|Abstract||Cognition, writ broadly to include motivation and emotion, is best conceived of as control structure for autonomous agents . Autonomous agents are situated in a environment. They both sense and act on that environment, over time, so as to effect subsequent sensing. Examples of such agents include humans, animals, some mobile robots, some artificial life creatures (who "live" in a simulated environment on a computer) and some software agents (who "live" in a file system, a database, or on a network). Their actions are in pursuit of their own agendas, as designed in by their maker or programmer, or as evolved and shaped by culture. Each such agent employs some control mechanism whose continual duty is to select the next action. The term "cognition," in its broad sense, refers to the workings of such control mechanisms.|
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