Virtual Machine

Virtual Machine
   The Formal Structure of the Virtual Machine
   [T]wo programs can be thought of as strongly equivalent or as different realizations of the same algorithm or the same cognitive process if they can be represented by the same program in some theoretically specified virtual machine. A simple way of stating this is to say that we individuate cognitive processes in terms of their expression in the canonical language of this virtual machine. The formal structure of the virtual machine-or what I call its functional architecture-thus represents the theoretical definition of, for example, the right level of specificity (or level of aggregation) at which to view mental processes, the sort of functional resources the brain makes available-what operations are primitive, how memory is organized and accessed, what sequences are allowed, what limitations exist on the passing of arguments and on the capacities of various buffers, and so on. (Pylyshyn, 1984, p. 92)

Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science. . 2015.

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