December 1987

Computer Modeling of Mental Processes

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester, MA 01605

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1987;44(12):1107. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1987.01800240083012

To the Editor.—  Hoffman's1 article Pro– vides rich food for thought for those interested in mind-brain function. The "popcorn" analogy to neuronal energy minima states is a clear and easy way to explain how "macro" knowledge structures are processed differently in the two psychopathologic states. In an intriguing way, the Hopfield model assists in one's contemplating the basis for some of the "primary processes" that psychoanalysis has long held to be fundamental to mental life. For example, Hoffman's description of "content addressable" memory fits with what Gill2 would consider to be the primary process of condensation with substitute formation. Hoffman points out that "if several stored gestalts have many features in common then the system will often flow into an end state that is a composite of these gestalts."Not since Jung3 struggled with the "feeling-toned complex" via the wordassociation test have investigators satisfactorily explained either the

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