Understanding Cognition through Synthesis and Analysis
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Christian Freksa. Understanding Cognition through Synthesis and Analysis. International Journal of Software and Informatics, 2013,7(1):3~18
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Fund:Funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG) through the Transregional Collaborative Research Center SFB/TR 8 Spatial Cognition is gratefully acknowledged. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provided funds for international exchange.
Abstract:This article discusses the interdisciplinary research area of cognitive science. It presents methods and approaches to investigating cognitive processes. Spatial cognition as a subfield of cognitive science is used to show how mental processes are connected with the physical realm through perception and action. These bridges between physical and mental permit a variety of rather distinct approaches that contribute to the investigation of the cognitive processes involved. Particular attention is given to the role of artificial intelligence approaches to help discovering cognitive processing principles. The article discusses the interplay between synthetic and analytic approaches to cognitive science and emphasizes the complementary strengths of these approaches. It shows how the environment, the context of the specific situation, and the task can reduce the cognitive effort to be taken. The trade-off between general abstract representations and specific concrete representations is shown. The power of virtual environments for testing and understanding models of cognition is demonstrated. Numerous examples are given.
keywords:cognitive science  spatial cognition  synthetic approach  artificial intelligence  knowledge representation  virtual reality  empirical studies
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