The question “What are cognitiveprocesses?” can be understood variously as meaning “What is the nature of cognitiveprocesses?”, “Can we distinguish epistemically cognitiveprocesses from physical and biochemical processes on the one hand, and from mental or conscious processes on the other?”, and “Can we establish a fruitful notion of cognitive process?” The present aim is to deliver a positive answer to the last question by developing criteria for what would (...) count as a paradigmatic exemplar of a cognitive process, and then to offer the comparator mechanism as a convincing paradigmatic example. Thus, the paper argues, given the current state of science, we can indeed establish a fruitful scientific notion of a cognitive process. Nevertheless, it is left open whether the example-based characterization ends up as merely highlighting a fruitful convention within the early-twentyfirst century interdisciplinary investigation of intelligent behaviour in humans, animals, and robots, or whether the examples determine a natural kind or a property cluster. (shrink)
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 note brings together three phenomena leading to a tendency toward reductionism in cognitive psychology. They are the reification of cognitiveprocesses into an entity called mind; the identification of the mind with the brain; and the congruence by analogy of the brain with the digital computer. Also indicated is the need to continue studying the effects upon behavior of variables other than brain function. 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Marr's seminal work laid out a program of research by specifying key questions for cognitive science at different levels of analysis. Because dynamic systems theory focuses on time and interdependence of components, DST research programs come to very different conclusions regarding the nature of cognitive change. We review a specific DST approach to cognitive-level processes: dynamic field theory. We review research applying DFT to several cognitive-level processes: object permanence, naming hierarchical categories, and inferring intent, (...) that demonstrate the difference in understanding of behavior and cognition that results from a DST perspective. These point to a central challenge for cognitive science research as defined by Marr—emergence. We argue that appreciating emergence raises questions about the utility of computational-level analyses and opens the door to insights concerning the origin of novel forms of behavior and thought. We contend this is one of the most fundamental questions about cognition and behavior. (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)
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.
Did Beethoven and Mozart have more in common with each other than Clapton and Hendrix? The current research demonstrated the widely reported Mozart Effect as only partly significant. Event-related brain potentials were recorded from 16 professional classical and rock musicians during a standard 2 stimulus visual oddball task, while listening to classical and rock music. During the oddball task participants were required to discriminate between an infrequent target stimulus randomly embedded in a train of repetitive background or standard stimuli. Consistent (...) with previous research, the P3 and N2 ERPs were elicited in response to the infrequent target stimuli. Own genre preference resulted in a reduction in amplitude of the P3 for classical musicians exposed to classical music and rock musicians exposed to rock music. Notably, at the pre-attentive stage of processing beneficial effects of exposure to classical music were observed for both groups of musicians. These data are discussed in terms of short and long-term music benefits on both conscious and unconscious cognitiveprocesses. (shrink)
The present paper examines the arguments and data presented by Nisbett and Wilson relevant to their thesis that subjects do not have access to their own cognitiveprocesses. It is concluded that their review of previous research is selective and incomplete and that the data they present in behalf of their thesis does not withstand a demand characteristics analysis. Furthermore, their use of observer-subject similarity as evidence of subjects' inability to access cognitiveprocesses makes tests of (...) their hypothesis confounded and, at the same time, reveals limitations in the application of the pre-inquiry quasi-control to research on social behavior. Problems with postexperiment questionnaires, such as the demand characteristics of the inquiry procedure are also considered. Although there are difficulties in assessing subjects' cognitiveprocesses, many of these may be overcome through the application of novel techniques and research conducted on more traditional methods. In contrast to the view that subjects have limited access to cognitiveprocesses and that their verbal reports are not valid, it is concluded that subjects' verbalizations are a rich source of psychological data which must be pursued if we are to tap their cognitiveprocesses and are to gain an adequate understanding of human behavior. (shrink)
Three examples of theoretical analysis of evolutionary processes are presented. It is shown that the mechanisms involved have little to do with cognitiveprocesses except for superficial and formal analogies. That is the case not only for classical models of adaptive evolution , but also for more recent ones making use of neural network computation and self-organization theories.Recent works on functional self-organization exhibiting some features of intentionality are discussed in this context. It is argued that Dennett's intentional (...) stance cannot be used as a theoretical framework common to human prepositional attitudes, animal behaviour and adaptive evolution. Indeed, a physical theory of intentionality could account, at least in principle, for the production of intentional self-organizing systems. However, except for a renewed theological “argument from design”, there is no justification to attribute intentionality to evolutionary processes and “Mother Nature”, for the reason that they have produced organisms endowed with intentional psycholinguistic capabilities. (shrink)
Design features for language and stone toolmaking (not tool use) involve similar if not homologous cognitiveprocesses. Both are arbitrary transformations of internal symbolization, whereas non-human tool using is mostly an iconic transformation. The major discontinuity between humans and non-humans (chimpanzees) is language. The presence of stone tools made to standardized patterns suggests communicative and social control skills that involved language.
