What cognition is?

Nicolas Rougier

Paris, March 23 2014

Role of bodies in human cognition.

What is cognition?

Where is my mind?
Different definition depending on the species.

Keywords: memory, action, attention, learning, perception.

Cognitive beings as C. Elegans have a sensorimotor behaviour, they can learn and have memory. they take a decision with only 302 neurons.
Probably not enough for cognition because of no interaction possible.
What really matters for cognition?
How many neurons do we need to have social interaction?
The size of the brain, of the body, their ratio do not matter.
Does a specific structure is important? Does the brain architecture is important? Its Connectivity, density, modularity, self-organization?

Jellyfish: Different brain with neuron mass… 9 brains. Is able of cognition.

How to explain cognition?

• Philosophical framework: Theory of mind: the role of the body in cognition.
• Biological framework.
• Computational framework: artificial cognition. Models of learning and plasticity and evaluation. The big problem is the evaluation.
• Cognitive framework: subsumption architecture, affordance, emotion…

Which biological level of description?

• Molecule(pharmaco),
• Organelle,
• Cell(model of organization),
• Tissue,
• Organ.

Homunculus or supervisor see Descartes: Cartesian dualism separate mind from body. Indeed, He claimed that minds and brains are substances of a different kind. So Cartesian dualism = dualism of substances. Minds are distinctive from bodies Nevertheless, mind and bodies are intimately related
The body causally affects the mind (the mind receives signals from your body) and the mind causally affects the body (the body responses to your plans).

When we build models we have to be careful of not lying to ourselves.
The dual particular system of competition, when one goes up, the other one goes down and so on.
Dynamic neural field: Wilson & Cowan 1972
The system allows studying visual attention
Embodiment :
Superior colliculus, 3 layers foveal stim vs peripheral one which one wins?

Anticipation: Fix et al. 2002

Roger the robot loves oranges.

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