09-16 Intro to Cog Sci Lecture 5

09-16 Intro to Cog Sci Lecture 5 - Introduction to...

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Introduction to Cognitive Science Lecture 5: 9/16/09 Modularization? Not all modules reflect innate structure in the mind. For example, reading has the same properties as modular structures. Reading is a module. A few more concepts...the mind is not solely constituted of modules If a part of the mind doesn’t have modules, these are central systems Central systems: Domain-general systems for belief-fixation, which exploit information from input systems. - Thinking about anything - NOT information encapsulated - Analogy to science - Isotropy : Everything a scientist knows is, in principle, relevant to determining what else she ought to believe. Potentially, everything we know can be relevant to everything else. This is characteristic of non-modular thinking – you can bring anything to bear. o Isotropic – INPUT can come from ANYWHERE (the more global a cognitive process is, the less anybody understands it) - Fodor’s 1 st law of the Nonexistence of CogSci: We understand more about perception than we do about any other aspect of how the mind works, because perception is the quintessentially modular process. So we talked about encapsulations already, but really, the ultimate point of this blurb by Fodor is that there is methodological encapsulation – if there is a piece of the mind responsible for motion, you only need to understand the motion module. Modular processes are easier to understand, because there is less to take into account. o Specific things break down with modules Why are modules fast? - Because they have a circumscribed database . This is also true for scientists. Therefore, isotropic central systems are understood far less. The more modular a process is, the better we understand it. A brief review of Carston: - Why modularity? Speed! The drawback: Ignoring context The tradeoff: Quick perception may be more important than getting it exactly right. - Why modularity? Importance! “The trouble with being smart is that if you have to think before you blink when a guy sticks his finger at you…” Blinking is too important to leave it to you to figure out to do it!
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