Topics in Cognitive Science

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing


  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Series, Periodical
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Blackwell Publishing

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • Some journals impose embargoes typically of 6 or 12 months, occasionally of 24 months
    • no listing of affected journals available as yet
  • Conditions
    • See Wiley-Blackwell entry for articles after February 2007
    • Publisher version cannot be used
    • On author or institutional or subject-based server
    • Server must be non-commercial
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged with set statement ("The definitive version is available at ")
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • 'Blackwell Publishing' is an imprint of 'Wiley-Blackwell'
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • Robyn Langdon, Emily Connaughton, Max Coltheart
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fregoli delusion is the mistaken belief that some person currently present in the deluded person's environment (typically a stranger) is a familiar person in disguise. The stranger is believed to be psychologically identical to this known person (who is not present) even though the deluded person perceives the physical appearance of the stranger as being different from the known person's typical appearance. To gain a deeper understanding of this contradictory error in the normal system for tracking and identifying known persons, we conducted a detailed survey of all the Fregoli cases reported in the literature since the seminal Courbon and Fail (1927) paper. Our preliminary reading of these cases revealed a notable lack of definitional clarity. So, we first formulated a classification scheme of different person misidentification delusions so as to identify those cases that qualified as instances of Fregoli according to the above characterization: the mistaken belief that a known person is present in the environment in a different guise to his or her typical appearance. We identified 38 clear cases of this type and set out to answer a series of questions motivated by current hypotheses about the origin of the Fregoli delusion. We asked whether the patients misidentified particular strangers, made reference to the misidentified known persons using wigs or plastic surgery (or other techniques to disguise their appearance), misidentified many different strangers or only one, showed other symptoms (in particular, other misidentification delusions), and made inferences about the motives of the known persons in disguise. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for current hypotheses concerning the origin of the Fregoli delusion.
    Topics in Cognitive Science 09/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In philosophy, “singular thought” refers to our capacity to represent entities as individuals, rather than as possessors of properties. Philosophers who defend singularism argue that perception allows us to mentally latch onto objects and persons directly, without conceptualizing them as being of a certain sort. Singularists assume that singular thought forms a unified psychological kind, regardless of the nature of the individuals represented. Empirical findings on the special psychological role of persons as opposed to inanimates threaten singularism. They raise the possibility that tracking individuals specifically as persons might require conceptualizing them in certain ways, for example, as persons. In this paper, we take such a possibility seriously but ultimately reject it. Instead, we propose to revise a prominent singularist theory, the theory of mental files, in order to accommodate data on the psychological distinctiveness of persons: We advocate the postulation of perceptual person-files. Perceptual tracking via person-files is different from object-tracking but also from descriptive classification under the sortal concept PERSON.
    Topics in Cognitive Science 08/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tracking persons, that is, determining that a person now is or is not a specific earlier person, is extremely common and widespread in our way of life and extremely important. If so, figuring out what we are tracking, what it is to persist as a person over a period of time, is also important. Trying to figure this out will be the main focus of this chapter.
    Topics in Cognitive Science 08/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We propose that there is a powerful human disposition to track the actions and possessions of agents. In two experiments, 3-year-olds and adults viewed sets of objects, learned a new fact about one of the objects in each set (either that it belonged to the participant, or that it possessed a particular label), and were queried about either the taught fact or an unrelated dimension (preference) immediately after a spatiotemporal transformation, and after a delay. Adults uniformly tracked object identity under all conditions, whereas children tracked identity more when taught ownership versus labeling information, and only regarding the taught fact (not the unrelated dimension). These findings suggest that the special attention that children and adults pay to agents readily extends to include inanimate objects. That young children track an object's history, despite their reliance on surface features on many cognitive tasks, suggests that unobservable historical features are foundational in human cognition.
    Topics in Cognitive Science 08/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The recent trend in cognitive robotics experiments on language learning, symbol grounding, and related issues necessarily entails a reduction of sensorimotor aspects from those provided by a human body to those that can be realized in machines, limiting robotic models of symbol grounding in this respect. Here, we argue that there is a need for modeling work in this domain to explicitly take into account the richer human embodiment even for concrete concepts that prima facie relate merely to simple actions, and illustrate this using distributional methods from computational linguistics which allow us to investigate grounding of concepts based on their actual usage. We also argue that these techniques have applications in theories and models of grounding, particularly in machine implementations thereof. Similarly, considering the grounding of concepts in human terms may be of benefit to future work in computational linguistics, in particular in going beyond "grounding" concepts in the textual modality alone. Overall, we highlight the overall potential for a mutually beneficial relationship between the two fields.
    Topics in Cognitive Science 06/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This contribution presents a corpus of spatial descriptions and describes the development of a human-driven spatial language robot system for their comprehension. The domain of application is an eldercare setting in which an assistive robot is asked to "fetch" an object for an elderly resident based on a natural language spatial description given by the resident. In Part One, we describe a corpus of naturally occurring descriptions elicited from a group of older adults within a virtual 3D home that simulates the eldercare setting. We contrast descriptions elicited when participants offered descriptions to a human versus robot avatar, and under instructions to tell the addressee how to find the target versus where the target is. We summarize the key features of the spatial descriptions, including their dynamic versus static nature and the perspective adopted by the speaker. In Part Two, we discuss critical cognitive and perceptual processing capabilities necessary for the robot to establish a common ground with the human user and perform the "fetch" task. Based on the collected corpus, we focus here on resolving the perspective ambiguity and recognizing furniture items used as landmarks in the descriptions. Taken together, the work presented here offers the key building blocks of a robust system that takes as input natural spatial language descriptions and produces commands that drive the robot to successfully fetch objects within our eldercare scenario.
