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Integrated Models of Cognitive Systems$
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Wayne D. Gray

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195189193

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189193.001.0001

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From Disintegrated Architectures of Cognition to an Integrated Heuristic Toolbox

From Disintegrated Architectures of Cognition to an Integrated Heuristic Toolbox

(p.151) 11 From Disintegrated Architectures of Cognition to an Integrated Heuristic Toolbox
Integrated Models of Cognitive Systems

Peter M. Todd

Lael J. Schooler

Oxford University Press

This chapter demonstrates how grand unified theories of cognition can be combined with the idea that the mind is a collection of disparate simple mechanisms. It first describes the “adaptive toolbox” model of the mind put forth by Gigerenzer and colleagues: a collection of simple heuristic mechanisms that can be used to good effect on particular tasks and in particular environments. This model is aimed at describing how humans (and other animals) can make good decisions despite the limitations that we face in terms of information, time, and cognitive processing ability — namely, by employing ecological rationality, that is, using heuristics that are fit to the structure of information in different task environments, and letting the environment itself exert significant control over what components of cognition are employed. Yet such a disintegrated and externally driven view of cognition can still ultimately come together within an integrated model of a cognitive system, as this chapter shows via an implementation within the ACT-R (adaptive control of thought-rational) cognitive architecture of two simple decision heuristics that exploit patterns of recognition and familiarity information.

Keywords:   cognition, mind, adaptive toolbox model, cognitive processing, ecological rationality, heuristics, integrated model, cognitive system, cognitive architecture, recognition

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