This is the first book to explore the cognitive science of effortless attention and action. Attention and action are generally understood to require effort, and the expectation is that under normal circumstances effort increases to meet rising demand. Sometimes, however, attention and action seem to flow effortlessly despite high demand. Effortless attention and action have been documented across a range of normal activities—ranging from rock climbing to chess playing—and yet fundamental questions about the cognitive science of effortlessness have gone largely unasked. This book draws from the disciplines of cognitive psychology, neurophysiology, behavioral psychology, genetics, philosophy, and cross-cultural studies. Starting from the premise that the phenomena of effortless attention and action provide an opportunity to test current models of attention and action, leading researchers from around the world examine topics including effort as a cognitive resource, the role of effort in decision-making, the neurophysiology of effortless attention and action, the role of automaticity in effortless action, expert performance in effortless action, and the neurophysiology and benefits of attentional training.
Contributors: Joshua M. Ackerman, James H. Austin, John A. Bargh Roy F. Baumeister, Sian L. Beilock, Chris Blais, Matthew M. Botvinick, Brian Bruya, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Marci S. DeCaro, Arne Dietrich, Yuri Dormashev, László Harmat, Bernhard Hommel, Rebecca Lewthwaite, Örjan de Manzano, Joseph T. McGuire, Brian P. Meier, Arlen C. Moller, Jeanne Nakamura, Michael I. Posner, Mary K. Rothbart, M.R. Rueda, Brandon J. Schmeichel, Edward Slingerland, Oliver Stoll, Yiyuan Tang, Töres Theorell, Fredrik Ullén, Gabriele Wulf
Philosophers and scientists have long speculated about the nature of color. Atomists such as Democritus thought color to be "conventional," not real; Galileo and other key figures of the Scientific Revolution thought that it was an erroneous projection of our own sensations onto external objects. More recently, philosophers have enriched the debate about color by aligning the most advanced color science with the most sophisticated methods of analytical philosophy. In this volume, leading scientists and philosophers examine new problems with new analytic tools, considering such topics as the psychophysical measurement of color and its implications, the nature of color experience in both normal color-perceivers and the color blind, and questions that arise from what we now know about the neural processing of color information, color consciousness, and color language. Taken together, these papers point toward a complete restructuring of current orthodoxy concerning color experience and how it relates to objective reality. Kuehni, Jameson, Mausfeld, and Niederee discuss how the traditional framework of a three-dimensional color space and basic color terms is far too simple to capture the complexities of color experience. Clark and MacLeod discuss the difficulties of a materialist account of color experience. Churchland, Cohen, Matthen, and Westphal offer competing accounts of color ontology. Finally, Broackes and Byrne and Hilbert discuss the phenomenology of color blindness.
Contributors: Justin Broackes, Alex Byrne, Paul M. Churchland, Austen Clark, Jonathan Cohen, David R. Hilbert, Kimberly A. Jameson, Rolf Kuehni, Don I.A. MacLeod, Mohan Matthen, Rainer Mausfeld, Richard Niederée, Jonathan Westphal
Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin? In their famous 1998 paper "The Extended Mind," philosophers Andy Clark and David J. Chalmers posed this question and answered it provocatively: cognitive processes "ain't all in the head." The environment has an active role in driving cognition; cognition is sometimes made up of neural, bodily, and environmental processes. Their argument excited a vigorous debate among philosophers, both supporters and detractors. This volume brings together for the first time the best responses to Clark and Chalmers's bold proposal. These responses, together with the original paper by Clark and Chalmers, offer a valuable overview of the latest research on the extended mind thesis.
The contributors first discuss (and answer) objections raised to Clark and Chalmers's thesis. Clark himself responds to critics in an essay that uses the movie Memento's amnesia-aiding notes and tattoos to illustrate the workings of the extended mind. Contributors then consider the different directions in which the extended mind project might be taken, including the need for an approach that focuses on cognitive activity and practice.
