We discuss the role of synchrony of activationin higher-level cognitiveprocesses. Inparticular, we analyze the question of whethersynchrony of activation provides a mechanismfor compositional representation in neuralsystems. We will argue that synchrony ofactivation does not provide a mechanism forcompositional representation in neural systems.At face value, one can identify a level ofcompositional representation in the models thatintroduce synchrony of activation for thispurpose. But behavior in these models isalways produced by means conjunctiverepresentations in the form of coincidencedetectors. Therefore, models that (...) rely onsynchrony of activation lack the systematicityand productivity of true compositional systems.As a result, they cannot distinguish betweentype and token representations, which resultsin misrepresentations of spatial relations andpropositions. Furthermore, higher-levelcognitive processes will likely integrateinformation from widely distributed areas inthe brain, which puts severe restrictions onthe underlying neural dynamics if synchrony ofactivation is to play a role in theseprocesses. We will briefly discuss theserestrictions in the case of feature binding invisual cognition. (shrink)
This article considers categorical perception (CP) as a crucial process involved in all sort of communication throughout the biological hierarchy, i.e. in all of biosemiosis. Until now, there has been consideration of CP exclusively within the functional cycle of perception–cognition–action and it has not been considered the possibility to extend this kind of phenomena to the mere physiological level. To generalise the notion of CP in this sense, I have proposed to distinguish between categorical perception (CP) and categorical sensing (CS) (...) in order to extend the CP framework to all communication processes in living systems, including intracellular, intercellular, metabolic, physiological, cognitive and ecological levels. The main idea is to provide an account that considers the heterarchical embeddedness of many instances of CP and CS. This will take me to relate the hierarchical nature of categorical sensing and perception with the equally hierarchical issues of the “binding problem”, “triadic causality”, the “emergent interpretant” and the increasing semiotic freedom observed in biological and cognitive systems. (shrink)
In this book, Mark Rowlands challenges the Cartesian view of the mind as a self-contained monadic entity, and offers in its place a radical externalist or environmentalist model of cognitiveprocesses. Drawing on both evolutionary theory and a detailed examination of the processes involved in perception, memory, thought and language use, Rowlands argues that cognition is, in part, a process whereby creatures manipulate and exploit relevant objects in their environment. This innovative book provides a foundation for an (...) unorthodox but increasingly popular view of the nature of cognition. (shrink)
We argue that Machery provides no convincing evidence that prototypes and exemplars are typically used in distinct cognitiveprocesses. This partially undermines the fourth tenet of the Heterogeneity Hypothesis and thus casts doubts on Machery’s way of splitting concepts into different kinds. Although Machery may be right that concepts split into different kinds, such kinds may be different from those countenanced by the Heterogeneity Hypothesis.
The core issue of our target article concerns how relational complexity should be assessed. We propose that assessments must be based on actual cognitiveprocesses used in performing each step of a task. Complexity comparisons are important for the orderly interpretation of research findings. The links between relational complexity theory and several other formulations, as well as its implications for neural functioning, connectionist models, the roles of knowledge, and individual and developmental differences, are considered.
Stanovich & West analyze individual differences with respect to response output (e.g., participants' numerical estimates). They do not analyze the underlying cognitiveprocesses that led to the outputs; they thereby probably misclassify some non-normative responses as normative. Using base rate neglect and overconfidence as examples, I demonstrate the advantages of analyzing cognitiveprocesses further.
