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Topics in Cognitive Science

Henry Prakken
In an argumentation approach, legal evidential reasoning is modeled as the construction and attack of "trees of inference" from evidence to conclusions by applying generalizations to evidence or intermediate conclusions. In this paper, an argumentation-based analysis of the Simonshaven case is given in terms of a logical formalism for argumentation. The formalism combines abstract argumentation frameworks with accounts of the structure of arguments, of the ways they can be attacked and of ways to evaluate conflicting arguments...
March 14, 2019: Topics in Cognitive Science
Charles Yang
I review the problem of referential ambiguity that arises when children learn the meanings of words, along with a number of models that have been proposed to solve it. I then provide a formal analysis of why a resource-limited model that retains very few meaning hypotheses may be more effective than "big data" models that keep track of all word-meaning associations.
March 12, 2019: Topics in Cognitive Science
Norman Fenton, Martin Neil, Barbaros Yet, David Lagnado
This paper is one in a series of analyses of the Dutch Simonshaven murder case, each using a different modeling approach. We adopted a Bayesian network (BN)-based approach which requires us to determine the relevant hypotheses and evidence in the case and their relationships (captured as a directed acyclic graph) along with explicit prior conditional probabilities. This means that both the graph structure and probabilities had to be defined using subjective judgments about the causal, and other, connections between variables and the strength and nature of the evidence...
March 12, 2019: Topics in Cognitive Science
Elissa L Newport
Here we overview our recent research investigating children and adults' learning of rules and variation. In all these studies, our findings are that children and adults differ in how they acquire linguistic patterns that are productive, variable, inconsistently used, or lexically restricted. Some of our studies examine children's learning of natural languages; other studies expose learners to miniature languages and then ask them to produce novel sentences or judge their grammaticality. In every case there are important differences between learners as a function of their ages...
March 5, 2019: Topics in Cognitive Science
Dina Lipkind, Andreea Geambasu, Clara C Levelt
Humans and songbirds face a common challenge: acquiring the complex vocal repertoire of their social group. Although humans are thought to be unique in their ability to convey symbolic meaning through speech, speech and birdsong are comparable in their acoustic complexity and the mastery with which the vocalizations of adults are acquired by young individuals. In this review, we focus on recent advances in the study of vocal development in humans and songbirds that shed new light on the emergence of distinct structural levels of vocal behavior and point to new possible parallels between both groups...
February 13, 2019: Topics in Cognitive Science
Jeffrey Lidz
Lila Gleitman's body of work on word learning raises an apparent paradox. Whereas work on syntactic bootstrapping depends on learners retaining information about the set of distributional contexts that a word occurs in, work on identifying a word's referent suggests that learners do not retain information about the set of extralinguistic contexts that a word occurs in. I argue that this asymmetry derives from the architecture of the language faculty. Learners expect words with similar meanings to have similar distributions, and so learning depends on a memory for syntactic environments...
February 7, 2019: Topics in Cognitive Science
Patrick Rice, Andrea Stocco
In this study, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was applied over left dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) while participants performed a novel task paradigm that required planning of responses in accordance with both instructed rules and present stimuli. rTMS is a noninvasive form of neurostimulation that can interfere with ongoing processing of a targeted cortical region, resulting in a transient "virtual lesion" that can reveal the contribution of the region to ongoing behavior. Increased response times (RTs) were observed specifically when rTMS was applied over PMd while participants were preparing to execute a complex response to an uninstructed stimulus...
January 25, 2019: Topics in Cognitive Science
Gerhard Schurz, Ralph Hertwig
One of the most discussed issues in psychology-presently and in the past-is how to define and measure the extent to which human cognition is rational. The rationality of human cognition is often evaluated in terms of normative standards based on a priori intuitions. Yet this approach has been challenged by two recent developments in psychology that we review in this article: ecological rationality and descriptivism. Going beyond these contributions, we consider it a good moment for psychologists and philosophers to join forces and work toward a new foundation for the definition of rational cognition...
January 21, 2019: Topics in Cognitive Science
Scott Cheng-Hsin Yang, Wai Keen Vong, Yue Yu, Patrick Shafto
Traditionally, learning has been modeled as passively obtaining information or actively exploring the environment. Recent research has introduced models of learning from teachers that involve reasoning about why they have selected particular evidence. We introduce a computational framework that takes a critical step toward unifying active learning and teaching by recognizing that meta-reasoning underlying reasoning about others can be applied to reasoning about oneself. The resulting Self-Teaching model captures much of the behavior of information-gain-based active learning with elements of hypothesis-testing-based active learning and can thus be considered as a formalization of active learning within the broader teaching framework...
