Situated Cognition and Learning

Situated cognition and learning is the study of cognition within its natural context. This perspective emphasizes that individual minds usually operate within environments that structure, direct, and support cognitive processes. Context can be defined as physical or task-based (including artifacts and external representations of information), environmental or ecological (such as workplace and marketplace), and social or interactional (as in educational instruction or clinical settings). This...

Wiener Norbert

Norbert Wiener (1894-1964) worked in pure mathematics, but also used mathematics to pioneer statistical communication theory, and in collaboration with engineers and neuro-biologists originated and elaborated the field of cybernetics (the study of control and communication in the animal and the machine). Wiener's work in the 1940s, related to cybernetics, constitutes one of the roots of modern cognitive science. After World War II, anticipating the social and philosophical significance of...

Lvi Strauss Claude

The most remarkable aspect of the French anthropologist Levi-Strauss's (1908-) undertaking is his ambition to take seriously the very idea of anthropology. His aim has been to develop anthropology not just as an inventory of human cultures or of types of institutions (kinship, myths, rituals, arts, technologies, knowledge systems), but also as an investigation of the mental equipment common to all humans. This has not always been understood. It has been seen as an over-ambitious philosophical...

Affordances

The term affordance was coined by JAMES JEROME GIBSON to describe the reciprocal relationship between an animal and its environment, and it subsequently became the central concept of his view of psychology, the ecological approach (Gibson 1979 Reed 1996 see ECOLOGICAL PSYchology). An affordance is a resource or support that the environment offers an animal the animal in turn must possess the capabilities to perceive it and to use it. The affordances of the environment are what it offers...

Logical Form Origins of

When philosophers use the expression the Logical Form of a sentence, they refer to a linguistic representation whose desirable properties the surface grammatical form of the sentence either masks or lacks completely. Because philosophers have found ever so many desirable properties hidden or absent in grammatical form, there are ever so many different notions of Logical Form. According to one tradition, which one might call the descriptive conception of Logical Form, the Logical Form of a...

Psychoanalysis Contemporary Views

Though a number of key issues have been clarified, there is no more agreement now than there was half a century ago concerning the status and objectivity of psychoanalysis. Controversy in the understanding and evaluation of psychoanalysis has its origin in the multifaceted character of Sigmund freud's theorizing the plurality of other disciplines with which Freud allied it, and the mix of methodologies that he employed but it is also a function of several other variables, including the...

Metacognition

Broadly defined, metacognition is any knowledge or cognitive process that refers to, monitors, or controls any aspect of cognition. Although its historical roots are deep (e.g., James 1890), the study of metacognition first achieved widespread prominence in the 1970s through the work of Flavell (1979) and others on developmental changes in children's cognition about memory (metamemory), understanding (metacom-prehension), and communication (metacommunication). Metacognition is now seen as a...

Computational Learning Theory

Computational learning theory is the study of a collection of mathematical models of machine learning, and has among its goals the development of new algorithms for learning from data, and the elucidation of computational and information-theoretic barriers to learning. As such, it is closely related to disciplines with similar aims, such as statistics and machine learning (see also neural networks PATTERN RECOGNITION AND FEEDFORWARD NETWORKS and bayesian learning). However, it is perhaps...

Feature Detectors

The existence of feature detectors is based on evidence obtained by recording from single neurons in the visual pathways (Barlow 1953 Lettvin et al. 1959 Hubel and Wiesel 1962 Waterman and Wiersma 1963 see also singleNEURON RECORDING). It was found that responses from many types of NEURON do not correlate well with the straightforward physical parameters of the stimulus, but instead require some specific pattern of excitation, often a spatio-temporal pattern that involves movement. The rabbit...

Further Readings

Roberts, Eds. (1995). Clause Structure and Language Change. Oxford Oxford University Press. Clark, R., and I. Roberts. (1993). A computational approach to language learnability and language change. Linguistic Inquiry 24 299-345. Fontana, J. M. (1993). Phrase Structure and the Syntax of Clitics in the History of Spanish. Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania. Jespersen, O. (1922). Language, Its Nature, Development, and Origin. London Allen and Unwin. Kemenade, A. van....