The field of neuroimaging has reached a watershed. Brain imaging research has been the source of many advances in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive science over the last decade, but recent critiques and emerging trends are raising foundational issues of methodology, measurement, and theory. Indeed, concerns over interpretation of brain maps have created serious controversies in social neuroscience, and, more important, point to a larger set of issues that lie at the heart of the entire brain mapping enterprise. In this volume, leading scholars—neuroimagers and philosophers of mind—reexamine these central issues and explore current controversies that have arisen in cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, computer science, and signal processing. The contributors address both statistical and dynamical analysis and modeling of neuroimaging data and interpretation, discussing localization, modularity, and neuroimagers' tacit assumptions about how these two phenomena are related; controversies over correlation of fMRI data and social attributions (recently characterized for good or ill as "voodoo correlations"); and the standard inferential design approach in neuroimaging. Finally, the contributors take a more philosophical perspective, considering the nature of measurement in brain imaging, and offer a framework for novel neuroimaging data structures (effective and functional connectivity—"graphs").
Contributors: William Bechtel, Bharat Biswal, Matthew Brett, Martin Bunzl, Max Coltheart, Karl J. Friston, Joy J. Geng, Clark Glymour, Kalanit Grill-Spector, Stephen José Hanson, Trevor Harley, Gilbert Harman, James V. Haxby, Rik N. Henson, Nancy Kanwisher, Colin Klein, Richard Loosemore, Sébastien Meriaux, Chris Mole, Jeanette A. Mumford, Russell A. Poldrack, Jean-Baptiste Poline, Richard C. Richardson, Alexis Roche, Adina L. Roskies, Pia Rotshtein, Rebecca Saxe, Philipp Sterzer, Bertrand Thirion, Edward Vul
These essays on a range of topics in the cognitive neurosciences report on the progress in the field over the twenty years of its existence and reflect the many groundbreaking scientific contributions and enduring influence of Michael Gazzaniga, "the godfather of cognitive neuroscience"—founder of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, founding editor of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, and editor of the major reference work, The Cognitive Neurosciences, now in its fourth edition (MIT Press, 2009). The essays, grouped into four sections named after four of Gazzaniga's books, combine science and memoir in varying proportions, and offer an authoritative survey of research in cognitive neuroscience. "The Bisected Brain" examines hemispheric topics pioneered by Gazzaniga at the start of his career; "The Integrated Mind" explores the theme of integration by domination; the wide-ranging essays in "The Social Brain" address subjects from genes to neurons to social conversations and networks; the topics explored in "Mind Matters" include evolutionary biology, methodology, and ethics.
Contributors: Kathleen Baynes, Giovanni Berlucchi, Leo M. Chalupa, Mark D’Esposito, Margaret G. Funnell, Mitchell Glickstein, Scott A. Guerin, Todd F. Heatherton, Steven A. Hillyard, William Hirst, Alan Kingstone, Stephen M. Kosslyn, Marta Kutas, Elisabetta Làdavas, Joseph Ledoux, George R. Mangun, Michael B. Miller, Elizabeth A. Phelps, Steven Pinker, Michael I. Posner, Patricia A. Reuter-Lorenz, Mary K. Rothbart, Andrea Serino, Brad E. Sheese
The contemporary discipline of biolinguistics is beginning to have the feel of scientific inquiry. Biolinguistics--especially the work of Noam Chomsky--suggests that the design of language may be “perfect”: language is an optimal solution to conditions of sound and meaning. What is the scope of this inquiry? Which aspect of nature does this science investigate? What is its relation to the rest of science? What notions of language and mind are under investigation? This book is a study of such foundational questions. Exploring Chomsky’s claims, Nirmalangshu Mukherji argues that the significance of biolinguistic inquiry extends beyond the domain of language.
Biolinguistics is primarily concerned with grammars that represent just the computational aspects of the mind/brain. This restriction to grammars, Mukherji argues, opens the possibility that the computational system of human language may be involved in each cognitive system that requires similar computational resources. Deploying analytical argumentation and empirical evidence, Mukherji suggests that a computational system of language consisting of very specific principles and operations is likely to be involved in each articulatory symbol system--such as music--that manifests unboundedness. In that sense, the biolinguistics approach may have identified, after thousands of years of inquiry, a specific structure of the human mind.