This study investigates the relationship between three different cognitiveprocesses underlying the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and adolescent smoking behaviors in a longitudinal study. We conducted a longitudinal study of 181 Chinese adolescents in Chengdu City, China. The participants were followed from 10th grade to 11th grade. When they were in the 10th grade (Time 1), we tested these adolescents’ decision-making using the Iowa Gambling Task and working memory capacity using the Self-ordered Pointing Test (SOPT). Self-report questionnaires were (...) used to assess school academic performance and smoking behaviors. The same questionnaires were completed again at the one-year follow-up (Time 2). The Expectancy-Valence (EV) Model was applied to distill the IGT performance into three different underlying psychological components: (i) a motivational component which indicates the subjective weight the adolescents assign to gains versus losses; (ii) a learning-rate component which indicates the sensitivity to recent outcomes versus past experiences; and (iii) a response component which indicates how consistent the adolescents are between learning and responding. The subjective weight to gains vs. losses at Time 1 significantly predicted current smokers and current smoking levels at Time 2, controlling for demographic variables and baseline smoking behaviors. Therefore, by decomposing the IGT into three different psychological components, we found that the motivational process of weight gain vs. losses may serve as a neuropsychological marker to predict adolescent smoking behaviors in a general youth population. (shrink)
Brain oscillations of different frequencies have been associated with a variety of cognitive functions. Convincing evidence supporting those associations has been provided by studies using intracranial stimulation, pharmacological interventions and lesion studies. The emergence of novel non-invasive brain stimulation techniques like repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) now allows to modulate brain oscillations directly. Particularly, tACS offers the unique opportunity to causally link brain oscillations of a specific frequency range to cognitiveprocesses, (...) because it uses sinusoidal currents that are bound to one frequency only. Using tACS allows to modulate brain oscillations and in turn to influence cognitiveprocesses, thereby demonstrating the causal link between the two. Here, we review findings about the physiological mechanism of tACS and studies that have used tACS to modulate basic motor and sensory processes as well as higher cognitiveprocesses like memory, ambiguous perception, and decision making. (shrink)
This research was carried out to explore some of the cognitiveprocesses involved in scientific anomalies resolution. 40 subjects with a good neuropsychology expertise were asked to explain two (invented) anomalous neuropsychological cases. The subjects' efforts to give a meaningful structure to the data were recorded, and the resulting reasoning blocks were analysed to extract and compute the inferential (deductive, inductive and abductive) and analogical processes used. The processes were intercorrelated to experimentally verify the co-occurrence of (...) different forms of logical thinking. Statistical analysis point out the relevance of abductive inferences, the possible presence of an inferential-style switching process , the high number of external analogies used, the cognitive closeness manifested by expert reasoners. (shrink)
Although having conscious experiences is a fundamental feature of our everyday life, our understanding of what consciousness is is very limited. According to one of the main conclusions of contemporary philosophy of mind, the qualitative aspect of consciousness seems to resist functionalisation, i.e. it cannot be adequately defined solely in terms of functional or causal roles, which leads to an epistemic gap between phenomenal and scientific knowledge. Phenomenal qualities, then, seem to be, in principle, unexplainable in scientific terms. As a (...) reaction to this pessimistic conclusion it is a major trend in contemporary science of consciousness to turn away from subjective experiences and re-define the subject of investigations in neurological and behavioural terms. This move, however, creates a gap between scientific theories of consciousness, and the original phenomenon, which we are so intimately connected with. The thesis focuses on this gap. It is argued that it is possible to explain features of consciousness in scientific terms. The thesis argues for this claim from two directions. On the one hand, a specific identity theory is formulated connecting phenomenal qualities to certain intermediate level perceptual representations which are unstructured for central processes of the embedding cognitive system. This identity theory is hypothesised on the basis of certain similarities recognised between the phenomenal and the cognitive-representational domains, and then utilised in order to uncover further similarities between these two domains. The identity theory and the further similarities uncovered are then deployed in formulating explanations of the philosophically most important characteristics of the phenomenal domain—i.e. why phenomenal qualities resist functionalisation, and why the epistemic gap occurs. On the other hand, the thesis investigates and criticises existing models of reductive explanation. On the basis of a detailed analysis of how successful scientific explanations proceed a novel account of reductive explanation is proposed, which utilises so-called prior identities. Prior identities are prerequisites rather than outcomes of reductive explanations. They themselves are unexplained but are nevertheless necessary for mapping the features to be explained onto the features the explanation relies on. Prior identities are hypothesised in order to foster the formulation of explanatory claims accounting for target level phenomena in terms of base level processes—and they are justified if they help projecting base level explanations to new territories of the target level. The thesis concludes that the identity theory proposed is a prior identity, and the explanations of features of the phenomenal domain formulated with the aid of this identity are reductive explanations proper. In this sense, the thesis introduces the problem of phenomenal consciousness into scientific discourse, and therefore offers a bridge between the philosophy and the science of consciousness: it offers an approach to conscious experience which, on the one hand, tries to account for the philosophically most important features of consciousness, whereas, on the other hand, does it in a way which smoothly fits into the everyday practice of scientific research. (shrink)
