Thursday, February 17, 2011

Weiskopf on Cognitive Systems

A cognitive system is a set of physical structures and mechanisms that collectively realize a specific functional architecture.  Such architecture makes available a representational vocabulary, a set of primitive operations defined over them, a set of resources that these operations may make use of, and a set of control structures that determine how the activation and inhibition of operations and resources is orchestrated. These collectively determine the internal dynamics of processes in the system: how one set of input representations triggers a cascade of processing throughout various parts of the system, resulting eventually in some
sort of output.  (Weiskopf, 2010, p. ??)
So, that seems to me to be a reasonable way to demarcate a cognitive system, but it's not exactly what Weiskopf goes for.  More on this later.

Weiskopf, D. (2010). The Goldilocks problem and extended cognition. Cognitive Systems Research.

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