The image of the addict in popular culture combines victimhood and moral failure; we sympathize with addicts in films and novels because of their suffering and their hard-won knowledge. And yet actual scientific knowledge about addiction tends to undermine this cultural construct. In What Is Addiction?, leading addiction researchers from neuroscience, psychology, genetics, philosophy, economics, and other fields survey the latest findings in addiction science. They discuss such questions as whether addiction is one kind of condition, or several; if addiction is neurophysiological, psychological, or social, or incorporates aspects of all of these; to what extent addicts are responsible for their problems, and how this affects health and regulatory policies; and whether addiction is determined by inheritance or environment or both. The chapter authors discuss the possibility of a unifying basis for different addictions (considering both substance addiction and pathological gambling), offering both neurally and neuroscientifically grounded accounts as well as discussions of the social context of addiction. There can be no definitive answer yet to the question posed by the title of this book; but these essays demonstrate a sweeping advance over the simplistic conception embedded in popular culture.
Contributors: George Ainslie, Jennifer D. Bellegarde, Warren K. Bickel, Jennifer Bramen, Karen O. Brandon, Arthur Brody, Peter Collins, Jack Darkes, Mark S. Goldman, Gene M. Heyman, Harold Kincaid, Edythe D. London, James MacKillop, Traci Man, Neil Manson, John E. McGeary, John R. Monterosso, Ben Murrell, Nancy M. Petry, Marc N. Potenza, Howard Rachlin, Lara A. Ray, A. David Redish, Richard R. Reich, Don Ross, Timothy Schroeder, David Spurrett, Jackie Sullivan, Golnaz Tabibni, Andrew Ward, Richard Yi
Intention was seen traditionally as a philosophical concept, before being debated more recently from psychological and social perspectives. Today the cognitive sciences approach intention empirically, at the level of its underlying mechanisms. This naturalization of intention makes it more concrete and graspable by empirical sciences. This volume offers an interdisciplinary integration of current research on intentional processes naturalized through action, drawing on the theoretical and empirical approaches of cognitive neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and sociology. Each chapter integrates several disciplinary perspectives. Taken together, the chapters show that the reunification of the different dimensions of intentional processes may constitute an adequate basis for a general model of intentional processes and their links to action. This can be applied at various levels, from neuronal activity to self-constitution, from the expression of intentional actions at the individual level to their expression in social contexts, and to the recognition of intention in actions executed by others.
Contributors: Colin Allen, Mireille Bonnard, Vittorio Gallese, Jozina B. de Graaf, Franck Grammont, Patrick Haggard, Marco Iacoboni, Dorothée Legrand, Pierre Livet, Albert Ogien, Jean Pailhous, Jean-Luc Petit, Jean-Michel Roy, Jessica A. Sommerville, Manos Tsakiris, Amanda L. Woodward
The last decade has seen computational implementations of large hand-crafted natural language grammars in formal frameworks such as Tree-Adjoining Grammar (TAG), Combinatory Categorical Grammar (CCG), Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG), and Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG). Grammars in these frameworks typically associate linguistically motivated rich descriptions (Supertags) with words. With the availability of parse-annotated corpora, grammars in the TAG and CCG frameworks have also been automatically extracted while maintaining the linguistic relevance of the extracted Supertags. In these frameworks, Supertags are designed so that complex linguistic constraints are localized to operate within the domain of those descriptions. While this localization increases local ambiguity, the process of disambiguation (Supertagging) provides a unique way of combining linguistic and statistical information.
This volume investigates the theme of employing statistical approaches with linguistically motivated representations and its impact on Natural Language Processing tasks. In particular, the contributors describe research in which words are associated with Supertags that are the primitives of different grammar formalisms including Lexicalized Tree-Adjoining Grammar (LTAG).
