The overall goal of this target article is to demonstrate a mechanism for an embodied cognition. The particular vehicle is a much-studied, but still widely debated phenomenon seen in 7–12 month-old-infants. In Piaget's classic “A-not-B error,” infants who have successfully uncovered a toy at location “A” continue to reach to that location even after they watch the toy hidden in a nearby location “B.” Here, we question the traditional explanations of the error as an indicator of infants' concepts of objects (...) or other static mental structures. Instead, we demonstrate that the A-not-B error and its previously puzzling contextual variations can be understood by the coupled dynamics of the ordinary processes of goal-directed actions: looking, planning, reaching, and remembering. We offer a formal dynamic theory and model based on cognitive embodiment that both simulates the known A-not-B effects and offers novel predictions that match new experimental results. The demonstration supports an embodied view by casting the mental events involved in perception, planning, deciding, and remembering in the same analogic dynamic language as that used to describe bodily movement, so that they may be continuously meshed. We maintain that this mesh is a pre-eminently cognitive act of “knowing” not only in infancy but also in everyday activities throughout the life span. Key Words: cognitive development; dynamical systems theory; embodied cognition; infant development; motor control; motor planning; perception and action. (shrink)
The sensitive dependence on initial conditions associated with nonlinear models imposes limitations on the models’ predictive power. We draw attention to an additional limitation than has been under-appreciated, namely structural model error. A model has SME if the model-dynamics differ from the dynamics in the target system. If a nonlinear model has only the slightest SME, then its ability to generate decision-relevant predictions is compromised. Given a perfect model, we can take the effects of SDIC into account by substituting probabilistic (...) predictions for point predictions. This route is foreclosed in the case of SME. (shrink)
The United Kingdom Climate Impacts Program’s UKCP09 project makes high-resolution forecasts of climate during the 21st century using state of the art global climate models. The aim of this paper is to introduce and analyze the methodology used and then urge some caution. Given the acknowledged systematic errors in all current climate models, treating model outputs as decision relevant probabilistic forecasts can be seriously misleading. This casts doubt on our ability, today, to make trustworthy, high-resolution predictions out to the end (...) of this century. (shrink)
Cross-situational word learning, like any statistical learning problem, involves tracking the regularities in the environment. However, the information that learners pick up from these regularities is dependent on their learning mechanism. This article investigates the role of one type of mechanism in statistical word learning: competition. Competitive mechanisms would allow learners to find the signal in noisy input and would help to explain the speed with which learners succeed in statistical learning tasks. Because cross-situational word learning provides information at multiple (...) scales—both within and across trials/situations—learners could implement competition at either or both of these scales. A series of four experiments demonstrate that cross-situational learning involves competition at both levels of scale, and that these mechanisms interact to support rapid learning. The impact of both of these mechanisms is considered from the perspective of a process-level understanding of cross-situational learning. (shrink)
The United Kingdom Climate Impacts Programme’s UKCP09 project makes highresolution projections of the climate out to 2100 by post-processing the outputs of a large-scale global climate model. The aim of this paper is to describe and analyse the methodology used and then urge some caution. Given the acknowledged systematic, shared shortcomings in all current climate models, treating model outputs as decision relevant projections can be significantly misleading. In extrapolatory situations, such as projections of future climate change impacts, there is little (...) reason to expect that postprocessing of model outputs can correct for the consequences of such errors. This casts doubt on our ability, today, to make trustworthy, high-resolution probabilistic projections out to the end of this century. (shrink)
Learning depends on attention. The processes that cue attention in the moment dynamically integrate learned regularities and immediate contextual cues. This paper reviews the extensive literature on cued attention and attentional learning in the adult literature and proposes that these fundamental processes are likely significant mechanisms of change in cognitive development. The value of this idea is illustrated using phenomena in children's novel word learning.
