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Cognitive Science 13: New Horizons- Dynamical Systems and Situated Cognition


Cognitive science and dynamical systems

Dynamical systems are an alternative to the information processing model of the mind. Dynamical systems, without modeling, processing, or creating any type of representation, can still model the changes in behaviors that cognitive science usually proposes an information processor for. The Watt governor, for example, self regulates depending on the steam pressure. Changes in stimuli change the set up of the device which automatically compensates and slows down the engine.

Situated cognition and biorobotics

This is the reaction against the programming and modeling of high level tasks in cognitive science. Situation cognition theorists think the focus should be on simple actions, from which more complex behaviors may emerge without having to be pre-programmed in the system. The provided example is the “Nerd Herd,” robots that have only 5 “behaviors” but from which behaviors like following, group creation, etc. emerge

Biorobotics takes into account the shape and design of the organisms in deciding what behaviors it may engage in. This keeps things more evolutionarily plausible, since incremental steps are necessary.


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