Contributors: Jens Bäcker, Srinivas Bangalore, Akshar Bharati, Pierre Boullier, Tomas By, John Chen, Stephen Clark, Berthold Crysmann, James R. Curran, Kilian Foth, Robert Frank, Karin Harbusch, Mary Harper, Saša Hasan, Aravind Joshi,Vincenzo Lombardo, Takuya Matsuzaki, Alessandro Mazzei, Wolfgang Menzel, Yusuke Miyao, Richard Moot, Alexis Nasr, Günter Neumann, Martha Palmer, Owen Rambow, Rajeev Sangal, Anoop Sarkar, Giorgio Satta, Libin Shen, Patrick Sturt, Jun’ichi Tsujii, K. Vijay-Shanker, Wen Wang, Fei Xia
In this largely antimetaphysical treatment of free will and determinism, Mark Balaguer argues that the philosophical problem of free will boils down to an open scientific question about the causal histories of certain kinds of neural events. In the course of his argument, Balaguer provides a naturalistic defense of the libertarian view of free will.
The metaphysical component of the problem of free will, Balaguer argues, essentially boils down to the question of whether humans possess libertarian free will. Furthermore, he argues that, contrary to the traditional wisdom, the libertarian question reduces to a question about indeterminacy--in particular, to a straightforward empirical question about whether certain neural events in our heads are causally undetermined in a certain specific way; in other words, Balaguer argues that the right kind of indeterminacy would bring with it all of the other requirements for libertarian free will. Finally, he argues that because there is no good evidence as to whether or not the relevant neural events are undetermined in the way that’s required, the question of whether human beings possess libertarian free will is a wide-open empirical question.
In Mental Reality, Galen Strawson argues that much contemporary philosophy of mind gives undue primacy of place to publicly observable phenomena, nonmental phenomena, and behavioral phenomena (understood as publicly observable phenomena) in its account of the nature of mind. It does so at the expense of the phenomena of conscious experience. Strawson describes an alternative position, "naturalized Cartesianism," which couples the materialist view that mind is entirely natural and wholly physical with a fully realist account of the nature of conscious experience. Naturalized Cartesianism is an adductive (as opposed to reductive) form of materialism. Adductive materialists don't claim that conscious experience is anything less than we ordinarily conceive it to be, in being wholly physical. They claim instead that the physical is something more than we ordinarily conceive it to be, given that many of the wholly physical goings on in the brain constitute—literally are—conscious experiences as we ordinarily conceive them.
Since naturalized Cartesianism downgrades the place of reference to nonmental and publicly observable phenomena in an adequate account of mental phenomena, Strawson considers in detail the question of what part such reference still has to play. He argues that it is a mistake to think that all behavioral phenomena are publicly observable phenomena.This revised and expanded edition of Mental Reality includes a new appendix, which thoroughly revises the account of intentionality given in chapter 7.
In making decisions, when should we go with our gut and when should we try to analyze every option? When should we use our intuition and when should we rely on logic and statistics? Most of us would probably agree that for important decisions, we should follow certain guidelines--gather as much information as possible, compare the options, pin down the goals before getting started. But in practice we make some of our best decisions by adapting to circumstances rather than blindly following procedures. In Streetlights and Shadows, Gary Klein debunks the conventional wisdom about how to make decisions. He takes ten commonly accepted claims about decision making and shows that they are better suited for the laboratory than for life. The standard advice works well when everything is clear, but the tough decisions involve shadowy conditions of complexity and ambiguity. Gathering masses of information, for example, works if the information is accurate and complete--but that doesn’t often happen in the real world. (Think about the careful risk calculations that led to the downfall of the Wall Street investment houses.) Klein offers more realistic ideas about how to make decisions in real-life settings. He provides many examples--ranging from airline pilots and weather forecasters to sports announcers and Captain Jack Aubrey in Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander novels--to make his point. All these decision makers saw things that others didn’t. They used their expertise to pick up cues and to discern patterns and trends. We can make better decisions, Klein tells us, if we are prepared for complexity and ambiguity and if we will stop expecting the data to tell us everything.