Infants' own activities create and actively select their learning experiences. Here we review recent models of embodied information seeking and curiosity-driven learning and show that these mechanisms have deep implications for development and evolution. We discuss how these mechanisms yield self-organized epigenesis with emergent ordered behavioral and cognitive developmental stages. We describe a robotic experiment that explored the hypothesis that progress in learning, in and for itself, generates intrinsic rewards: The robot learners probabilistically selected experiences according to their potential for (...) reducing uncertainty. In these experiments, curiosity-driven learning led the robot learner to successively discover object affordances and vocal interaction with its peers. We explain how a learning curriculum adapted to the current constraints of the learning system automatically formed, constraining learning and shaping the developmental trajectory. The observed trajectories in the robot experiment share many properties with those in infant development, including a mixture of regularities and diversities in the developmental patterns. Finally, we argue that such emergent developmental structures can guide and constrain evolution, in particular with regard to the origins of language. (shrink)
In this text, Georges Didi-Huberman responds, in letter-form, to the critical reflections about his work formulated by Jacques Rancière in “Images Re-read: Georges Didi-Huberman’s Method.” Didi-Huberman disagrees with Rancière’s analysis that images are “passive” and that the words which accompany them are “active.” Instead, he agrees with Merleau-Ponty’s view, which postulates that any analysis of images that seeks to disentangle its elements will render the image unintelligible. In opposition to Rancière’s presentation of his work, Didi-Huberman argues that his method is (...) one of tracing the mutually entangled implications of images. Furthermore, Didi-Huberman challenges Rancière to articulate what exactly “the sensible” means when he uses the phrase “distribution of the sensible.” While Rancière distrusts the reliance on pathos and emotions when it comes to analysing images, Didi-Huberman argues that “the sensible” will always involve the body with all its pathos, emotions and gestures. (shrink)
Human development takes place in a social context. Two pervasive sources of social information are faces and hands. Here, we provide the first report of the visual frequency of faces and hands in the everyday scenes available to infants. These scenes were collected by having infants wear head cameras during unconstrained everyday activities. Our corpus of 143 hours of infant-perspective scenes, collected from 34 infants aged 1 month to 2 years, was sampled for analysis at 1/5 Hz. The major finding (...) from this corpus is that the faces and hands of social partners are not equally available throughout the first two years of life. Instead, there is an earlier period of dense face input and a later period of dense hand input. At all ages, hands in these scenes were primarily in contact with objects and the spatio-temporal co-occurrence of hands and faces was greater than expected by chance. The orderliness of the shift from faces to hands suggests a principled transition in the contents of visual experiences and is discussed in terms of the role of developmental gates on the timing and statistics of visual experiences. (shrink)
Performative accounts of personhood argue that group agents are persons, fit to be held responsible within the social sphere. Nonetheless, these accounts want to retain a moral distinction between group and individual persons. That: Group-persons can be responsible for their actions qua persons, but that group-persons might nonetheless not have rights equivalent to those of human persons. I present an argument which makes sense of this disanalogy, without recourse to normative claims or additional ontological commitments. I instead ground rights in (...) the different relations in which performative persons stand in relation to one another. (shrink)
In this text, Jacques Rancière critically discusses the work of Georges Didi-Huberman on images. He disagrees with various claims seemingly made by Didi-Huberman about images, such as that they can “take position” or that they are “active.” Rancière argues that Didi-Huberman adds another form of dialectics to the simpler form of dialectics adopted by Bertolt Brecht and Harun Farocki in their works, namely one that also involves a layering of different temporalities. However, both in Brecht’s War Primer and in Didi-Huberman’s (...) analysis of it, all the potencies credited to images as such are actually potencies of the words that accompany the images. Rancière comes to the conclusion that to “put images in motion,” as Didi-Huberman wants to do, or to regard them as being “active,” he has to put words, his own poetic and extensive writings, in motion. (shrink)
Accounting educators are being called on to provide a greater emphasis on ethics education. This paper examines three important issues concerning ethics education in accounting. First, the question of whether ethics can indeed be taught is examined. Next, several innovative approaches are presented which have been used by accounting educators to integrate ethics into the classroom. Finally, results of a survey of students concerning their perspectives of ethical issues in accounting education, the accounting profession, and society at large are presented (...) and discussed. Survey results reveal that students consider a lack of ethics damaging to the accounting profession and society. Results also indicate that accounting students are seeking ethical and moral direction. (shrink)
This volume is a serious attempt to open up the subject of European philosophy of science to real thought, and provide the structural basis for the interdisciplinary development of its specialist fields, but also to provoke reflection on the idea of ‘European philosophy of science’. This efforts should foster a contemporaneous reflection on what might be meant by philosophy of science in Europe and European philosophy of science, and how in fact awareness of it could assist philosophers interpret and motivate (...) their research through a stronger collective identity. The overarching aim is to set the background for a collaborative project organising, systematising, and ultimately forging an identity for, European philosophy of science by creating research structures and developing research networks across Europe to promote its development. (shrink)
This study investigates ethical decision-making by considering the differences in ethical judgments between undergraduate business and MBA students on selected ethical issues facing employees and managers of today's businesses. The study further investigates differences in ethical judgments between undergraduates and MBAs in terms of a perceived position as an employee or as a manager. The findings indicate that undergraduate students tend to be more ethical than MBA students and that both groups tend to be more ethical when they perceive themselves (...) as managers rather than employees. The authors discuss the implications for both business practitioners and educators. (shrink)
Traditional views separate cognitive processes from sensory–motor processes, seeing cognition as amodal, propositional, and compositional, and thus fundamentally different from the processes that underlie perceiving and acting. These were the ideas on which cognitive science was founded 30 years ago. However, advancing discoveries in neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, and psychology suggests that cognition may be inseparable from processes of perceiving and acting. From this perspective, this study considers the future of cognitive science with respect to the study of cognitive development.
Joint attention has been extensively studied in the developmental literature because of overwhelming evidence that the ability to socially coordinate visual attention to an object is essential to healthy developmental outcomes, including language learning. The goal of this study was to understand the complex system of sensory-motor behaviors that may underlie the establishment of joint attention between parents and toddlers. In an experimental task, parents and toddlers played together with multiple toys. We objectively measured joint attention—and the sensory-motor behaviors that (...) underlie it—using a dual head-mounted eye-tracking system and frame-by-frame coding of manual actions. By tracking the momentary visual fixations and hand actions of each participant, we precisely determined just how often they fixated on the same object at the same time, the visual behaviors that preceded joint attention and manual behaviors that preceded and co-occurred with joint attention. We found that multiple sequential sensory-motor patterns lead to joint attention. In addition, there are developmental changes in this multi-pathway system evidenced as variations in strength among multiple routes. We propose that coordinated visual attention between parents and toddlers is primarily a sensory-motor behavior. Skill in achieving coordinated visual attention in social settings—like skills in other sensory-motor domains—emerges from multiple pathways to the same functional end. (shrink)