Introduction: The Emerging Understanding of Lateral Interactions in the Cortex (1996)
In the last few years, several new results on the structure, development, and functional role of lateral connectivity in the cortex have emerged. These results have led to a new understanding of the cortex as a continuously-adapting dynamic system shaped by competitive and cooperative lateral interactions. Many of the results and their interpretations are still controversial, and computational investigations can serve a pivotal role in establishing this new model. This book brings together eleven such investigations, each from a slightly different perspective and level aiming to explain what function the lateral interactions could play in the development and information processing in the cortex. In this introductory chapter, current neurobiological data on lateral interactions in the cortex are first briefly reviewed, and several open questions about their role in cortical information processing are presented. The other chapters in this book attempt to answer some of these questions in terms of specific mathematical and computational models. An overview of these chapters is given below, providing a roadmap for the rest of the book.
In Sirosh, J., Miikkulainen, R., and Choe, Y., editors, Lateral Interactions in the Cortex: Structure and Function, 1996. Electronic book,

Risto Miikkulainen Faculty risto [at] cs utexas edu
Joseph Sirosh Ph.D. Alumni joseph sirosh [at] gmail com