Indispensability of Computational Modeling in Cognitive Science

Year
2012
Volume 13
Issue 4
Pages
401-429
Authors
Igor Farkaš
Abstract
The concept of computation remains a frequently discussed topic in cognitive science, but there is no consensus about its meaning and the role in this field. I discuss this concept in wider sense, also including nonclassical computation, in the light of Marr’s three levels of analysis and their relevance for main modeling frameworks pursued in cognitive science . symbolic, connectionist, dynamic and probabilistic. I point to differences between these approaches and argue, providing empirical and theoretical arguments, that connectionism, out of the existing approaches, holds the promise of providing the most plausible and detailed accounts of human cognition. Connectionism also benefits from the emerging field of cognitive developmental robotics that aims at designing autonomous cognitive robots using the synthetic bottom-up approach. I conclude with emphasizing the key role of computational modeling that will help advance the field of computational cognitive science as an indispensable core component.

Key words: computation, cognition, modeling frameworks, levels of analysis, connectionism, learning, representation, developmental cognitive robotics