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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Prototype theory emerged out of two main sources. First, research on perceptual category learning suggested that people spontaneously abstract representations of the statistical central tendency when they are exposed to a range of similar images. The abstracted representation corresponds to the average or prototype for a range of training images and can be used to classify future examples. The second source was philosophical. On some versions, the prototype features are organized into structured lists, which divide into such subheadings as physical attributes, means of locomotion, and perhaps diet. In a connectionist framework, a prototype might be a collection of weighted feature-representing nodes, or, more graphically, points in a multidimensional space, whose dimensions correspond to nodes in the network. On an empiricist approach, prototype features might be interpreted as components of structured mental images, and imagistic simulations of prototype activities.

Keywords: prototype theory, abstract representations, prototype features, physical attributes, mental images

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