JJ Hopfield mentioned that one of his most recent projects is how to simulate, using realistic network models, a rat's (or mine) mental thinking process of going from place A to place B, where food resides. The idea is that after the rat learns the environment very well, the rat is placed in a new location A that it's never been to, with obstacles between A and B. What Hopfield was interested in was for the rat to explore the solution space without activating the motor neurons and physically explore. This is clearly a problem of visual thinking. I suggested just mentally visualizing ways to get to B and then select the route that max some criterion. He said I'm thinking too much like a computer scientists and that the problem with real networks is how does the mental process actually work and how to suppress the motor neurons.