This chapter examines the history of how the idea of cognitive architectures emerged as a way of specifying how the function of the human mind can be achieved in the physical structure of the brain. It discusses the shortcomings of different efforts that have ignored mental function, that have ignored the structure of the brain, and that have ignored the architecture. The chapter then introduces the ACT-R cognitive architecture as a tool for understanding the human mind. It describes the essential role of symbolic and subsymbolic levels in ACT-R, and relates this to the debate between connectionist and symbolic explanations. Symbolic structures in ACT-R provide the means for knowledge integration while subsymbolic processes determine the access to symbolic structures.
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