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Jeffrey L. Elman is Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego. He is a well-known psycholinguist and pioneer in the field of neural networks. With Jay McClelland, he developed the TRACE model of speech perception in the mid-80s. TRACE remains a highly influential model that has stimulated a large body of empirical research.

In 1996, he co-authored (with Annette Karmiloff-Smith, Elizabeth Bates, Mark Johnson, Domenico Parisi, and Kim Plunkett), the book Rethinking Innateness, which argues against a strong nativist (innate) view on development.

In 1990, he introduced the Simple Recurrent Network (aka 'Elman net'), which is a widely-used recurrent neural network that is capable of processing sequentially ordered stimuli. Elman nets are used in a number of fields, including cognitive science, psychology, economics and physics, among many others.

Elman is a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the New Bulgarian University, and is the 2007 recipient of the David E. Rumelhart Prize for Theoretical Contributions to Cognitive Science. He is founding Co-Director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind at UC San Diego and holds the Chancellor's Associates Endowed Chair.

He is is co-directed with Boicho Kokinov of the Central and East European Center for Cognitive Science

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