References

Drug Therapy in Psychiatry, 2nd ed. Littleton, MA PSG Publishing. Cooper, J. R., F. E. Bloom, and R. H. Roth. (1996). The Biochemical Basis of Neuropharmacology. 7th ed. New York Oxford University Press. Dollins, A. B., I. V Zhdanova, R. J. Wurtman, H. J. Lynch, and M. H. Deng. (1994). Effect of inducing nocturnal serum melatonin concentrations in daytime on sleep, mood, body temperature, and performance. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 91 1824-1828. Frazer, A., P....

Frame Problem

From its humble origins labeling a technical annoyance for a particular AI formalism, the term frame problem has grown to cover issues confronting broader research programs in AI. In philosophy, the term has come to encompass allegedly fundamental, but merely superficially related, objections to computational models of mind in AI and beyond. The original frame problem appears within the situation calculus for representing a changing world. In such systems there are axioms about changes...

Reinforcement Learning

Reinforcement learning is an approach to artificial intelligence that emphasizes learning by the individual from its interaction with its environment. This contrasts with classical approaches to artificial intelligence and machine learning, which have downplayed learning from interaction, focusing instead on learning from a knowledgeable teacher, or on reasoning from a complete model of the environment. Modern reinforcement learning research is highly interdisciplinary it includes researchers...

Intelligent Agent Architecture

Intelligent agent architecture is a model of an intelligent information-processing system defining its major subsystems, their functional roles, and the flow of information and control among them. Many complex systems are made up of specialized subsystems that interact in circumscribed ways. In the biological world, for example, organisms have modular subsystems, such as the circulatory and digestive systems, presumably because nature can improve subsystems more easily when interactions among...

Rational Choice Theory

The theory of rational choice was developed within the discipline of economics by john von neumann and Oskar Morgenstern (1947) and Leonard Savage (1954). Although its roots date back as far as Thomas Hobbes's denial that reason can fix our ends or desires (instrumental rationality), and David hume's relegation of reason to the role of slave of the passions, having no motivating force, via the utilitarians' definition of rationality as the maximization of utility and the neoclassical school of...

Dissonance

Festinger's (1957) theory of cognitive dissonance is, by far, the most prominent of several social-psychological theories based on the premise that people are motivated to seek consistency among their beliefs, attitudes, and actions (Abelson et al. 1968). It asserts that people find inconsistency, or dissonance, among their cognitions to be emotionally aversive and seek to eliminate or reduce any inconsistency. According to Festinger, cognitive dissonance is a tension state that arises whenever...

Tense and Aspect

With the exception of statements in textbooks in mathematics, almost everything that is expressed in natural languages involves time in some way. It is not easy to specify exactly what within the general realm of temporal reference should be subsumed under the headings tense and aspect, particularly because these terms have been used in widely divergent ways by different scholars in linguistics, logic and philosophy. Consider a declarative sentence such as (1) The water was cold. In its most...

Signal Detection Theory

Signal detection theory (SDT) is a model of perceptual decision making whose central tenet is that cognitive performance, limited by inherent variability, requires a decision process. Applying a statistical-decision approach developed in studying radar reception, W. P. Tanner and J. A. Swets proposed in 1954 a decision-making theory of visual detection, showing how sensory and decision processes could be separated in the simplest perceptual task. Extensive early application to detection...

Artifacts and Civilization

The development of civilization meant more than social and technological innovations. It required the acquisition of complex cognitive processes. In particular, the ability to manipulate data abstractly was key to the development of urban society. This is illustrated by the evolution of artifacts for counting and accounting associated with the rise of the very first civilization in Sumer, Mesopotamia, about 3300-3100 B.C. Here, the development of a system of clay tokens and its final...

Eliminative Materialism

Eliminative materialism, or eliminativism as it is sometimes called, is the claim that one or another kind of mental state invoked in commonsense psychology does not really exist. Eliminativists suggest that the mental states in question are similar to phlogiston or caloric fluid, or perhaps to the gods of ancient religions they are the nonexistent posits of a seriously mistaken theory. The most widely discussed version of eliminativism takes as its target the intentional states of commonsense...

