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Mental Architecture

Course Outline

In this class we will explore different ways of characterising mental architectures, and methodological questions surrounding the identification of particular architectures. Topics will be based around: modularity (both Fodorian and massive modularity), methodological questions about architectures arising within neuropsychology and neuroimaging, computational approaches within AI (including symbolic and connectionist models), and a case study of dual-systems theories of decision making.

Time and Place

The first two sessions (Modularity, Neuropsychology and Neuroimaging) will be held on Wednesday 20th February, 10.00-12.30, 1.30-16.00, in Room X in the Burse, and will be led by Hong Yu Wong and Elizabeth Irvine (Philosophy of Neuroscience Group, CIN).

The second two sessions (AI, and Dual-Systems Theories of Decision Making), will be held on Wednesday March 6th, 10.00-12.30, 1.30-16.00, in Room X in the Burse, and will led by Kirsten Volz (Neural Basis of Intuition Group, CIN), and Catherine Stinson (Philosophy of Neuroscience Group, CIN).

Course Requirements

Students must read the assigned papers, and write a short (300 word) summary of the main issues for each session (total of 4 summaries), to be emailed to me the day before the class. Students taking the class for credit are required to write an essay (max. 3000 words) on a topic taken from the course, which must be handed in by April 3rd. 

Students must have taken one course in philosophy of mind/psychology/neuroscience.


Modularity (Hong Yu Wong) 20/02/2013

In this seminar, we will look at two ways of thinking about the mind as being composed of (somewhat) independent processing modules (from Fodor and Carruthers), and criticisms of modularity theses from empirical and theoretical points of view.

Precis of The Modularity of Mind, Fodor, Brain and Behavioural Sciences, 1985, 8, 1-42, available here (not a great photocopy though): http://freud.tau.ac.il/~yosef1/neuro/Fodor%20modularity.pdf

Precis of The Architecure of the Mind: Massive Modularity and the Flexibility of Thought, available here: http://www.philosophy.umd.edu/Faculty/pcarruthers/AoM%20-%20Precis.pdf

Prinz, J., Is the mind really modular? Available here: http://subcortex.com/PrinzModularity.pdf

Wilson, R. A. The drink you have when you’re not having a drink, available here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0017.2008.00343.x/abstract

Optional: Machery, E. Massive Modularity and the flexibility of human cognition, Mind and Language, 23:3, 263-272, 2008.

Neuropsychology and Neuroimaging (Liz Irvine) 20/02/2013 

In this seminar, we will explore different methods for understanding and describing cognitive organization, including the use of double dissociations and the impact of fMRI methods on traditional cognitive ontologies. 


Shallice, T. Precis of From Neuropsychology to Mental Structure, available here: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/123356/1/download1.pdf 

Dunn, JC and Kirsner, K. What can we infer from double dissociations? Cortex, 2003, 39 (1) 1-7. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010945208700704 

Davies, Martin 2010. Double dissociation: Understanding its role in Cognitive Neuropsychology. Mind and Language 25, 500-540. 


Optional: Caramazza, On drawing inferences about the structure of normal cognitive systems from the analysis of patterns of impaired performance: The case for single-patient studies http://wjh1.wjh.harvard.edu/~caram/PDFs/1986_Caramazza.pdf 


Are neuroimages like photographs of the brain? Adina Roskies, available here: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~adinar/Adinas_homepage/CV_files/neuroimages%20like%20photographs.pdf 
Jim Bogen, Epistemological custard pies from functional brain imaging http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/341768 
OR (really good but long a bit difficult) 
Daniel Bub, Methodological issues confronting PET and fMRI studies of cognition function http://www.lifesci.sussex.ac.uk/ugteach/cws/iin/Readings/Bub.pdf 

Klein, C. Cognitive ontology and region- versus network oriented analyses, Philosophy of Science 2012, 79 (5) 952-960. http://www.jstor.org/stable/info/10.1086/667843 

Optional: Price, C. and Friston, K. Functional ontologies for cognition: The systematic definition of structure and function, Cognitive Neuropsychology, 2005, 22(3-4), 262-275.

Artificial Intelligence (Catherine Stinson) 06/03/2013

Here we will explore the rationale(s) behind trying to find out about human psychology by mucking around with computer programs. We will look at several classic papers in the field, focusing on two major schools of thought in AI---Classical and Connectionist---and how each claims to be able to discover the architecture of cognition. In addition to reading some of the founding papers from each school, we’ll review an extended battle between the two camps over which approach is better suited to the task of explaining psychological behaviour.

Computing Machinery and Intelligence, Alan Turing, Mind, 1950, Vol. LIX, No. 236 Available here (from within the University network), and lots of other places: http://cogprints.org/499/1/turing.html

Computer Science as Empirical Inquiry: Symbols and Search, Allen Newell, and Herbert Simon, Communications of the ACM, March 1976, Volume 19, Number 3. Available here: http://userweb.cs.utexas.edu/~kuipers/readings/Newell+Simon-cacm-76.pdf

The Appeal of Parallel Distributed Processing, McClelland, Rumelhart & Hinton, Parallel Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructure of Cognition, 1986, Vol. 1, Ch. 1. Available here: http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~hinton/absps/pdp1.pdf

Connectionism and Cognitive Architecture: A Critical Analysis, Fodor and Pylyshyn, Cognition, 1988, Vol. 28. Available here: http://ruccs.rutgers.edu/ftp/pub/papers/jaf.pdf

The Constituent Structure of Connectionist Mental States: A Reply to Fodor and Pylyshyn, Paul Smolensky, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 1987, Vol. XXVI, Supplement. Available here: https://mind.cog.jhu.edu/faculty/smolensky/Site/docs/Smolensky87SJPhilConstituent.pdf

Double dissociations without modularity: Evidence form connectionist neuropsychology. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 1995.

Dual-Systems Theories of Decision Making (Kirsten Volz) 06/03/2013 

Osman, M. (2004). An evaluation of dual-process theories of reasoning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 11 (6), 988-1010.

Keren & Schul (2009). Two is not always better then one. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4 (6), 533-550.

Lieberman, M., Jarcho, J.M., Satpute, A.B. (2004). Evidence-based and intuition-based self-knowledge: An fMRI study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87 (4), 421-435.

de Neys, W., Cromheeke, S., & Osman, M. (2011). Biased but in doubt: Conflict and decision confidence. PloS One, 6 (1).