Errors in a nonlinear graphic-semantic mapping task resulting from lesions in Boltzmann machine: Is it relevant to dyslexia?

Amir B. Geva, Lior Shtram, Shai Policker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


One of the most fascinating aspects of brain research is the subject of language. As in many other cases, the malfunctions that occur in different persons for various reasons give us insight on the mechanisms that support our ability to talk, read and listen. Following the work of Plaut and associates, we deal with the dyslexia disorder, which is the overall name for a large number of reading disorders. A Boltzmann machine neural network scheme was trained to implement the nonlinear mapping task of graphic representation into semantic representation, which may model the brain sections responsible for the translation of a written word into meanings and syllables. After training, various types of lesions were applied and the performance of the network was tested in order to measure the effect of each lesion on the error rate and type distribution that were detected. The system's errrors were classified into several categories and the distribution of errors between the categories was studied. Using the simulations, it is demonstrated that a finite scheduling process in the Boltzmann machine causes the distribution of the network's errors to be unique and different from its expected error distribution. The phenomenon is given a mathematical explanation rooted in the statistical mechanics basics of the Boltzmann machine. Test results suggest the localization of certain reading functions within the network. Comparison is made to relevant types of dyslexia and shows resemblance in major symptoms as well as in certain known side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-626
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2000


  • Boltzmann machines
  • Dyslexia
  • Errors analysis
  • Lesions
  • Limited scheduling
  • Neural networks
  • Nonlinear mapping
  • Pruning
  • Simulated annealing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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