The Mind as a Temporal Resonator: Video and Slides
Below are videos of the talk and the subsequent discussion. If you watch the video of the talk, you may want to refer to this pdf of my slides as they are not always easily read in the video.
If you want to discuss or comment on the talk, this page of the Life and Mind Blog would be a good place to do so.
I will present a (very) new computational model of a cognitive system.
At the heart of the model is the notion that we (cognitive systems) tend to do what we did before, when we were in a similar situation in the past.
When this property is included in a dynamical model of an embedded cognitive system, self-maintaining patterns of behaviour emerge that involve (and depend upon) a wide variety of complicated interactions with environmental features. This occurs in the absence of any system of reward or punishment.
The control system in my model is based on the idea of an “Imprintable Dynamical System”, a new dynamical construct that is a little bit like “hebbian learning in state space”, but different. I will explain this construct in the talk.
The research is inspired by Gordon Pask’s “Ear”, the notion of autonomy as discussed by Varela and Maturana, and work on habits undertaken by Barandiaran, Di Paolo and others. It takes the idea of autonomy discussed in the biochemical domain (autopoiesis) and demonstrates how these ideas can be applied in the cognitive domain, showing how a robot doesn’t need to be autopoietic to be autonomous.
The model outlines a way of thinking about cognition that may help us to better understand forms of mental illness, addiction, repetitive behaviour, adaptive behaviour, autonomy and cognition.
Discussion after the presentation