Grounding cognitive-level processes in behavior: the view from dynamic systems theory

Samuelson, Larissa K. ORCID:, Jenkins, Gavin W. and Spencer, John P. ORCID: (2015) Grounding cognitive-level processes in behavior: the view from dynamic systems theory. Topics in Cognitive Science, 7 (2). pp. 191-205. ISSN 1756-8757

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Marr's seminal work laid out a program of research by specifying key questions for cognitive science at different levels of analysis. Because dynamic systems theory (DST) focuses on time and interdependence of components, DST research programs come to very different conclusions regarding the nature of cognitive change. We review a specific DST approach to cognitive-level processes: dynamic field theory (DFT). We review research applying DFT to several cognitive-level processes: object permanence, naming hierarchical categories, and inferring intent, that demonstrate the difference in understanding of behavior and cognition that results from a DST perspective. These point to a central challenge for cognitive science research as defined by Marr-emergence. We argue that appreciating emergence raises questions about the utility of computational-level analyses and opens the door to insights concerning the origin of novel forms of behavior and thought (e.g., a new chess strategy). We contend this is one of the most fundamental questions about cognition and behavior.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2015 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Uncontrolled Keywords: marr,levels of analysis,dynamic systems,representations,cognitive processes,word learning,emergence
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Developmental Science
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2015 13:00
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 01:20
DOI: 10.1111/tops.12129

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