While philosophers of mind have been arguing over the status of mental representations in cognitive science, cognitive scientists have been quietly engaged in studying perception, action, and cognition without explaining them in terms of mental representation. In this book, Anthony Chemero describes this nonrepresentational approach (which he terms radical embodied cognitive science), puts it in historical and conceptual context, and applies it to traditional problems in the philosophy of mind. Radical embodied cognitive science is a direct descendant of the American naturalist psychology of William James and John Dewey, and follows them in viewing perception and cognition to be understandable only in terms of action in the environment. Chemero argues that cognition should be described in terms of agent-environment dynamics rather than in terms of computation and representation. After outlining this orientation to cognition, Chemero proposes a methodology: dynamical systems theory, which would explain things dynamically and without reference to representation. He also advances a background theory: Gibsonian ecological psychology, “shored up” and clarified. Chemero then looks at some traditional philosophical problems (reductionism, epistemological skepticism, metaphysical realism, consciousness) through the lens of radical embodied cognitive science and concludes that the comparative ease with which it resolves these problems, combined with its empirical promise, makes this approach to cognitive science a rewarding one. “Jerry Fodor is my favorite philosopher,” Chemero writes in his preface, adding, “I think that Jerry Fodor is wrong about nearly everything.” With this book, Chemero explains nonrepresentational, dynamical, ecological cognitive science as clearly and as rigorously as Jerry Fodor explained computational cognitive science in his classic work The Language of Thought.
In Cognition and Perception, Athanassios Raftopoulos discusses the cognitive penetrability of perception and claims that there is a part of visual processes (which he calls “perception”) that results in representational states with nonconceptual content; that is, a part that retrieves information from visual scenes in conceptually unmediated, “bottom-up,” theory-neutral ways. Raftopoulos applies this insight to problems in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and epistemology, and examines how we access the external world through our perception as well as what we can know of that world. To show that there is a theory-neutral part of existence, Raftopoulos turns to cognitive science and argues that there is substantial scientific evidence. He then claims that perception induces representational states with nonconceptual content and examines the nature of the nonconceptual content. The nonconceptual information retrieved, he argues, does not allow the identification or recognition of an object but only its individuation as a discrete persistent object with certain spatiotemporal properties and other features. Object individuation, however, suffices to determine the referents of perceptual demonstratives. Raftopoulos defends his account in the context of current discussions on the issue of the theory-ladenness of perception (namely the Fodor-Churchland debate), and then discusses the repercussions of his thesis for problems in the philosophy of science. Finally, Raftopoulos claims that there is a minimal form of realism that is defensible. This minimal realism holds that objects, their spatiotemporal properties, and such features as shape, orientation, and motion are real, mind-independent properties in the world.
Emotional intelligence (or EI)--the ability to perceive, regulate, and communicate emotions, to understand emotions in ourselves and others--has been the subject of best-selling books, magazine cover stories, and countless media mentions. It has been touted as a solution for problems ranging from relationship issues to the inadequacies of local schools. But the media hype has far outpaced the scientific research on emotional intelligence. In What We Know about Emotional Intelligence, three experts who are actively involved in research into EI offer a state-of-the-art account of EI in theory and practice. They tell us what we know about EI based not on anecdote or wishful thinking but on science.
What We Know about Emotional Intelligence looks at current knowledge about EI with the goal of translating it into practical recommendations in work, school, social, and psychological contexts.
The predicative mind singles out and represents an item in order to attribute to it a property, a relation, an action, an evaluation; it thinks, and says, of a house that it is big, of a car that it is to the left of the house, of a cat that it is about to jump, of a hypothesis that it is plausible. The capacity to predicate appears to be neither innate nor learned, yet it is universal among humans. Puzzling in evolutionary, developmental, and philosophical terms, the mental competence for predication still awaits a coherent and plausible explanation. In this exploration of the predicative roots of human thinking, Radu Bogdan takes up the challenge. Bogdan argues that predication is not only an outcome of development but also a by-product of uniquely human features of development, many of them social in nature and unrelated to representation, cognition, and thinking. Humans develop predicative minds for disparate reasons, which bear initially on physiological coregulation, affective and manipulative communication, and the socially shared acquisition of words. Once developed, the competence for predication in turn redesigns human thinking and communication. Predication is at the heart of conscious, deliberate, explicit, and language-based human thinking, and it is the fuel of higher mental activities. Understanding the uniqueness and representational power of the human mind, Bogdan contends, requires an explanation of why and how predication came to be.