Gestalt Psychology

The scope of Gestalt psychology goes beyond its origins in research on perception. The founder of the Gestalt school, Max Wertheimer, invested much of his energies in other topics, such as epistemology (Wertheimer 1934), ethics (1935), problem solving (1920), and creativity (1959 1978 see also Duncker 1945 1972 Luchins 1942). Koffka, one of Werthe-imer's foremost collaborators, devoted more than half of his Principles of Gestalt Psychology (1935) to attitudes, emotion, the will, memory (see...

Bruce S McEwen Further Readings

Chesney, S. Cohen, S. Folkman, R. L. Kahn, and L. S. Syme. (1994). Socioeconomic status and health The challenge of the gradient. American Psychologist 49 15-24. Bobak, M., and M. Marmot. (1996). East-West mortality divide and its potential explanations Proposed research agenda. BMJ 312 421-425. Bosma, H., M. G. Marmot, H. Hemingway, A. C. Nicholson, E. Brunner, and S. S. Stansfield. (1997). Low job control and risk of coronary heart disease in Whitehall 2...

Language and Thought

Perhaps because we typically think in words, language and thought seem completely intertwined. Indeed, scholars in various fields psychology, linguistics, anthropology as well as laypeople have entertained these questions Is thought possible without language Does the structure of our language shape our thinking Does our perception cognition shape the structure of language Are our abilities to learn and use language part of our general intelligence Is thought possible without language Research...

Naive Physics

Naive physics refers to the commonsense beliefs that people hold about the way the world works, particularly with respect to classical mechanics. Being the oldest branch of physics, classical mechanics has priority because mechanical systems can be seen, whereas the motions relevant to other branches of physics are invisible. Because the motions of mechanical systems are both lawful and obvious, it is always intriguing to find instances in which people hold beliefs about mechanics that are not...

Language Neural Basis of

Investigations into the neural basis of language center around how the brain processes language. To do this, we must understand that language is a most complex function, one that encompasses numerous subprocesses, including the recognition and articulation of speech sounds, the comprehension and production of words and sentences, and the use of language in pragmatically appropriate ways. Underlying and interacting with these are also the functions of attention and memory. All contribute in...

Writing Systems

Writing systems entered the purview of cognitive science only recently. Twentieth-century linguistics was anxious to move away from prescription of good usage to scientific description of natural usage, so for many decades it focused almost exclusively on spoken language. Comprehensive psychological studies had to await the globalization of scholarship that has occurred since the 1970s previously, the only Westerners knowledgeable about nonalphabetic writing systems were a handful of scholars...

Poverty of the Stimulus Arguments

The poverty of the stimulus argument is a form of the problem of the under-determination of theory by data, applied to the problem of language learning. Two other well-known problems of under-determination include Willard Van Orman Quine's (1960) Gavagai example (a visitor to a foreign country sees a rabbit pass just as his informant utters the word gavagai given only this evidence, gava-gai might mean anything from rabbit, furry or nice day, isn't it to undetached part of rabbit) and Nelson...

Computational Psycholinguistics

In psycholinguistics, computational models are becoming increasingly important both for helping us understand and develop our theories and for deriving empirical predictions from those theories. How a theory of language processing behaves usually depends not just on the mechanics of the model itself, but also on the properties of the linguistic input. Even when the theory is conceptually simple, the interaction between theory and language is often too complex to be explored without the benefit...

Perceptual Development

Just a century ago it was widely believed that the world perceived by newborn infants was, in the words of WILLIAM JAMES, a blooming, buzzing confusion. In the decades since then, developmental research has demonstrated dramatically that James's view was erroneous. The shift in view was prompted by research from various domains. In the 1930s, Piaget's detailed descriptions of his infant children and Gesell's charting of infants' motor milestones created a climate of interest in infants as...

Adaptation and Adaptationism

In current usage a biological adaptation is a trait whose form can be explained by natural selection. The blink reflex, for example, exists because organisms with the reflex were fitter than organisms without this adaptation to protect the eyes. Biological adaptation must be distinguished from physiological adaptation. The fact that human beings can form calluses when their skin is subjected to friction is probably a biological adaptation, but the particular callus caused by my hedge-trimmers...

