Information Processing, Computation, and Cognition

Journal of Biological Physics (Impact Factor: 1.29). 01/2011; 37(1):1-38. DOI: 10.1007/s10867-010-9195-3
Source: PubMed


Computation and information processing are among the most fundamental notions in cognitive science. They are also among the most imprecisely discussed. Many cognitive scientists take it for granted that cognition involves computation, information processing, or both - although others disagree vehemently. Yet different cognitive scientists use 'computation' and 'information processing' to mean different things, sometimes without realizing that they do. In addition, computation and information processing are surrounded by several myths; first and foremost, that they are the same thing. In this paper, we address this unsatisfactory state of affairs by presenting a general and theory-neutral account of computation and information processing. We also apply our framework by analyzing the relations between computation and information processing on one hand and classicism, connectionism, and computational neuroscience on the other. We defend the relevance to cognitive science of both computation, at least in a generic sense, and information processing, in three important senses of the term. Our account advances several foundational debates in cognitive science by untangling some of their conceptual knots in a theory-neutral way. By leveling the playing field, we pave the way for the future resolution of the debates' empirical aspects.

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Available from: Gualtiero Piccinini, Feb 03, 2014
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    • "Action of inferential structuring of informational field Computation is fundamental human mental process (Nielsen and Chuang, 2010; Piccinini and Scarantino, 2011; Tishby and Polani, 2011; Tetlow, 2012; Burgin & Dodig-Crnkovic, 2013; Fresco, 2014). The basic of the computation is the connection, the inference (MacKay, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study is circumscribed to the Information Science. The zetetic aim of research is double: a) to define the concept of action of information computational processing and b) to design a taxonomy of actions of information computational processing. Our thesis is that any information processing is a computational processing. First, the investigation trays to demonstrate that the computational actions of information processing or the informational actions are computational-investigative configurations for structuring information: clusters of highly-aggregated operations which are carried out in a unitary manner operate convergent and behave like a unique computational device. From a methodological point of view, they are comprised within the category of analytical instruments for the informational processing of raw material, of data, of vague, confused, unstructured informational elements. As internal articulation, the actions are patterns for the integrated carrying out of operations of informational investigation. Secondly, we propose an inventory and a description of five basic informational computational actions: exploring, grouping, anticipation, schematization, inferential structuring. R. S. Wyer and T. K. Srull (2014) speak about " four information processing " . We would like to continue with further and future investigation of the relationship between operations, actions, strategies and mechanisms of informational processing.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015
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    • "Our orientation from information theory focuses on how the human system and its subsystems dynamically process information hierarchically, holarchically, and recursively. We discuss information and its processing, bypassing debates about distinctions between computation and information processing, which are different but often treated otherwise (Piccinini and Scarantino, 2011). This field asserts that information cannot exist in a vacuum, but has a physical substrate and therefore is physical (Miller, 1995; Adami et al., 2000). "
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    ABSTRACT: We aim for this contribution to operate bi-directionally, both as a “bedside to bench” reverse-translational fractal physiological hypothesis and as a methodological innovation to inform clinical practice. In 25 years using gym equipment therapeutically in non-research settings, the standardized therapy is consistently observed to trigger universal responses of micro to macro waves of system transition dynamics in the human nervous system. These are associated with observably desirable impacts on disorders, injuries, diseases, and athletic performance. Requisite conditions are therapeutic coaching, erect posture, extremely slow movements in mild resistance exercises, and executive control over arousal and attention. To motivate research into the physiological improvements and in validation studies, we integrate from across disciplines to hypothesize explanations for the relationships among the methods, the system dynamics, and evident results. Some of the key hypotheses are: (1) Correctly-directed system efforts may reverse a system’s heretofore misdirected efforts, restoring healthier neurophysiology. (2) The enhanced information processing accompanying good posture is an essential initial condition. (3) Behaviors accompanying exercises performed with few degrees of freedom amplify information processing, triggering destabilization and transition dynamics. (4) Executive control over arousal and attention is essential to release system constraints, amplifying and complexifying information. (5) Dynamics create necessary and evidently sufficient conditions for the body to resolve or improve its own conditions within often short time periods. Literature indicates how the human system possesses material self-awareness. A broad explanation for the nature and effects of the therapy appears rooted in the cascading recursions of the systems’ dynamics, which appear to trigger health-fostering self-reorganizing processes in the presence of catalytic initial conditions.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Frontiers in Physiology
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    • "Still a question remains. Can we take linguistic computation as a generic computation that encompasses both digital and analog computation [3]? Even if this is a bit difficult to answer, the answer is more likely to be no. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper will deal with how and in what ways ( linguistic) computation as part of linguistic competence may relate to aspects of culture in the context of the cognition which becomes viable by being grounded in the possible conjunction of mental computations and cultural praxis. The possibilities of cultural capacities are enormous across societies and/or cultures, but linguistic computations as have been postulated are restricted by the nature of constraints specific to natural language. The purpose of this paper is to see the consequences of how these two can make cognition viable. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
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