There is much interest currently in using functional neuroimaging techniques to understand better the nature of cognition. One particular practice that has become common is 'reverse inference', by which the engagement of a particular cognitive process is inferred from the activation of a particular brain region. Such inferences are not deductively valid, but can still provide some information. Using a Bayesian analysis of the BrainMap neuroimaging database, I characterize the amount of additional evidence in favor of the engagement of (...) a cognitive process that can be offered by a reverse inference. Its usefulness is particularly limited by the selectivity of activation in the region of interest. I argue that cognitive neuroscientists should be circumspect in the use of reverse inference, particularly when selectivity of the region in question cannot be established or is known to be weak. (shrink)
This paper tries to express a critical point of view on the computational turn in philosophy by looking at a specific field of study: philosophy of science. The paper starts by briefly discussing the main contributions that information and communication technologies have given to the rising of computational philosophy of science, and in particular to the cognitive modelling approach. The main question then arises, concerning how computational models can cope with the presence of tacit knowledge in science. Would it (...) be possible to develop new ways of handling this specific type of knowledge, in order to incorporate it in computational models of scientific thinking? Or should tacit knowledge lead us to other approaches in using computer sciences to model scientific cognition? These questions are addressed by making reference to a detailed case study of a recent innovation development in the field of biotechnology. (shrink)
Task-switching paradigms produce a highly consistent age-related increase in mixing cost (longer RT on repeat trials in mixed-task than single task blocks) but a less consistent age effect on switch cost (longer RT on switch than repeat trials in mixed-task blocks). We use two approaches to examine the adult lifespan trajectory of control processes contributing to mixing cost and switch cost: latent variables derived from an evidence accumulation model of choice, and event-related potentials (ERP) that temporally differentiate proactive (cue-driven) (...) and reactive (target-driven) control processes. Under highly practiced and prepared task conditions, ageing was associated with increasing RT mixing cost but reducing RT switch cost. Both effects were largely due to the same cause: an age effect for mixed-repeat trials. In terms of latent variables, increasing age was associated with slower non-decision processes, slower rate of evidence accumulation about the target, and higher response criterion. Age effects on mixing costs were evident only on response criterion, the amount of evidence required to trigger a decision, whereas age effects on switch cost were present for all three latent variables. ERPs showed age-related increases in preparation for mixed-repeat trials, anticipatory attention, and post-target interference. Cue-locked ERPs that are linked to proactive control were associated with early emergence of age differences in response criterion. These results are consistent with age effects on strategic processes controlling decision caution. Consistent with an age-related decline in cognitive flexibility, younger adults flexibly adjusted response criterion from trial-to-trial on mixed-task blocks, whereas older adults maintained a high criterion for all trials. (shrink)
This article deals with the role of negation as a language and cognitive operation. Such a topic is treated here within the framework of the argumentative strategies which consist in making certain cognitive landmarks of the discourse ‘flip over’ with the intent of imposing the necessity to choose between two types of ‘notions’, aiming at the transformation of this choice into an ‘implication’. The reference here to the Aristotelian logic of Prior Analytics appears to be more efficient than (...) any other contemporary logic and the author intends to give account of the role of negation as ‘contrary’ coming into play on an operational and cognitive basis in all the argumentative strategies which ‘oscillate’ reciprocally from universal to particular. (shrink)
It has been well established that the hippocampus plays a pivotal role in explicit long-term recognition memory. However, findings from amnesia, lesion and recording studies with non-human animals, eye-movement recording studies, and functional neuroimaging have recently converged upon a similar message: the functional reach of the hippocampus extends far beyond explicit recognition memory. Damage to the hippocampus affects performance on a number of cognitive tasks including recognition memory after short and long delays and visual discrimination. Additionally, with the advent (...) of neuroimaging techniques that have fine spatial and temporal resolution, findings have emerged that show the elicitation of hippocampal responses within the first few hundred milliseconds of stimulus/task onset. These responses occur for novel and previously viewed information during a time when perceptual processing is traditionally thought to occur, and long before overt recognition responses are made. We propose that the hippocampus is obligatorily involved in the binding of disparate elements across both space and time, and in the comparison of such relational memory representations. Furthermore, the hippocampus supports relational binding and comparison with or without conscious awareness for the relational representations that are formed, retrieved and/or compared. It is by virtue of these basic binding and comparison functions that the reach of the hippocampus extends beyond long-term recognition memory and underlies task performance in multiple cognitive domains. (shrink)
Dynamics is not enough for cognition, nor it is a substitute for information-processing aspects of brain behavior. Moreover, dynamics and computation are not at odds, but are quite compatible. They can be synthesized so that any dynamical system can be analyzed in terms of its intrinsic computational components.