Deductive Reasoning

Deductive reasoning is a branch of cognitive psychology investigating people's ability to recognize a special relation between statements. Deductive LOGIC is a branch of philosophy and mathematics investigating the same relation. We can call this relation entailment, and it holds between a set of statements (the premises) and a further statement (the conclusion) if the conclusion must be true whenever all the premises are true. Consider the premises Calvin bites his nails while working and...

From Materialism to Mental Science

In raising issue i., the mental-physical relation, in the previous section, I implied that materialism was the dominant ontological view of the mind in contemporary philosophy of mind. I also suggested that, if anything, general convergence on this issue has intensified interest in the mind-body problem. For example, consider the large and lively debate over whether contemporary forms of materialism are compatible with genuine MENTAL CAUSATION, or, alternatively, whether they commit one to...

Sexual Attraction Evolutionary Psychology of

Evolutionary psychology is evolutionary biology applied to the brain's adaptations. An adaptation is a phenotypic feature, psychological or otherwise, whose ultimate cause is some type of historical Darwinian selection (Thornhill 1997). Genes, physiology, development, and environment are proximate causes of each adaptation. Because adaptations are the products of past selection, they exhibit functional or purposeful design. Evolutionary psychology's focus is on identifying and characterizing...

Deep Dyslexia Interpreting Error Types

Patients with a reading disorder known as deep dyslexia make two very different types of reading errors, which have been interpreted as indicating that two functionally distinct lesions are needed to account for the reading errors of these patients. Deep dyslexic patients make semantic errors, that is, errors that bear a semantic similarity to the correct word, such as reading cat as dog. They also make visual errors, that is, errors that bear a visual (graphemic) similarity to the correct...

Basal Ganglia

The cerebral cortex is massively interconnected with a large group of subcortical structures known as the basal ganglia. In general, the basal ganglia can be described as a set of input structures that receive direct input from the cerebral cortex, and output structures that project back to the cerebral cortex via the thalamus. Thus a major feature of basal ganglia anatomy is their participation in multiple loops with the cerebral cortex, termed cortico-basal gan-glia-thalamo-cortical circuits...

Recurrent Networks

Neural networks are generally broken down into two broad categories feedforward networks and recurrent networks. Roughly speaking, feedforward networks are networks without cycles (see pattern recognition and feedforward networks) and recurrent networks are networks with one or more cycles. The presence of cycles in a network leads naturally to an analysis of the network as a dynamic system, in which the state of the network at one moment in time depends on the state at the previous moment in...

Church Turing Thesis

Alonzo Church proposed at a meeting of the American Mathematical Society in April 1935, that the notion of an effectively calculable function of positive integers should be identified with that of a recursive function. This proposal of identifying an informal notion, effectively calculable function, with a mathematically precise one, recursive function, has been called Church's thesis since Stephen Cole Kleene used that name in 1952. Alan turing independently made a related proposal in 1936,...

Innateness of Language

Although the idea has a large philosophical tradition (especially in the work of the Continental rationalists see ratioNALISM VS. EMPIRICISM), modern ideas concerning the innateness of language originated in the work of Chomsky (1965 etc.) and the concomitant development of generative grammar. Chomsky's hypothesis is that many aspects of the formal structure of language are encoded in the genome. The hypothesis then becomes an empirical hypothesis, to be accepted or validated according to...

Phonological Rules and Processes

Phonological processes were first systematically studied in the nineteenth century under the rubric of sound laws relating the various Indo-European languages. In the twentieth century, attention shifted to a synchronic perspective, prompted by observations such as Edward sapir's that as part of their grammatical competence mature speakers unconsciously and effortlessly assign (sometimes radically) different pronunciations to a lexical item drawn from memory and inserted in different...

