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by Derek Rush (Submitted: 02/23/2008)

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"COPYING and ASSOCIATING -1" is a beginning in exploring the extent to which the procedures of copying and associating may be in use in the brain of a creature. It illustrates how a crossword puzzle may be solved using WORDS that have been COPIED into a memory with some regard taken for their ASSOCIATION, so that answer words and clue words are likely to be reasonably close together.

The model uses a limited memory containing the clue words and sufficient associated words for the demonstration. To solve the puzzle the first requirement is to locate an answer word of the required length that is associated with the clue word by being near to it in memory. The second is a check that shared letters agree. Finally, to update the memory the answer word should be more closely associated by being moved closer to the clue. THE PROCEDURES SPECIFIC TO THE SUBJECT ARE SMALL, most of the model is taken up with display and preparation for display. The model is given a degree of realism by including the urge to solve changing with degree of success in completing the solution and for this purpose emotion and motivation are displayed.

The button "Display Words, Clues & Comments" is the initial display.
Slider "thinking-delay" may be set for comfortable reading of the display when solving.
Button "Solve & show Answer Words" shows the progress of the solving and the chosen solution words moved alongside the clue words in the MEMORY, giving them stronger ASSOCIATION and thereby adding to the knowledge within the memory.

Many parts of the brain of a creature may operate in ways similar to those in this model, and it is considered that this includes learning. This will be tested further in a model that solves a cryptic crossword puzzle because this will involve several additional areas of copying and association.
Both evolution and life itself use COPYING extensively. That ASSOCIATION might play an important part in mental activity is not of recent origin.
"COPYING & ASSOCIATING -1" unwraps the subject of FREE WILL, which conventionally is assumed to co-exist with consciousness; but can free will exist for a creature with actions controlled almost entirely by associations of its lifetime sensed inputs?


The model assumes that the procedures being studied are necessary for creature survival and it makes use of some basic concepts in two of the author's earlier NetLogo Models EMOTION & MOTIVATION and LEARNING & CREATIVITY. Those concepts are:
"Even insects express anger, terror, jealousy, and love by their stridulation." The Expression Of The Emotions In Man and Animals by Charles Darwin.1872.
Creatures are subject to urges, generated by the creature's brain/body chemistry and directed at maintaining or improving the creature's condition.
Life is essentially a copying process in which evolution, the optimistic empiricist, advances by copying whatever survives. Every creature from birth, or even earlier, will be copying, by repeating its own actions, by behaving similarly to its fellows or by copying as a result of what it senses around it. It is well established that sensing an action by a similar creature can excite the same action area in the brain of the sensing creature. Creatures make great use of copied patterns, examples are the stridulation calls of insects and the calls of birds. Nowhere is this illustrated better than in the habits, routines, records, fashions, languages, dialects and accents of human beings. It is therefore highly probable that the neurobiology of all creatures is founded on the copying and storing of patterns. A creature learns by receiving, memorising and associating patterns from inputs.

Some of a brain's capability may be inherited but much is learnt in a lifetime by copying into memories wherein position means association and something akin to a Search Engine operates by rules of association to select to and from the memories. What arises in the brain results from associations and the more free the associations the higher the probabilty of it being considered to be creativity in the world of the creature.


(Previous and relevant NetLogo Models by the author were
FR. 1 The Expression Of The Emotions In Man and Animals by Charles Darwin.1872.
FR. 2 The Living Brain by W.Grey Walter. Duckworth, London, 1953.
FR. 3 Mapping The Mind by Rita Carter. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1998.
FR. 4 Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman. Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 1996.
FR. 5 The Emotional Brain, Joseph LeDoux. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1998.
FR. 6 Phantoms In The Brain-Human Nature And The Architecture Of The Mind by
V.S.Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee. Fourth Estate, London 1998.
FR. 7 The Human Computer by Mark Jeffery. Little, Brown and Company, London, 1999.
FR. 8 Consciousness-How Matter Becomes Imagination by Gerald M. Edelman and G.Tononi.
Penguin London, 2000.(In the USA as A Universe of Consciousness. Perseus.)
FR. 9 How The Mind Works by Steven Pinker. Penguin, London.(Also in the USA,
W.W.Norton 1997)
FR.10 An Anatomy of Thought, The origin and machinery of the mind by Ian Glynn. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1999.
FR.11 Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins. Penguin Press Science, 1999.
FR.12 The Private Life Of The Brain by Susan Greenfield. Penguin, 2000.

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