Many philosophical naturalists eschew analysis in favor of discovering metaphysical truths from the a posteriori, contending that analysis does not lead to philosophical insight. A countercurrent to this approach seeks to reconcile a certain account of conceptual analysis with philosophical naturalism; prominent and influential proponents of this methodology include the late David Lewis, Frank Jackson, Michael Smith, Philip Pettit, and David Armstrong. Naturalistic analysis (sometimes known as “the Canberra Plan” because many of its proponents have been associated with Australian National University in Canberra) is a tool for locating in the scientifically given world objects and properties we quantify over in everyday discourse. This collection gathers work from a range of prominent philosophers who are working within this tradition, offering important new work as well as critical evaluations of the methodology. Its centerpiece is an important posthumous paper by David Lewis, “Ramseyan Humility,” published here for the first time. The contributors first address issues of philosophy of mind, semantics, and the new methodology’s a priori character, then turn to matters of metaphysics, and finally consider problems regarding normativity. Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism is one of the first efforts to apply this approach to such a wide range of philosophical issues.
Contributors: David Braddon-Mitchell, Mark Colyvan, Frank Jackson, Justine Kingsbury, Fred Kroon, David Lewis, Dustin Locke, Kelby Mason, Jonathan McKeown-Green, Peter Menzies, Robert Nola, Daniel Nolan, Philip Pettit, Huw Price, Denis Robinson, Steve Stich, Daniel Stoljar
Mental processes are the essence of creative endeavor. The Creative Cognition Approach extends this particular view of creativity, first proposed and developed by the editors in their earlier book Creative Cognition, to the programs and theoretical views of some of the most prominent researchers in the areas of problem solving, concept formation, and thinking. Chapters cover a wide range of approaches and processes that play a role in creative cognition, from those that have their roots in associationism (the notion that creative ideas are produced incrementally), to the Gestalt point of view (particularly insight), to current computational approaches. Each chapter deals with central issues in cognition and creativity, and many consider new ways in which creativity can be studied under controlled conditions.
The Creative Cognition Approach begins with a new look at an ancient subject, dreams. It then takes up intuition and insight from a contemporary cognitive perspective, and the importance of using prior knowledge in the incremental view of creative problem solving, which is contrasted with the importance of various forms of fixation and sudden insight. Studies are presented that provide new methods for distinguishing insight problem solving from analytic problem solving, and a general description of recall, problem solving, and creative thinking is provided along with relevant experimental evidence.
Numerous laboratory studies of creative idea generation are described that reveal the conceptual structures that give rise to imaginative thinking. Visual representations are considered in the context of memory distortions, and in the use of diagrams in scientific discovery. Models that help clarify the relation between comprehension and creativity are discussed, and a novel integration of ideas (primary and secondary process thinking, conditioning, genetic algorithms, chaos theory, the thermodynamics of crystallography) are brought together in a connectionist framework. A multivariate investment approach is used to study creative performance, and criteria for assessing and enhancing creative realism are detailed.
Agency is a central psychological phenomenon that must be accounted for in any explanatory framework for human action. According to the diverse group of scholars, researchers, and clinicians who have contributed chapters to this book, psychological agency is not a fixed entity that conforms to traditional definitions of free will but an affective, embodied, and relational processing of human experience. Agency is dependent on the biological, social, and cultural contexts that inform and shape who we are. Yet agency also involves the creation of meaning and the capacity for imagining new and different ways of being and acting and cannot be entirely reduced to biology or culture. This generative potential of agency is central to the process of psychotherapy and to psychological change and development. The chapters explore psychological agency in theoretical, clinical and developmental, and social and cultural contexts. Psychological agency is presented as situated within a web of intersecting biophysical and cultural contexts in an ongoing interactive and developmental process. Persons are seen as not only shaped by, but also capable of fashioning and refashioning their contexts in new and meaningful ways. The contributors have all trained in psychology or psychiatry, and many have backgrounds in philosophy; wherever possible they combinetheoretical discussion with clinical case illustration.
