Key Word Search
by term...

by definition...

for letter: "A"
Results

Acquisition
 
Acquisition Time
 
Action Potential
 
Actuator
 
Adaptation
 
Adaptive Feedback
 
Adaptive Input
 
Adaptive Signals
 
Afferent
 
AL
 
Alan Hodgkin
 
Alan Sokal
 
Albus, James S.
 
Alfred Wallace
 
Alimentary
 
Alimentary Reflex
 
Amino Acid
 
Amygdala
 
Andrew Huxley
 
Anion
 
ANN
 
AP
 
Artificial Neural Network
 
Associative Learning
 
Augustus DeMorgan
 
Autodidact
 
Axon
 
Axon Guidance
 
Axon Level
 
Axon Pathfinding
 
Axon Potential
 
Axonal Pathfinding
 



Unless otherwise indicated, all glossary content is:
(C) Copyright 2008-2014
Dominic John Repici
~ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ~
No part of this Content may be copied without the express written permision of Dominic John Repici.













































 



 
Adaptation

 
Most generally, adaptation is the process by which a set (population) of reproducing and decaying systems (e.g., organisms) of a given kind selectively change in response to current externally sourced influences.

The process of adaptation in biological organisms has been understood, and fully reduced to everyday practice for most of recorded human history (thousands of years).


. . . . . . .
Adaptation In Netlab

In Netlab, adaptation is used to denote any change to a system or system component, which occurs "in response to" (i.e., which is caused by) externally occurring phenomena. Adaptations may include the mechanisms of selective adaptation, which may occur over successive iterations of a given kind. They may also be adaptations to intrinsically adaptive mechanisms, such as changes made to connection strengths (weight-values).

Many different specific mechanism are provided in Netlab to effect adaptation. For example, neurons in Netlab include adaptive inputs, which accept Axon Levels that are used to alter (adapt) weight-values within the neuron. Neurons may also use Chemical Influences (CIs) to alter weight values directly, or affect how other mechanisms alter them.


. . . . . . .
Adaptation Is Not Darwinian Evolution

There is currently a great deal of obfuscatory pressure on the language, which makes it easy to inadvertently conflate the word: "adaptation" with the word: "evolution" (or, to conflate "adaptation" with the term: "Darwinian evolution").

Clear discussions of the mechanisms underlying memory and learning may require the use and conveyance of a precise, non-ambiguous, meaning of the word: "adaptation." For this reason, the word--in its original meaning--needs to be reclaimed.

In biology, evolution is the notion, first posited by Alfred Wallace and subsequently promoted by Charles Darwin, that adaptation has led to the emergence of new species, which comprise all the known species in existence today.

The concept of adaptation within species, however, had been fully understood and used for many thousands of years before Wallace and Darwin's evolutionary concept had been documented, and promoted. Adaptation had been so thoroughly understood previously, in fact, that it was reduced to everyday practice by many farmers and other regular folk.

Verb logic:

Part of the confusion surrounding evolution may stem from the logical relationship between "adaptation" and "evolution", which appear to merge when the concepts are used in verb-form. Here are two statements, which may help to separate them:
  1. Something that is "evolving" is (generally speaking) also adapting. However,
  2. something that is adapting is not necessarily evolving.

Put another way:
  1. Something that is "evolving," in the Wallace sense, must (generally speaking) be adapting. However,
  2. something that is adapting need not be evolving.


Relaxed (street) meanings:

Another issue is that--based on the assumption that Darwinian evolution will eventually be found to be correct-- it has become common to speak of all adaptive, and selective-adaptive changes in biological organisms as though they were simply part of the larger, over-arching process, which is evolution as Darwin and Wallace described it. So, for example, a bacterium is evolving a drug resistance.

It has also become popular to apply the term to all sorts of adaptive changes, re: "the airplane has evolved into the modern day jumbo-jet," or: "Though a rookie football player, one can see that he is evolving into the go-to weapon for his team."

None of these usages, or their implicit definitions for the term, are incorrect. The problem comes about when these meanings are conflated with the rigorous meaning of evolution, as it is defined and used in Charles Darwin's book. That is, a mechanism by which all new species begin, which depends on the (long understood) mechanisms of selective adaptation as its primary causal process.

 

 
 




Web-based glossary software: (c) Creativyst, 2001-2014