Why Reorganization?

[From Rick Marken (941223.1400)]

Tom Bourbon (941222.1646) --

Jumping into a growing list of contributors:

Come on in; the water's fine;-)


If I understood Dennis's question, he was asking why the mechanism for
learning has to be a system separate from the perceptual control hierarchy,


That was also my understanding of what Dennis was asking, but the question
of why reorganization doesn't destroy the organism is interesting.

Bill Powers has also been uncertain about which way to portray

The issue has not been resolved.

Yes. The resolution of this issue, I think, is a ways down the line. From my
point of view, the first order of business is to observe the reorgsnization
system in action. Again, I think Dick Robertson's article (with Glines) gives
the best evidence for the existence of the reorganization phenomenon; people
control for a certain period of time and then go through a period of random
flailing (poor control) before arriving at a new plateau of control skill.
This is real reorganization because after the period of random flailing,
control is improved because A NEW VARIABLE IS UNDER CONTROL -- one which,
when controlled, allows better control of a higher order variable ( the
higher order variable "points", the main goal of the task is to "get them").
Some of the data in Dick's article is absolutely astounding. One subject
shows three distinct performance plateus, each one followed by a "bout" of
obvious reorganization. Again, I highly recommend this article to those
interested in the PCT view of learning (reorganization). I don't have the
reference here with me but I posted it earlier this month.

I think Dick's data is evidence of a reorganizing control system that is
functionally, if not structurally, separate from the control systems involved
in "ordinary" perceptual control. So I like the idea of imagining (for now)
that the reorganizing (learning) system is separate from the perceptual
control hierarchy; evidence that this system is not structurally separate
would probably come from studies of how the reorganizing system is actually
implemented neurophysiolgically (or physiologically; who knows, maybe it's
not part of the nervous systems).

I would like to see research that build's on Dick's initial studies so that
we can not only tell THAT reorganization is occurring but what is going on
(in terms of changes in control system characteritics) while it is occurring
so we can get some evidence regarding HOW reorganization might work.