Generalisation

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Generalisation, in psychology, is the tendency for the learned behaviour from one stimulus to be applied to another, similar, stimulus.

Steve Grand wrote, in I Am Ron's Brain, (1995) that an effect like generalisation could be created in creatures' brains by having concept neurones that are similar (being high up and being near a cliff edge, for example), being located near each other in the brain. When one is excited, it broadcasts a signal to nearby concept neurones, and if a good reaction has been learned in the situations represented by the stimulated concept neurones, a norn may lend more weight to the idea of employing the previously learned reaction.

If the reaction turns out to be sensible in the novel situation, the norn learns in the novel situation that that action is good, and it also reinforces the earlier learned behaviour.

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