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Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Cognitive Science Lecture 3: 9/9/09 Foundations of Cognitive Science: 1. The unity of cognitive science 2. Cognitive architecture a. Definition, importance of cognitive architecture, comparing architectures 3. Innateness: Nature & nurture 4. Modularity: Pieces of mind 5. Formal systems & computers 6. Evolution Cognitive architecture- Definition: ‘Built-in’ Information Processing Mechanisms o Idea comes from computer science : basic memory capacities (how much?), operations (e.g. adding, shifting), and constraints (e.g. serial vs. parallel) o Sometimes called ‘functional architecture’ : The same architecture can be implemented (‘emulated’) in different media E.g. MAME ( Arcade version of PacMan – write a program to simulate the chip of the old video game to use it on a Mac)- Can only be changed with extensive, repetitive practice- A central debate in psychology o Association vs. storing variables (storing the value or storing an associate bond between 2 representations?) o E.g. connectionism vs. classicism- Can cognitive architecture develop? o Distinguish using architecture for a new purpose vs. actually modifying it o E.g. perceptual learning Importance of cognitive architecture- Understanding the SCOPE of cognition o The great flexibility of cognition requires us to think of cognitive architecture not as determining specific thoughts & behaviors , but as a set of mechanisms that make possible a certain range of activities. o It’s the machinery that underlies everything. o This is why individual differences are NOT a focus o E.g. deafness, colorblindness o E.g. Gender differences In tasks of spatial cognition, males perform better than females. Larry Summers made comments about this. These differences certainly do exist, and these differences are “statistically significant.” When scientists use the term “significant,” it actually has no bearing on the magnitude of the difference in the real world! Scientists have found that performance on spatial cognition tasks depends on hormones, i.e. where a woman is in her menstrual cycle!- Avoiding ∞ regresses o If there are ‘mental rules’, then something must follow them. At bottom, there must be ‘brute causal’ mechanisms. (“Homunculus”) o “Infinite regress = causal or logical relationship of terms in a series without the possibility of a term initiating the series” Comparing architectures...
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