The brain is involved in theory-laden cognitiveprocesses. But there are two different theory-laden processes. In cases where the theory is based on facts, more facts can either falsify or confirm a theory. In cases where the theory is about the choice of a benchmark or a standard, more facts can only make a theory either more or less warranted. Clark offers a review of a view of the brain where the brain pro- cesses input information in (...) a way that confirms its priors or its pre- dictions. This does not mean that the brain creates its own reality. The brain, rather, processes input data, but it does so in light of its own priors. The brain is a bidirectional hierarchical structure. While the top layers generate priors, the lower layers process input data. The brain amounts to the dynamics of image- making, where the top-down process generates unified images, while the bottom-up process, which takes data, corrects the images. (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)
Two strands of the Vygotskian sociohistorical school of psychology are compared to better understand the nature of cultural variation in cognitiveprocesses. The "relativist" strand maintains that cognitiveprocesses are culturally variable. The "universalist" strand maintains that these processes manifest essential cultural uniformity despite apparent differences in performance. A review of the evidence concludes that the relativist position is more tenable.
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. Cognition is not something done exclusively in the head, but fundamentally something done in the world. 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. It is not simply an internal process of information processing; equally significantly, it is an external process of information processing. This innovative book provides a foundation for an unorthodox but increasingly popular view of the nature of cognition. (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)
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)
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)
The well-known experiments of Nisbett and Wilson lead to the conclusion that we have no introspective access to our decision-making processes. Johansson et al. have recently developed an original protocol consisting in manipulating covertly the relationship between the subjects’ intended choice and the outcome they were presented with: in 79.6% of cases, they do not detect the manipulation and provide an explanation of the choice they did not make, confirming the findings of Nisbett and Wilson. We have reproduced this (...) protocol, while introducing for some choices an expert guidance to the description of this choice. The subjects who were assisted detected the manipulation in 80% of cases. Our experiment confirms Nisbett and Wilson’s findings that we are usually unaware of our decision processes, but goes further by showing that we can access them through specific mental acts. (shrink)
A framing bias shows risk aversion in problems framed as “gains” and risk seeking in problems framed as “losses,” even when these are objectively equivalent and probabilities and outcomes values are explicitly provided. We test this framing bias in situations where decision makers rely on their own experience, sampling the problem's options and seeing the outcomes before making a choice. In Experiment 1, we replicate the framing bias in description-based decisions and find risk indifference in gains and losses in experience-based (...) decisions. Predictions of an Instance-Based Learning model suggest that objective probabilities as well as the number of samples taken are factors that contribute to the lack of framing effect. We test these two factors in Experiment 2 and find no framing effect when a few samples are taken but when large samples are taken, the framing effect appears regardless of the objective probability values. Implications of behavioral results and cognitive modeling are discussed. (shrink)
Where does the cognitive system begin and end? Intracranialists maintain that the cognitive system is entirely identifiable with the biological central nervous system. Transcranialists, on the other hand, suggest that the cognitive system can extend beyond the biological CNS. In the second division of Supersizing the Mind, Clark defends the transcranial account against various objections. Of interest for this paper is Clark’s response to what he calls “asymmetry arguments.”Asymmetry arguments can be summarized as follows: subtract the props (...) and aids, and the organism may create replacements. But subtract the organism, and all cognitive activity ceases. Although I am sympathetic to Clark’s overall project, I find his response to the asymmetry arguments inadequate in light of his responses to other objections. For this reason, I maintain that Clark’s response requires revision. By adopting a process metaphysics and appealing to mereological dependencies, I believe that Clark can provide a substantive response to asymmetry arguments that is consistent with his overall theory. This paper unfolds as follows: after summarizing Clark’s response to the asymmetry objection in, I will argue that his response is unsuccessful in. My argument hinges on the claim that Clark does not take into account the full intent of Rupert’s asymmetry argument. In I modify Clark’s response by appealing to mereology and the asymmetrical dependencies found therein. I conclude in that this modification provides Clark with an adequate response to the asymmetry argument and is consistent with his overall transcranialist account. The further question of whether this account assists Clark in responding to other intracranialist objections is beyond the scope of this paper. (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)
Duncan Pritchard has recently argued that a certain brand of virtue epistemology, known as “virtue responsibilism”, cannot account for knowledge acquired through the use of tacit reasoning processes. I defend virtue responsiblism by showing that Pritchard's charge is founded on a mischaracterization of the view. Contra Pritchard, responsibilists do not demand that agents have complete access to the grounds for their beliefs in order to know. A closer examination of prominent accounts of virtue responsiblism, including Zagzebski's and Hookway's, reveals (...) that the accessibility requirement is much weaker than Pritchard presumes. Zagzebski maintains that it is only intellectually virtuous motivations which drive the agent to adopt truth-conducive procedures and habits that must be accessible, rendering the agent responsible for her belief. Hookway writes that agents may display virtue not by actively monitoring or accessing each step of their deliberation, but by allowing deeply embedded intellectual traits t.. (shrink)
In recent years the understanding of the cognitive foundations of economic behavior has become increasingly important. This volume contains contributions from such leading scholars as Adam Brandenburger, Michael Bacharach and Patrick Suppes. It will be of great interest to academics and researchers involved in the field of economics and psychology as well as those interested in political economy more generally.
Non-suicidal self-injury is a complex behaviour, routinely engaged for emotion regulatory purposes. As such, a number of theoretical accounts regarding the aetiology and maintenance of NSSI are grounded in models of emotion regulation; the role that cognition plays in the behaviour is less well known. In this paper, we summarise four models of emotion regulation that have repeatedly been related to NSSI and identify the core components across them. We then draw on social cognitive theory to unite models of (...) cognition and models of emotion in developing a new cognitive-emotional model of NSSI. Our model articulates how emotion regulation and cognition can work in concert to govern NSSI, and offers several new research questions that can be addressed within this framework. (shrink)