Saturday, October 16, 2010

30th Anniversary Perspectives on Cognitive Science

The lates two issues of the journal Topics in Cognitive Science feature a very interesting collection of reviews that cover
"disciplines and perspectives that have been central to Cognitive Science for the past 30 years and that are likely to be central for the next 30 years and beyond."
(see here and here, subscription required)

To further quote the introduction by Lawrence W. Barsalou,
"the disciplines (and the authors addressing them) include the following:

"Psychology (Dedre Gentner)

Artificial Intelligence (Kenneth D. Forbus)

Philosophy (William Bechtel)

Linguistics (Elissa L. Newport)

Anthropology (Andrea Bender, Edwin Hutchins, and Douglas L. Medin)

Education (Susan Chipman)

Neuroscience (Rick Cooper and Tim Shallice)

Primate Cognition (Amanda Seed and Michael Tomasello)

The theoretical perspectives (and the authors addressing them) include the following:

Cognitive Architectures (Neils Taatgen and John R. Anderson)

Emergentist Approaches (James L. McClelland)

Formal Modeling (Richard Shiffrin)

Developmental Systems (Linda B. Smith)

Cognitive Ecology (Edwin Hutchins)

Grounded Cognition (Lawrence W. Barsalou)"
The article by Lawrence Barsalou on 'Grounded Cognition' in particular looks very interesting to me (pre-final draft can be found here). Here's the abstract:
"Thirty years ago, grounded cognition had roots in philosophy, perception, cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuropsychology. During the next 20 years, grounded cognition continued developing in these areas, and it also took new forms in robotics, cognitive ecology, cognitive neuroscience, and developmental psychology. In the past 10 years, research on grounded cognition has grown rapidly, especially in cognitive neuroscience, social neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology. Currently, grounded cognition appears to be achieving increased acceptance throughout cognitive science, shifting from relatively minor status to increasing importance. Nevertheless, researchers wonder whether grounded mechanisms lie at the heart of the cognitive system or are peripheral to classic symbolic mechanisms. Although grounded cognition is currently dominated by demonstration experiments in the absence of well-developed theories, the area is likely to become increasingly theory driven over the next 30 years. Another likely development is the increased incorporation of grounding mechanisms into cognitive architectures and into accounts of classic cognitive phenomena. As this incorporation occurs, much functionality of these architectures and phenomena is likely to remain, along with many original mechanisms. Future theories of grounded cognition are likely to be heavily influenced by both cognitive neuroscience and social neuroscience, and also by developmental science and robotics. Aspects from the three major perspectives in cognitive science—classic symbolic architectures, statistical/dynamical systems, and grounded cognition—will probably be integrated increasingly in future theories, each capturing indispensable aspects of intelligence."

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