Shultz, T. R., Mysore, S. P., & Quartz, S. R. (2007). Why let networks grow? In D. Mareschal, S. Sirois, G. Westermann, & M. H. Johnson (Eds.), Neuroconstructivism: Perspectives and prospects (Vol. 2, pp. 65-98). Oxford: Oxford University Press.



This chapter considers the issue of network growth. We review a wealth of data from neuroscience providing evidence for learning-directed architectural brain changes throughout the lifespan. We also consider the computational implications of having a learning mechanism that becomes substantially more powerful as it grows. Auditory localization in the barn owl is an important example of activity-dependent network growth underlying the ability to learn. Modeling children’s cognitive development with constructive neural networks also indicates the importance of growth stimulated by pressure to learn. After drawing conclusions, we identify areas of future research and open research questions.


Copyright notice

Abstracts, papers, chapters, and other documents are posted on this site as an efficient way to distribute reprints. The respective authors and publishers of these works retain all of the copyrights to this material. Anyone copying, downloading, bookmarking, or printing any of these materials agrees to comply with all of the copyright terms. Other than having an electronic or printed copy for fair personal use, none of these works may be reposted, reprinted, or redistributed without the explicit permission of the relevant copyright holders.


To obtain a PDF reprint of this particular article, signal your agreement with these copyright terms by clicking on the statement below.


I agree with all of these copyright terms PDF 552KB