January 13, 2019: Topics in Cognitive Science
Jens Brockmeier
Drawing on papers from three different areas - evolutionary psychology, developmental psychology, sociolinguistics analysis - this commentary states that there is by now an empirically grounded and theoretically reflected memory research that has begun to break with the traditional individual-centric orientation of the memory sciences. This break, it is argued, is the consequence of a new interest in the dialectics between memory and language, between social (or collective or collaborative) remembering and narrative...
January 9, 2019: Topics in Cognitive Science
Joseph J Glavan, Joseph W Houpt
The time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model envisions working memory as a rapidly switching, serial, attentional refreshing mechanism. Executive attention trades its time between rebuilding decaying memory traces and processing extraneous activity. To thoroughly investigate the implications of the TBRS theory, we integrated TBRS within the ACT-R cognitive architecture, which allowed us to test the TBRS model against both participant accuracy and response time data in a dual task environment. In the current work, we extend the model to include articulatory rehearsal, which has been argued in the literature to be a separate mechanism from attentional refreshing...
December 27, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Ulrike Hahn, Momme von Sydow, Christoph Merdes
With the advent of social media, the last decade has seen profound changes to the way people receive information. This has fueled a debate about the ways (if any) changes to the nature of our information networks might be affecting voters' beliefs about the world, voting results, and, ultimately, democracy. At the same time, much discussion in the public arena in recent years has concerned the notion that ill-informed voters have been voting against their own self-interest. The research reported here brings these two strands together: simulations involving agent-based models, interpreted through the formal framework of Condorcet's (1785) jury theorem, demonstrate how changes to information networks may make voter error more likely, even though individual competence has largely remained unchanged...
December 25, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
David E Kieras
A key phenomenon in visual search experiments is the linear relation of reaction time (RT) to the number of objects to be searched (set size). The dominant theory of visual search claims that this is a result of covert selective attention operating sequentially to "bind" visual features into objects, and this mechanism operates differently depending on the nature of the search task and the visual features involved, causing the slope of the RT as a function of set size to range from zero to large values...
December 25, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Edward L Munnich, Meadhbh I Foster, Mark T Keane
Though the scientific study of surprise dates back to Darwin (), there was an upsurge in interest beginning in the 1960s and 70s, and this has continued to the present. Recent developments have shed much light on the cognitive mechanisms and consequences of surprise, but research has often been siloed within sub-areas of Cognitive Science. A central challenge for research on surprise is, therefore, to connect various research programs around their overlapping foci. This issue has its roots in a symposium on surprise, entitled "Triangulating Surprise: Expectations, Uncertainty, and Making Sense," at the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (Quebec City, July 2014)...
December 22, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Eshin Jolly, Luke J Chang
Psychology is a complicated science. It has no general axioms or mathematical proofs, is rarely directly observable, and is the only discipline in which the subject matter (i.e., human psychological phenomena) is also the tool of investigation. Like the Flatlanders in Edwin Abbot's famous short story (), we may be led to believe that the parsimony offered by our low-dimensional theories reflects the reality of a much higher-dimensional problem. Here we contend that this "Flatland fallacy" leads us to seek out simplified explanations of complex phenomena, limiting our capacity as scientists to build and communicate useful models of human psychology...
December 21, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Wayne D Gray
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2019: Topics in Cognitive Science
Christopher Myers, Joseph Houpt, Ion Juvina
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2019: Topics in Cognitive Science
Pierre Perruchet
In a prior review, Perrruchet and Pacton (2006) noted that the literature on implicit learning and the more recent studies on statistical learning focused on the same phenomena, namely the domain-general learning mechanisms acting in incidental, unsupervised learning situations. However, they also noted that implicit learning and statistical learning research favored different interpretations, focusing on the selection of chunks and the computation of transitional probabilities aimed at discovering chunk boundaries, respectively...
December 19, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Judit Gervain, Irene de la Cruz-PavĂ­a, LouAnn Gerken
Artificial grammar learning (AGL) paradigms have proven to be productive and useful to investigate how young infants break into the grammar of their native language(s). The question of when infants first show the ability to learn abstract grammatical rules has been central to theoretical debates about the innate vs. learned nature of grammar. The presence of this ability early in development, that is, before considerable experience with language, has been argued to provide evidence for a biologically endowed ability to acquire language...
December 15, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Edward Munnich, Michael A Ranney
One's level of surprise can be thought of as a metacognitive signal indicating how well one can explain new information. We discuss literature on how this signal can be used adaptively to build, and, when necessary, reorganize belief networks. We present challenges in the use of a surprise signal, such as hindsight bias and the tendency to equate difficulty with implausibility, and point to evidence suggesting that one can overcome these challenges through consideration of alternative outcomes-especially before receiving feedback on actual outcomes-and by calibrating task difficulty with one's knowledge level...
December 13, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
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