Illusions of Interpretation Ambiguous Impossible and Puzzle Pictures

In ambiguous pictures, the brain switches between two possible figure-ground interpretations in figure 3, faces and a vase even though the stimulus does not change. The shape of the region selected as figure is perceived and remembered that of the ground is not. Impossible figures embody conflicting 3-D cues. Penrose's impossible triangle (figure 3) is not the projection of any possible physical object. It holds together by means of incorrect connections between its corners, which are correct...

Extensionality Thesis of

The thesis of extensionality says that every meaningful declarative sentence is equivalent to some extensional sentence. Understanding this thesis requires understanding the terms in italics. Two sentences are equivalent if and only if they have the same truth-value in all possible circumstances. The follow ing are equivalent because no matter how far Jody actually ran, the sentences are either both true or both false Jody just jogged 3.1 miles. Jody just jogged 5 kilometers. When the...

Golgi Camillo

Camillo Golgi (1843-1926) was one of a generation of great neurohistologists that included Kolliker, Gerlach, Nissl, and CAJAL. For these scientists, the cellular nature of nervous tissue was still enigmatic and controversial, decades after Schleiden and Schwann had promulgated the theory that cells are the basic architectonic units of living tissues. What we now somewhat nonchalantly identify as nerve cells had been visualized as early as 1836 (by Valentin) but, with the techniques then...

Teuber Hans Lukas

Hans-Lukas Teuber (1916-1977) was born in Berlin to Dr. Eugen Teuber, a psychologist, and Rose Knopf, a teacher. His father was the founder of the primate center on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, which later became famous as the site of Wolfgang's experiments on apes. After a classical education at the French College in Berlin, he studied biology and philosophy at the University of Basel. In 1941, Teuber came to the Department of Psychology at Harvard University as a graduate student, and in...

Lexical Functional Grammar

Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) is a theory of the structure of natural language and how different aspects of linguistic structure are related. The name of the theory expresses two ways in which it differs from other theories of linguistic structure and organization. LFG is a lexical theory relations between linguistic forms, such as the relation between an active and passive form of a verb, are generalizations about the structure of the lexicon, not transformational operations that derive one...

Geschwind Norman

Norman Geschwind (1926-1984) was an eminent American neurologist whose major contribution was to help revive the cortical LOCALiZATiON-based anatomophysiological analysis of human behavior and behavioral disorders typical of the approach of the last decades of the nineteenth century. In this way, in the early 1960s and almost single-handedly, he brought the study of behavior back into the framework of neurology and away from purely behavioral explanations characteristic of most of the first...

Evolutionary Computation

Evolutionary computation is a collection of computational search, learning, optimization, and modeling methods loosely inspired by biological evolution. The methods most often used are called genetic algorithms (GAs), evolution strategies (ESs), and evolutionary programming (EP). These three methods were developed independently in the 1960s GAs by Holland (1975), ESs by Rechenberg (1973) and Schwefel (1977), and EP by Fogel, Owens, and Walsh (1966). (Genetic programming, a variant of genetic...

Chinese Room Argument

The Chinese room argument is a refutation of strong artificial intelligence. Strong AI is defined as the view that an appropriately programmed digital computer with the right inputs and outputs, one that satisfies the Turing test, would necessarily have a mind. The idea of Strong AI is that the implemented program by itself is constitutive of having a mind. Weak AI is defined as the view that the computer plays the same role in studying cognition as it does in any other discipline. It is a...

Formal Systems Properties of

Formal systems or theories must satisfy requirements that are sharper than those imposed on the structure of theories by the axiomatic-deductive method, which can be traced back to Euclid's Elements. The crucial additional requirement is the regimentation of inferential steps in proofs not only axioms have to be given in advance, but also the logical rules representing argumentative steps. To avoid a regress in the definition of proof and to achieve intersubjectivity on a minimal basis, the...

Representation and Reasoning under Uncertainty

In many areas to which one might wish to apply knowledge-based systems, the available knowledge is far from definite. For example, a person who experiences recurrent headaches may suffer from migraines or a brain tumor. A logical reasoning system can represent this sort of disjunctive information, but cannot represent or reason with the belief that migraine is a more likely explanation. Such reasoning is obviously essential for diagnosis, and has turned out to be central for expert systems in...

