5. A control theory of the mind

For the last day of blogging my book The Emotional Mind, I’m going to skip straight to the last chapter on mental architecture. This is where propose a control theory of the mind as a whole. It is perhaps the most ambitious and speculative chapter of a book that is …

Is Computation Abstract or Concrete?

John Schwenkler kindly asked me to blog about my new book, Physical Computation: A Mechanistic Account. I am grateful for the invitation. The original motivation for the research that led to the book was to make progress on the vexed question of whether cognition involves computation. That seems to require …

SpaceTimeMind

You may (or may not) have noticed that Pete Mandik and Richard Brown (me) have started a podcast, called SpaceTimeMind, where we talk about tax law updates for 2014, uh, I mean, er, we talk about space and time and mind! The first episode is up now (and has been …

Neural Computation and the Computational Theory of Cognition

This paper (co-authored with theoretical and experimental neuroscientist Sonya Bahar) is what I’ve been aiming at during all these years.  This is why I made this big fuss over developing an adequate non-semantic account of computation. I think the paper is finally ready to submit, but I’d love to get some …

Systematicity and the Post-Connectionist Era: Taking Stock of the Architecture Of Cognition

19-21 May 2011San Jose (Andalucia, Spain)2nd call for papersResearchers are invited to submit full papers or long abstracts for 40-minute presentations on conceptual, empirical or modeling issues that arise in the treatment of the systematicity challenge from post-connectionist approaches such as behavior-based AI, ecological psychology, embodied and distributed cognition, dynamical …

Connectionism Need Not Be (Strongly) Associationistic

In a previous post, I briefly discussed the relationship between connectionism and associationism.  Thanks in part to the helpful feedback I received, I have now revised the relevant section of the paper I am working on.  I’d be interested in any additional comments or references that anyone might have.  The text of the paper …

Did McCulloch and Pitts 1943 Offer a Theory of Cognition in terms of Digital Computation?

Yes! Some people don’t realize this.  Someone recently objected to me that since McCulloch and Pitts were studying the brain, they must be offering only a theory of neural activity, on the same level as, say, Hodgkin and Huxley.  How can I say that McCulloch and Pitts had a theory of cognition? Although …