In this commentary, I focus on the difference between processes and representations and how this distinction relates to the question of what is controlled. Despite some views that task switching is a prototypical control process, the analysis concludes that task switching depends on the task goal representation and that control processes are there to prevent goal representations from disintegrating. Over time, these processes become obsolete, leaving behind a representation that automatically controls task performance. The distinction between (...) class='Hi'>processes and representations relates to practice effects and automaticity and sheds light on what is meant by the phrase “automatic control.”. (shrink)
Many criticisms have been made of optimization theory (Laville, 1999a). These objections may be explained by the fact that human rationality is bounded – that decisions are constrained by cognitive limitations (Simon, 1982). In the present paper, I will show that if rationality is bounded, then we must study the processes of decision. My thesis is that cognitive limitations lead to procedural rationality. Although this assertion has already been sustained implicitly by Simon (1959) and explicitly by Mongin (...) (1986), it has not been argued in sufficient depth. (shrink)
Research on brain or cognitive/affective processes, culture, social interaction, and structural analysis are overlapping but often independent ways humans have attempted to understand the origins of their evolution, historical, and contemporary development. Each level seeks to employ its own theoretical concepts and methods for depicting human nature and categorizing objects and events in the world, and often relies on different sources of evidence to support theoretical claims. Each level makes reference to different temporal bandwidths (milliseconds, seconds, minutes, hours, (...) days, months, years, decades, and centuries) and focuses on different spatio-temporal activities and controlled and non-controlled stimulus conditions. Biological mechanisms and environmental pressures for survival simultaneously created a gradual intersection and enhancement of cognitive/affective skills, cultural practices, and changes in collaborative social interaction and communicative skills. The evolution of a given level of analysis is assumed to have been incremental and overlapping. These innovative and independent ways humans have learned to characterize their brain or cognitive/affective and social/economic/political life often depend on unexamined, representational re-descriptions or cognitive/affective and socio-cultural devices and forms of communication that facilitate the depiction of practices and beliefs we attribute to respondents or subjects and research colleagues. (shrink)
Qualitative Complexity offers a critique of the humanist paradigm in contemporary social theory. Drawing from sources in sociology, philosophy, complexity theory, 'fuzzy logic', systems theory, cognitive science and evolutionary biology, the authors present a new series of interdisciplinary perspectives on the sociology of complex, self-organizing structures.
Two experiments investigated the factors that people consider when evaluating informal arguments in newspaper and magazine editorials. Experiment 1 showed that subjects were more likely to object to the truth of the premises and the conclusions of an argument than to the strength of the link between them. Experiment 1 also revealed two manipulations that helped subjects object to the link between premises and conclusions: rating how well the premises support the conclusions and rating the believability of the premises and (...) conclusions. Experiment 2 further demonstrated that subjects who identified the premises and conclusions of an argument were better at formulating objections to the link between premises and conclusions. Moreover, subjects in Experiment 2 were better and faster at formulating objections to the truth of the premises and conclusions than to the link between premises and conclusions. The results are discussed in terms of the constraints they pose for developing a cognitive theory of informal reasoning. (shrink)
It has been argued that dual process theories are not consistent with Oaksford and Chater’s probabilistic approach to human reasoning (Oaksford and Chater in Psychol Rev 101:608–631, 1994 , 2007 ; Oaksford et al. 2000 ), which has been characterised as a “single-level probabilistic treatment[s]” (Evans 2007 ). In this paper, it is argued that this characterisation conflates levels of computational explanation. The probabilistic approach is a computational level theory which is consistent with theories of general cognitive architecture that (...) invoke a WM system and an LTM system. That is, it is a single function dual process theory which is consistent with dual process theories like Evans’ ( 2007 ) that use probability logic (Adams 1998 ) as an account of analytic processes. This approach contrasts with dual