Intelligent problem-solvers externalize cognitive operations

Nature Human Behaviour 3 (2):136-142 (2019)

Abstract

The use of forward models is well established in cognitive and computational neuroscience. We compare and contrast two recent, but interestingly divergent, accounts of the place of forward models in the human cognitive architecture. On the Auxiliary Forward Model account, forward models are special-purpose prediction mechanisms implemented by additional circuitry distinct from core mechanisms of perception and action. On the Integral Forward Model account, forward models lie at the heart of all forms of perception and action. We compare these neighbouring but importantly different visions and consider their implications for the cognitive sciences. We end by asking what kinds of empirical research might offer evidence favouring one or the other of these approaches.

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Andy Clark
University of Sussex

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