Grossberg, S. 2013. Adaptive Resonance Theory: How a brain learns to consciously attend, learn, and recognize a changing world. Neural Networks, 37, 1 – 47.
Why it is inspiring: As daunting as it is, it does not oversimplify the highly complex process of spoken word recognition (which itself is only a part of the paper). And, it was a fun read … just as the reader believes it is a theory of everything, Grossberg assures us – it isn’t.
Something to think about: We read this in a graduate seminar in the fall with sociolinguistics, computational linguistics, phonology, and phonetics students. We all were excited and invigorated to have this overview; as it addressed issues we felt were often left unconsidered in other work. At the same time, the question of how we can make this more accessible in our own work and in the community was raised over and over again; it is dense and it is not a paper that is likely to be standard reading for linguists. We decided more talking and reading were the answers, and this paper was the impetus of our Favorite Paper of the Year Contest. We may not understand the mechanics behind everything yet, but we are talking about it!