Cultural Consensus Theory

Cultural consensus theory is a collection of formal statistical models designed to measure cultural knowledge shared by a set of respondents. Each respondent is given the same set of items designed to tap the respondents' shared knowledge. The data consist of a respondent-item matrix containing each respondent's answers to each of the items. An appropriate cultural consensus model provides estimates of each respondent's competence (knowledge) as well as an estimate of the culturally correct...

Imitation

Meltzoff And Moore

There has been an explosion of research in the development, evolution, and brain basis of imitation. Human beings are highly imitative. Recent discoveries reveal that newborn infants have an innate ability to imitate facial expressions. This has important implications for theories of folk psychology, MEMORY, CULTURE, and LANGUAGE. Classical theories of COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT postulated that newborns did not understand the similarity between themselves and others. Newborns were said to be...

Cognitive Modeling Symbolic

Symbolic cognitive models are theories of human cognition that take the form of working computer programs. A cognitive model is intended to be an explanation of how some aspect of cognition is accomplished by a set of primitive computational processes. A model performs a specific cognitive task or class of tasks and produces behavior that constitutes a set of predictions that can be compared to data from human performance. Task domains that have received considerable attention include problem...

Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis

The Machiavellian intelligence hypothesis takes several forms, but all stem from the proposition that the advanced cognitive processes of primates are primarily adaptations to the special complexities of their social lives, rather than to nonsocial environmental problems such as finding food, which were traditionally thought to be the province of intel ligence. The new social explanation for the evolution of INTELLIGENCE arose in the context of proliferating field studies of primate societies...

Evolution of Language

The question of how language evolved has never been a respectable one. In the nineteenth century it motivated so much wild speculation that the Soci t de Linguistique de Paris banned all discussion on the topic and many academics today wish this ban were still in place. Over the last thirty or so years, however, findings from psychology, evolutionary biology, and linguistics have radically changed the way that scholars approach this issue, leading to some surprising insights and opening up...

Functional Role Semantics

According to functional role semantics (FRS), the meaning of a mental representation is its role in the cognitive life of the agent, for example in perception, thought and decision making. It is an extension of the well-known use theory of meaning, according to which the meaning of a word is its use in communication and more generally, in social interaction. FRS supplements external use by including the role of a symbol inside a computer or a brain. The uses appealed to are not just actual, but...

Grammar Neural Basis of

Grammar refers to the syntactic structure of sentences that allows the meanings of words to be related to each other to form propositions. Linguistics has been concerned with the way humans' unconscious knowledge of this structure is represented. psycholinguistics has been concerned with how this knowledge is used in speaking and comprehension. There is no way at present to investigate how the nervous system represents syntactic knowledge, but there are two approaches to the neural basis for...

D

Darwin, cxi, cxiv, 13, 78, 150, 271, 274, 284, 290, 291, 292, 301, 328, 435, 669, 780, 783 Darwin, Charles, 218-220 Darwinian evolution, 12 theory, 783 Darwinian selection, 751 Darwinism, cxiii Data mining, 220 Data-oriented parsing approach, 465 Davis, Putnam, and Loveland procedure, 358 Decision making, xxxix, 19, 46, 78, 93, 123, 130, 220-223, 224, 234, 245, 259, 331, 424, 498, 568, 569, 671, 676, 699, 701, 702, 760, 768, 773, 849, 860 interdisciplinary nature of, 220 issues in, 222 prospect...

Essentialism

Psychological essentialism is any folk theory of concepts positing that members of a category have a property or attribute (essence) that determines their identity. Psychological essentialism is similar to varieties of philosophical essentialism, with roots extending back to ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. One important difference, however, is that psychological essentialism is a claim about human reasoning, and not a metaphysical claim about the structure of the real...

Cognitive Neuroscience Today

And so it was from these ancient but rapidly converging lines of inquiry, with the blush still on the cheek of a young cognitive science, that the modern era of cognitive neuroscience began. The field continues to ride a groundswell of optimism borne by new experimental tools and concepts particularly single-cell electrophysiology, functional brain imaging, molecular genetic manipulations, and neuronal computa-tion and the access they have offered to neuronal operations underlying cognition....