    Topics in Cognitive Science 06/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recently, there has been a great deal of interest in the idea that natural language enhances and extends our cognitive capabilities. Supporters of embodied cognition have been particularly interested in the way in which language may provide a solution to the problem of abstract concepts. Toward this end, some have emphasized the way in which language may act as form of cognitive scaffolding and others have emphasized the potential importance of language-based distributional information. This essay defends a version of the cognitive enhancement thesis that integrates and builds on both of these proposals. I argue that the embodied representations associated with language processing serve as a supplementary medium for conceptual processing. The acquisition of a natural language provides a means of extending our cognitive reach by giving us access to an internalized combinatorial symbol system that augments and supports the context-sensitive embodied representational systems that exist independently of language.
    Topics in Cognitive Science 06/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The topic is characterized by a highly interdisciplinary approach to the issue of action and language integration. Such an approach, combining computational models and cognitive robotics experiments with neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and linguistic approaches, can be a powerful means that can help researchers disentangle ambiguous issues, provide better and clearer definitions, and formulate clearer predictions on the links between action and language. In the introduction we briefly describe the papers and discuss the challenges they pose to future research. We identify four important phenomena the papers address and discuss in light of empirical and computational evidence: (a) the role played not only by sensorimotor and emotional information but also of natural language in conceptual representation; (b) the contextual dependency and high flexibility of the interaction between action, concepts, and language; (c) the involvement of the mirror neuron system in action and language processing; (d) the way in which the integration between action and language can be addressed by developmental robotics and Human-Robot Interaction.
    Topics in Cognitive Science 06/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over the past 15 years, there have been two increasingly popular approaches to the study of meaning in cognitive science. One, based on theories of embodied cognition, treats meaning as a simulation of perceptual and motor states. An alternative approach treats meaning as a consequence of the statistical distribution of words across spoken and written language. On the surface, these appear to be opposing scientific paradigms. In this review, we aim to show how recent cross-disciplinary developments have done much to reconcile these two approaches. The foundation to these developments has been the recognition that intralinguistic distributional and sensory-motor data are interdependent. We describe recent work in philosophy, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and computational modeling that are all based on or consistent with this conclusion. We conclude by considering some possible directions for future research that arise as a consequence of these developments.
    Topics in Cognitive Science 06/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A growing body of evidence in cognitive psychology and neuroscience suggests a deep interconnection between sensory-motor and language systems in the brain. Based on recent neurophysiological findings on the anatomo-functional organization of the fronto-parietal network, we present a computational model showing that language processing may have reused or co-developed organizing principles, functionality, and learning mechanisms typical of premotor circuit. The proposed model combines principles of Hebbian topological self-organization and prediction learning. Trained on sequences of either motor or linguistic units, the network develops independent neuronal chains, formed by dedicated nodes encoding only context-specific stimuli. Moreover, neurons responding to the same stimulus or class of stimuli tend to cluster together to form topologically connected areas similar to those observed in the brain cortex. Simulations support a unitary explanatory framework reconciling neurophysiological motor data with established behavioral evidence on lexical acquisition, access, and recall.
    Topics in Cognitive Science 06/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article presents results from a multidisciplinary research project on the integration and transfer of language knowledge into robots as an empirical paradigm for the study of language development in both humans and humanoid robots. Within the framework of human linguistic and cognitive development, we focus on how three central types of learning interact and co-develop: individual learning about one's own embodiment and the environment, social learning (learning from others), and learning of linguistic capability. Our primary concern is how these capabilities can scaffold each other's development in a continuous feedback cycle as their interactions yield increasingly sophisticated competencies in the agent's capacity to interact with others and manipulate its world. Experimental results are summarized in relation to milestones in human linguistic and cognitive development and show that the mutual scaffolding of social learning, individual learning, and linguistic capabilities creates the context, conditions, and requisites for learning in each domain. Challenges and insights identified as a result of this research program are discussed with regard to possible and actual contributions to cognitive science and language ontogeny. In conclusion, directions for future work are suggested that continue to develop this approach toward an integrated framework for understanding these mutually scaffolding processes as a basis for language development in humans and robots.
    Topics in Cognitive Science 06/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: As embodied theories of cognition are increasingly formalized and tested, care must be taken to make informed assumptions regarding the nature of concepts and representations. In this study, we outline three reasons why one cannot, in effect, represent the same concept twice. First, online perception affects offline representation: Current representational content depends on how ongoing demands direct attention to modality-specific systems. Second, language is a fundamental facilitator of offline representation: Bootstrapping and shortcuts within the computationally cheaper linguistic system continuously modify representational content. Third, time itself is a source of representational change: As the content of underlying concepts shifts with the accumulation of direct and vicarious experience, so too does the content of representations that draw upon these concepts. We discuss the ramifications of these principles for research into both human and synthetic cognitive systems.
    Topics in Cognitive Science 06/2014;
  • Topics in Cognitive Science 04/2014; 6(2).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cognitive science views thought as computation; and computation, by its very nature, can be understood in both rational and mechanistic terms. In rational terms, a computation solves some information processing problem (e.g., mapping sensory information into a description of the external world; parsing a sentence; selecting among a set of possible actions). In mechanistic terms, a computation corresponds to causal chain of events in a physical device (in engineering context, a silicon chip; in biological context, the nervous system). The discipline is thus at the interface between two very different styles of explanation-as the papers in the current special issue well illustrate, it explores the interplay of rational and mechanistic forces.
    Topics in Cognitive Science 03/2014;

Related Journals