Philosophical Papers

(July 10, 2019)

Processes and Algorithms and Neuro-Algorithms.

What are each and how are they related and different.  Can you have a non-syntactical algorithm?  Can the brain or neural processes be algorithmic yet non-syntactical?

Neural algorithms?

Also, non-syntactic computers, e.g. neurocomputers.

My thinking here is that there may be something akin to an algorithm in the brain that is not expressed in any sort of syntax.  What might be called a neuro-algorithm is a definite possibly repetitive process or set of firings of neurons in a certain prescribed order to accomplish a mental task.  This begs the question what is an algorithm and what is a process, and can a neural process be considered an algorithm? 

In my terminology an event is a series of states and state transitions.  A process is a series of events.  An algorithm is a set of instructions designed to perform a specific task.  So, an algorithm is goal oriented.  The goal is to generate certain output from certain input.  I.e., it is a defined transformation.  Secondly, an algorithm is composed of a set of instructions (i.e., there is a syntactic idea here, an instruction is a syntactic construct).  And finally, an algorithm is designed, i.e., it is not something naturally occurring, it is an artefact.

Can a neural process be considered a non-syntactical natural algorithm?  Let us consider again the definition of a process and its relation to the definition of an algorithm.  One simple definition of a process is that it is a “series of actions to achieve a certain end.”  Here a process, as an algorithm, is goal oriented.  It results in output as does an algorithm.  In fact, it seems to accept input which is transformed by a series of steps into definite output, at which point we say the process is completed.  A process may be iterative as can an algorithm, e.g. the Krebs cycle is a natural process which is iterative as it is a cycle.  A process may branch based upon a condition (or a certain natural input such as a chemical which may or may not be there) just as an algorithm may branch based upon a condition (e.g. an if statement).  However, a natural process is naturally occurring and does not proceed, iterate, or branch according to syntactical instructions.  So, it does seem to me that a process may be a natural, non-syntactic algorithm.  Then, I am willing to propose a neuro-algorithm as a neural process which may iterate and branch which transforms definite neural inputs into definite neural outputs, but which never uses or requires syntax in any way.

In this way a neural system is patently not like a computer system.  A computer system may properly be said to be describable on three levels:  representational, as an object oriented program represents the thing in the world that it models, syntactic, as the statements in the object oriented program allow the representation to be presented to the physical computational system to perform the simulation, and the physical or the instantiation of the program in the digital logical circuitry of the machine.  A neural system, on the other hand, performs representations (e.g. visual fields of the real world), and transforms those representations or processes them but without the syntactical layer.


 Designed and Managed by:
 Eric Wasiolek
   Copyright 2021 Home | Contact Me | Login