Definition of connectionism in US English:



  • An artificial intelligence approach to cognition in which multiple connections between nodes (equivalent to brain cells) form a massive interactive network in which many processes take place simultaneously. Certain processes in this network, operating in parallel, are grouped together in hierarchies that bring about results such as thought or action.

    • ‘Eliminativists are interested in connectionism because it promises to provide a conceptual foundation that might replace folk psychology.’
    • ‘That led me into this debate about connectionism, which is about how you might build a neural network model of the mind.’
    • ‘He is an exponent of connectionism, the theory that behavior and thought should ultimately be explained in terms of physical connections between neurons.’
    • ‘He also anticipated the themes associated with perceptual plasticity, developmental accounts of modularity, and connectionism.’
    • ‘There is a major debate within the philosophy of mind between proponents of classical cognitive architecture and proponents of connectionism.’