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Beyond Single-Level Accounts: The Role of Cognitive Architectures in Cognitive Scientific Explanation

Cooper, Richard P and Peebles, David (2015) Beyond Single-Level Accounts: The Role of Cognitive Architectures in Cognitive Scientific Explanation. Topics in Cognitive Science, 7 (2). pp. 243-258. ISSN 1756-8765

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We consider approaches to explanation within the cognitive sciences that begin with Marr’s computational level (e.g., purely Bayesian accounts of cognitive phenomena) or Marr’s
implementational level (e.g., reductionist accounts of cognitive phenomena based only on neural level evidence) and argue that each is subject to fundamental limitations which impair their ability to provide adequate explanations of cognitive phenomena. For this reason, it is argued, explanation cannot proceed at either level without tight coupling to the algorithmic and representation level. Even at this level, however, we argue that additional constraints relating to the decomposition of the cognitive system into a set of interacting subfunctions (i.e., a cognitive architecture) are required. Integrated cognitive architectures that permit abstract specification of the functions of
components and that make contact with the neural level provide a powerful bridge for linking the
algorithmic and representational level to both the computational level and the implementational

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Psychological Research
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Depositing User: David Peebles
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2014 14:14
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2015 08:52


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