Cognitive Ethology

Cognitive ethology has been defined as the study of the mental experiences of animals, particularly in their natural environment, in the course of their daily lives. Data are derived from the observation of naturally occurring behavior as well as from experimental investigations conducted in the laboratory and in the field. By emphasizing naturally occurring behaviors, cognitive ethologists recognize that the problems faced in finding food and mates, rearing young, avoiding predators, creating...

Inductive Logic Programming

Inductive logic programming (ILP) is the area of computer science involved with the automatic synthesis and revision of logic programs from partial specifications. The word inductive is used in the sense of philosophical rather than mathematical induction. In his Posterior Analytics Aristotle introduced philosophical induction (in Greek epagogue) as the study of the derivation of general statements from specific instances (see induction). This can be contrasted with deduction, which involves...

Helmholtz Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von

Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (1821-1894) was born on August 31, 1821, in Potsdam. His father, Ferdinand Helmholtz, was a respected teacher of philology and philosophy at the gymnasium. His mother was the daughter of a Hanoverian artillery officer with the surname Penne, descended from the Quaker William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. After serving as an army surgeon, Helmholtz held a succession of academic positions lecturer at the Berlin Anatomy Museum, professor of physiology at...

Figurative Language

Figurative language allows speakers writers to communicate meanings that differ in various ways from what they literally say. People speak figuratively for reasons of politeness, to avoid responsibility for the import of what is communicated, to express ideas that are difficult to communicate using literal language, and to express thoughts in a compact and vivid manner. Among the most common forms of figurative language, often referred to as tropes or figures of speech, are metaphor, where...

Ambiguity

A linguistic unit is said to be ambiguous when it is associated with more than one MEANING. The term is normally reserved for cases where the same linguistic form has clearly differentiated meanings that can be associated with distinct linguistic representations. Ambiguity is thus distinguished from general indeterminacy or lack of specificity. Ambiguity has played an important role in developing theories of syntactic and semantic structure, and it has been the primary empirical testbed for...

Language Variation and Change

The speech of no two people is identical, so it follows that if one takes manuscripts from two eras, one will be able to identify differences and so point to language change. In this sense, languages are constantly changing in piecemeal, gradual, chaotic, and relatively minor fashion. However, historians also know that languages sometimes change abruptly, several things changing at the same time, and then settle into relative stasis, in a kind of punctuated equilib-num. So, all of the long...

Lashley Karl Spencer 18901958

Donald hebb described Karl Lashley's career as perhaps the most brilliant in the psychology of this century (Hebb 1959 142). Lashley's intellectual odyssey about brain and behavior extended from the earliest days of Watsonian behaviorism to astonishingly modern cognitive views. Lashley attended the university of West Virginia, where he studied with John Black Johnston, a neurologist. When taking his first class from Johnston in zoology, Lashley knew that I had found my life's work. Lashley...

Stress Linguistic

In pronouncing the word autobiographic, English speakers make the odd-numbered vowels more prominent than the even-numbered, with greatest prominence going on the last odd-numbered vowel. In the traditional terminology of phonetics, the odd-numbered vowels are said to be stressed and the even-numbered, unstressed. Stress is commonly though not universally implemented phonetically by an increase in the pitch (fundamental voice frequency) of the vowel. (For details of English stress, see...

Walking and Running Machines

Humans have built aircraft, submarines, and other machines that imitate or improve upon animal locomotion, but the design and construction of feasible walking and running machines remains a challenge. From a practical perspective, legged robots offer several potential advantages over wheeled vehicles. They can traverse rough terrain by stepping across or jumping over obstacles using isolated ground contacts rather than the continuous path of support required by wheels. This agility is important...

Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis

The linguistic relativity hypothesis is the proposal that the particular language one speaks influences the way one thinks about reality. The hypothesis joins two claims. First, languages differ significantly in their interpretations of experience both what they select for representation and how they arrange it. Second, these interpretations of experience influence thought when they are used to guide or support it. Because the first claim is so central to the hypothesis, demonstrations of...