process theories which propose an analytic system that respects standard binary truth functional logic (Heit and Rotello in J Exp Psychol Learn 36:805–812, 2010 ; Klauer et al. in J Exp Psychol Learn 36:298–323, 2010 ; Rips in Psychol Sci 12:29–134, 2001 , 2002 ; Stanovich in Behav Brain Sci 23:645–726, 2000 , 2011 ). The problems noted for this latter approach by both Evans Psychol Bull 128:978–996, ( 2002 , 2007 ) and Oaksford and Chater (Mind Lang 6:1–38, 1991 , 1998 , 2007 ) due to the defeasibility of everyday reasoning are rehearsed. Oaksford and Chater’s ( 2010 ) dual systems implementation of their probabilistic approach is then outlined and its implications discussed. In particular, the nature of cognitive decoupling operations are discussed and a Panglossian probabilistic position developed that can explain both modal and non-modal responses and correlations with IQ in reasoning tasks. It is concluded that a single function probabilistic approach is as compatible with the evidence supporting a dual systems theory. (shrink)
The evolution of the human brain has resulted in the emergence of higher-order cognitive abilities, such as reasoning, planning and social awareness. Although there has been a concomitant increase in brain size and complexity, and component diversification, we argue that RNA regulation of epigenetic processes, RNA editing, and the controlled mobilization of transposable elements have provided the major substrates for cognitive advance. We also suggest that these expanded capacities and flexibilities have led to the collateral emergence of (...) psychiatric fragilities and conditions. (shrink)
How do I know that I am the person who is moving? According to Wittgenstein (1958), the sense of agency involves a primitive notion of the self used as subject, which does not rely on any prior perceptual identification and which is immune to error through misidentification. However, the neuroscience of action and the neuropsychology of schizophrenia show the existence of specific cognitiveprocesses underlying the sense of agency—the ‘‘Who'' system (Georgieff & Jeannerod, 1998) which is disrupted in (...) delusions of control (Frith, 1992). Yet, we have to be careful in the interpretation of such clinical symptoms, which cannot be so easily reduced to deficit of action monitoring or to lack of action awareness. Moreover, we should refine the definition of the sense of agency by distinguishing the sense of initiation and the sense of one's own movements. A conceptual analysis of the empirical data will lead us to establish the taxonomy of the different levels of action representations. (shrink)
Spatio-temporal neuro-dynamics is a quickly developing field of brain research and Tsuda's work is a significant contribution toward establishing theoretical foundations in this area. It is conceivable that the fragmented attractor landscapes and dynamical memory patterns identified earlier in various K-sets are biologically plausible manifestations of attractor ruins, chaotic itinerancy, and Cantor encoding as applied to sensory information processing.
The Author argues for a non-semantic theory of intentionality, i.e. a theory of intentional reference rooted in the perceptive world. Specifically, the paper concerns two aspects of the original theory of intentionality: the structure of intentional objects as appearance (an unfolding spatio-temporal structure endowed with a direction), and the cognitiveprocesses involved in a psychic act at the primary level of cognition. Examples are given from the experimental psychology of vision, with a particular emphasis on the relation between (...) phenomenal space and colour appearances. (shrink)
Real-time cognition is continuous in time and contiguous in mental state space. This temporal continuity implies that the majority of mental life is spent in states that are partially consistent with multiple representations. The state-space contiguity implies that different cognitiveprocesses interact in ways that make them quite non-modular. As the evidence for such information-permeability expands to include not just neural subsystems but also the entire brain and even the entire organism, this radical interactionism leads one to hypothesize (...) that mental activity, and perhaps consciousness itself, is something that emerges amid the interface between one's body and one's environment. We portray mental activity as a continuous trajectory through a brain-body-environment state space, where close visitations with labelled attractors may constitute reportable self- consciousness and traversals through unlabeled regions may constitute unutterable immediate conscious awareness. (shrink)
Farah argues that nonlocal models explain clinical data better. However, the locality assumption does not seem so implausible if different sorts of data are taken into account. In particular, priming experiments using evoked response potentials support modularity. I describe some ERP studies relevant to this issue.