Contributors: John Fiscalini, Roger Frie, Jill Gentile, Adelbert H. Jenkins, Elliot L. Jurist, Jack Martin, Arnold Modell, Linda Pollock, Pascal Sauvayre, Jeff Sugarman
In Theory and Evidence Barbara Koslowski brings into sharp focus the ways in which the standard literature both distorts and underestimates the reasoning abilities of ordinary people. She provides the basis for a new research program on a more complete characterization of scientific reasoning, problem solving, and causality. Long acknowledged for her empirical work in the field of cognitive development, Koslowski boldy criticizes many of the currently classic studies and musters a compelling set of arguments, backed by an exhaustive set of experiments carried out during the last decade.
Theory and Evidence describes research that looks at the beliefs that people hold about the type of evidence that counts in scientific reasoning and also examines how those beliefs change with age. The primary focus is on the strategies that underlie actual scientific practice: two general sorts of research are reported, one on hypothesis testing and the other on how people deal with evidence that disconfirms a given explanation—the process of hypothesis revision.
Koslowski argues that when scientific reasoning is operationally defined so that correct performance consists of focusing on covariation and ignoring considerations of theory or mechanisms, then subjects are often treated as engaging in flawed reasoning when in fact their reasoning is scientifically legitimate. Neither relying on covariation alone nor relying on theory alone constitutes a formula for success.
A Bradford Book Learning, Development, and Conceptual Change series
Learning to perform complex action strategies is an important problem in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning. Filled with interesting new experimental results, Learning in Embedded Systems explores algorithms that learn efficiently from trial-and error experience with an external world. It is the first detailed exploration of the problem of learning action strategies in the context of designing embedded systems that adapt their behavior to a complex, changing environment; such systems include mobile robots, factory process controllers, and long-term software databases.
Kaelbling investigates a rapidly expanding branch of machine learning known as reinforcement learning, including the important problems of controlled exploration of the environment, learning in highly complex environments, and learning from delayed reward. She reviews past work in this area and presents a number of significant new results. These include the intervalestimation algorithm for exploration, the use of biases to make learning more efficient in complex environments, a generate-and-test algorithm that combines symbolic and statistical processing into a flexible learning method, and some of the first reinforcement-learning experiments with a real robot.
One of the central problems in the philosophy of psychology is an updated version of the old mind-body problem: how levels of theories in the behavioral and brain sciences relate to one another. Many contemporary philosophers of mind believe that cognitive-psychological theories are not reducible to neurological theories. However, this antireductionism has not spawned a revival of dualism. Instead, most nonreductive physicalists prefer the idea of a one-way dependence of the mental on the physical.
In Psychoneural Reduction, John Bickle presents a new type of reductionism, one that is stronger than one-way dependency yet sidesteps the arguments that sank classical reductionism. Although he makes some concessions to classical antireductionism, he argues for a relationship between psychology and neurobiology that shares some of the key aims, features, and consequences of classical reductionism. Parts of Bickle's "new wave" reductionism have emerged piecemeal over the past two decades; this is his first comprehensive statement and defense of it to appear.