Broadbent Donald E

After years of behaviorist denial of mental terms, donald hebb (1949) admonished We all know that attention and set exist, so we had better get the skeleton out of the closet and see what can be done with it. Donald E. Broadbent (1926-1993), more than anyone, deserves the credit for shedding scientific light on this skeleton. Through his own empirical contributions and his careful analyses of the findings of others, Broadbent demonstrated that experimental psychology could reveal the nature of...

Origins of Cognitive Neuroscience

Legend has it that the term cognitive neuroscience was coined by George A. Miller the father of modern cognitive psychology in the late 1970s over cocktails with Michael Gazzaniga at the Rockefeller University Faculty Club. That engaging tidbit of folklore nevertheless belies the ancient history of this pursuit. Indeed, identification of the biological structures and events that account for our ability to acquire, store, and utilize knowledge of the world was one of the earliest goals of...

Bilingualism and the Brain

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the cognitive neuroscience of bilingualism. The two central questions in this literature have been (1) Does a bilingual speaker represent each language in different areas of the brain (2) What effect does age of second language acquisition have on brain representation These questions have been considered by using electrophysiological and functional neuro-imaging measures as well as by looking at bilinguals who suffer strokes affecting the...

Rationalism vs Empiricism

Rationalism and empiricism are best understood as names for two broad trends in philosophy rather than labels for specific articulated theories. Sensationalism, experi-entialism, and empirical theory are among other terms that have been used to denote the latter doctrine, while intuitionalism, intellectualism, and transcendentalism have had currency in alluding to the former. In the traditional pantheon of philosophers, the classic rationalists are Ren descartes, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, and...

Capsule History of Psychology

Until the middle of the nineteenth century the nature of the mind was solely the concern of philosophers. Indeed, there are a number of reasons why some have argued that the scientific investigation of the mind may prove to be an impossible undertaking. One objection is that thoughts cannot be measured and without measurement, science cannot even begin. A second objection is to question how humans could objectively study their own thought processes, given the fact that science itself depends on...

Vygotsky Lev Semenovich

Lev Semenovich Vygotsky (1896-1934) grew up in Gomel', a provincial town in Belorussia. From 1913 to 1917 he studied history, philosophy, and law at universities in Figure 2. NAND logic function implemented by a McCulloch-Pitts net comprising two units. Moscow, and he returned to Gomel' from 1917 to 1924, where he taught literature and psychology at several schools and colleges. He also wrote extensively about language, pedagogy, drama, and poetry during this period. After a brilliant...

Motivation and Culture

Studies of motivation try to explain the initiation, persistence, and intensity of behavior Geen 1995 see also motivation . Culture, learned schemas shared by some people due to common, humanly mediated experiences, as well as the practices and objects creating and created by these schemas, plays a large role in nearly all human behavior. Even such biologically adaptive motivations as hunger and sex instigate somewhat different behaviors in different societies, depending on learned schemas for...

The Philosophy of Science

The philosophy of science is integral to the cognitive sciences in a number of ways. We have already seen that positivists held views about the overall structure of science and the grounds for theory choice in science that had implications for psychology. Here I focus on three functions that the philosophy of science plays vis- -vis the cognitive sciences it provides a perspective on the place of psychology among the sciences it raises questions about what any science can tell us about the...

Metaphor and Culture

How culture might figure in the conceptual domain-to-domain mappings that characterize metaphor has gone largely unaddressed. On the one hand, this is because anthropologists who study metaphor, and who belong to the interpretivist school and its offshoots, take the position that culture resides in metaphors, as it does in other symbols and not in the use and sense people make of these. These scholars draw on literary criticism, semiotics, structuralism, and the like to interpret metaphors and...

Chess Psychology of

Historically, chess has been one of the leading fields in the study of expertise see De Groot and Gobet 1996 and Holding 1985 for reviews . This popularity as a research domain is explained by the advantages that chess offers for studying cognitive processes i a well-defined task ii the presence of a quantitative scale to rank chess players Elo 1978 and iii cross-fertilization with research on game-playing in computer science and artificial intelligence. Many of the key chess concepts and...