Schizophrenic Computer-Networks

Superinteressantes Experiment an den Unis in Austin, Texas und Yale. Dort haben Forscher Netzwerke, die normalerweise Gehirnfunktionen abbilden und Sprachen lernen, mit Informationen und Storys bombardiert, woraufhin diese als Ergebnis Symptome von Schizophrenie zeigten. Von PopSci: „Researchers testing mental illness figured out how to induce schizophrenic symptoms in a computer, causing it to place itself at the center of crazy delusions, such as claiming responsibility for a terrorist bombing. The results bolster a hypothesis that claims faulty information processing can lead to schizophrenic symptoms.“

Computer networks that can’t forget fast enough can show symptoms of a kind of virtual schizophrenia, giving researchers further clues to the inner workings of schizophrenic brains, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Yale University have found. The researchers used a virtual computer model, or “neural network,” to simulate the excessive release of dopamine in the brain. They found that the network recalled memories in a distinctly schizophrenic-like fashion. […]

“The hypothesis is that dopamine encodes the importance — the salience — of experience,” says Uli Grasemann, a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin. “When there’s too much dopamine, it leads to exaggerated salience, and the brain ends up learning from things that it shouldn’t be learning from.” The results bolster a hypothesis known in schizophrenia circles as the hyperlearning hypothesis, which posits that people suffering from schizophrenia have brains that lose the ability to forget or ignore as much as they normally would. […]

“It’s an important mechanism to be able to ignore things,” says Grasemann. “What we found is that if you crank up the learning rate in DISCERN high enough, it produces language abnormalities that suggest schizophrenia.” After being re-trained with the elevated learning rate, DISCERN began putting itself at the center of fantastical, delusional stories that incorporated elements from other stories it had been told to recall. In one answer, for instance, DISCERN claimed responsibility for a terrorist bombing.

Scientists afflict computers with schizophrenia to better understand the human brain (via /.)