Connectionism, controllers, and a brain theory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a new theory for the internal mechanisms of the brain. It postulates that there are controllers in the brain and that there are parts of the brain that control other parts. Thus, the theory refutes the connectionist theory that there are no separate controllers in the brain for higher level functions and that all control is "local and distributed" at the level of the cells. Connectionist algorithms themselves are used to prove this theory. Moreover, there is evidence in the neuroscience literature to support this theory. Thus, this paper proposes a control theoretic approach for understanding how the brain works and learns. That means that control theoretic principles should be applicable to developing systems similar to the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1434-1441
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Part A:Systems and Humans
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008


  • Brain theory
  • Connectionism
  • Control theory
  • Controllers
  • Learning algorithms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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