Human communication is grounded in fundamentally cooperative, even shared, intentions. In this original and provocative account of the evolutionary origins of human communication, Michael Tomasello connects the fundamentally cooperative structure of human communication (initially discovered by Paul Grice) to the especially cooperative structure of human (as opposed to other primate) social interaction. Tomasello argues that human cooperative communication rests on a psychological infrastructure of shared intentionality (joint attention, common ground), evolved originally for collaboration and culture more generally. The basic motives of the infrastructure are helping and sharing: humans communicate to request help, inform others of things helpfully, and share attitudes as a way of bonding within the cultural group. These cooperative motives each created different functional pressures for conventionalizing grammatical constructions. Requesting help in the immediate you-and-me and here-and-now, for example, required very little grammar, but informing and sharing required increasingly complex grammatical devices. Drawing on empirical research into gestural and vocal communication by great apes and human infants (much of it conducted by his own research team), Tomasello argues further that humans’ cooperative communication emerged first in the natural gestures of pointing and pantomiming. Conventional communication, first gestural and then vocal, evolved only after humans already possessed these natural gestures and their shared intentionality infrastructure along with skills of cultural learning for creating and passing along jointly understood communicative conventions. Challenging the Chomskian view that linguistic knowledge is innate, Tomasello proposes instead that the most fundamental aspects of uniquely human communication are biological adaptations for cooperative social interaction in general and that the purely linguistic dimensions of human communication are cultural conventions and constructions created by and passed along within particular cultural groups.
The now-popular idea that emotions have an intelligent core (and the reverse, that intelligence has an emotional core) comes from the neurosciences and psychology. Similarly, the fundamental sexualization of the brain—the new interest in "essential differences" in male and female brains and behaviors—is based on neuroscience research and neuroimages of emotions. In Sexualized Brains, scholars from a range of disciplines reflect on the epistemological claims that emotional intelligence (EI) can be located in the brain and that it is legitimate to attribute distinct kinds of emotions to the biological sexes. The brain, as an icon, has colonized the humanities and social sciences, leading to the emergence of such new disciplines as neurosociology, neuroeconomics, and neurophilosophy. Neuroscience and psychology now have the power to transform not only the practice of science but also contemporary society. These developments, the essays in this volume show, will soon affect the very heart of gender studies.
Contributors examine historical views of gender, sex, and elite brains (the influential idea of the "genius"); techniques for representing and measuring emotions and EI (including neuroimaging and pop science); the socioeconomic contexts of debates on elites, EI, and gender and the underlying power of the brain as a model to legitimize social disparities.
Contributors: Anne Bartsch, Carmen Baumeler, Myriam N. Bechtoldt, Kathrin Fahlenbrach, Malte-Christian Gruber, Michael Hagner, Bärbel Hüsing, Eva Illouz, Nicole C. Karafyllis, Carolyn MacCann, Gerald Matthews, Robert A. Nye, William M. Reddy, Richard D. Roberts, Ralf Schulze, Gotlind Ulshöfer, Moshe Zeidner.
Many students find it difficult to learn the kind of knowledge and thinking required by college or high school courses in mathematics, science, or other complex domains. Thus they often emerge with significant misconceptions, fragmented knowledge, and inadequate problem-solving skills. Most instructors or textbook authors approach their teaching efforts with a good knowledge of their field of expertise but little awareness of the underlying thought processes and kinds of knowledge required for learning in scientific domains. In this book, Frederick Reif presents an accessible coherent introduction to some of the cognitive issues important for thinking and learning in scientific or other complex domains (such as mathematics, science, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, or expository writing). Reif, whose experience teaching physics at the University of California led him to explore the relevance of cognitive science to education, examines with some care the kinds of knowledge and thought processes needed for good performance; discusses the difficulties faced by students trying to deal with unfamiliar scientific domains; describes some explicit teaching methods that can help students learn the requisite knowledge and thinking skills; and indicates how such methods can be implemented by instructors or textbook authors. Writing from a practically applied rather than predominantly theoretical perspective, Reif shows how findings from recent research in cognitive science can be applied to education. He discusses cognitive issues related to the kind of knowledge and thinking skills that are needed for science or mathematics courses in high school or colleges and that are essential prerequisites for more advanced intellectual performance. In particular, he argues that a better understanding of the underlying cognitive mechanisms should help to achieve a more scientific approach to science education.Frederick Reif is Emeritus Professor of Physics and Education at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, Berkeley.