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The Mind as a Predictive Modelling Engine: Generative Models, Structural Similarity, and Mental Representation

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I outline and defend a theory of mental representation based on three ideas that I extract from the work of the mid-twentieth century philosopher, psychologist, and cybernetician Kenneth Craik: first, an account of mental representation in terms of idealised models that capitalize on structural similarity to their targets; second, an appreciation of prediction as the core function of such models; and third, a regulatory understanding of brain function. I clarify and elaborate on each of these ideas, relate them to contemporary advances in neuroscience and machine learning, and favourably contrast a generative model-based theory of mental representation with other prominent accounts of the nature, importance, and functions of mental representations in cognitive science and philosophy.
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... In this chapter the role of cognitive metaphors in joint decision making will be explored in more detail by considering a metaphor as a form of a mental model (Abdel-Raheem 2020; Al-Azr 2020 ;Craik 1943;Gentner and Stevens 1983;Furlough and Gillan 2018;Palmunen et al. 2021;Van Ments and Treur 2021b;Williams 2018): ...
... In this chapter these uses of metaphors as mental models (Abdel-Raheem 2020; Al-Azr 2020 ;Craik 1943;Gentner and Stevens 1983;Furlough and Gillan 2018;Palmunen et al. 2021;Williams 2018) will be addressed. Like mental models in general, metaphors can be applied, can be adaptive by involving learning and revision, and can be controlled. ...
... 1. adding the role of a cognitive metaphor in a joint decision process by modeling the metaphor as an internal mental model (Abdel-Raheem 2020;Craik 1943;Furlough and Gillan 2018;Williams 2018) according to the cognitive architecture for mental models proposed in Van Ments and Treur (2021b) 2. incorporating plasticity (Hebb 1949) by making the decision process adaptive via adaptation of this mental model through learning 3. incorporating metaplasticity (Abraham and Bear 1996;Robinson et al. 2016) by adding control over the adaptation. ...
Chapter
In this chapter, joint decision making processes are studied and the role of cognitive metaphors as mental models in them. A second-order self-modeling network model is introduced based on mechanisms known from cognitive and social neuroscience and cognitive metaphor and mental model literature. The cognitive metaphors were modeled as specific forms of mental models providing a form of modulation within the joint decision making process. The model addresses not only the use of these mental models in the decision making, but also their Hebbian learning and the control over the learning. The obtained self-modeling network model was applied to two types of metaphors that affect joint decision making in different manners: a cooperative metaphor and a competitive metaphor. By a number of scenarios it was shown how the obtained self-modeling network model can be used to simulate and analyze joint decision processes and how they are influenced by such cognitive metaphors.
... For the history of the mental model area, often Kenneth Craik is mentioned as a central person. In his book (Craik, 1943), he describes a mental model as a small-scale model that is carried by an organism within its head as follows; see also (Williams, 2018): ...
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A video presentation of this paper at BICA'21 can be found at the YouTube Self-Modeling Networks channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StRGmqY0QD0. Within organisational learning literature, mental models are considered a vehicle for both individual learning and organizational learning. By learning individual mental models (and making them explicit), a basis for formation of shared mental models for the level of the organization is created, which after its formation can then be adopted by individuals. This provides mechanisms for organizational learning. These mechanisms have been used as a basis for an adaptive computational network model. The model is illustrated by a not too complex but realistic case study.
... For the history of the mental model area, often Kenneth Craik is mentioned as a central person. In his book (Craik, 1943), he describes a mental model as a small-scale model that is carried by an organism within its head as follows; see also (Williams, 2018): ...
Chapter
This paper describes a second-order adaptive network model for mental processes making use of shared mental models (SMM) for team performance. The paper illustrates on the one hand the value of adequate SMM's for safe and efficient team performance and on the other hand in cases of imperfections of such shared team models how this complicates the team performance. To this end, the adaptive network model covers the use, adaptation, and control of the shared mental model. It is illustrated for an application context of a medical team performing a tracheal intubation, executed by a nurse and a medical specialist. Simulations illustrate how the adaptive network model is able to address the type of complications that can occur in realistic scenarios.
... Mental models. In his book Craik [6], describes a mental model as a small-scale model that is carried by an organism within its head as follows; see also [29]: ...
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This paper describes a second-order adaptive network model for mental processes making use of shared mental models (SMM) of team performance. The paper illustrates on the one hand the value of adequate SMM’s for safe and efficient team performance and on the other hand in cases of imperfections of such shared team models how this complicates the team performance. The adaptive network model covers the use, adaptation, and control of the shared mental model and is illustrated for an application context of a medical team performing tracheal intubation executed by a nurse and a medical specialist. Simulations illustrate in a realistic manner the type of complications that can occur in real-world scenarios.
... For the history of the mental models area, often Kenneth Craik is mentioned as a central person. Craik [4] describes a mental model as a small-scale model that is carried by an organism within its head as follows; see also [36]: ...
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For a video presentation, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-VSR5894zI. This paper describes a network model for mental processes making use of shared mental models (SMM) of team performance. The paper illustrates the value of adequate SMM's for safe and efficient team performance. The addressed application context is that of a medical team performing tracheal intubation executed by a nurse and a medical specialist. Simulations of successful and unsuccessful team performance have been performed, some of which are presented. The paper discusses potential further elaborations for future research as well as implications for other domains of team performance.
Chapter
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