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Varieties of Cognitive Science | Fourth Semester | BSc.CSIT (TU)

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varieties of cognitive scienceVarieties of Cognitive Science | Fourth Semester,
Symbolic and Connectionist computational cognitive science,
Subject: Cognitive Science | BSc.CSIT,
Second Year | Tribhuvan University (TU)

Varieties of Cognitive Science
Currently there are two major paradigms of computational cognitive science:

  • Symbolic computational cognitive science
  • Connectionist computational cognitive science

Symbolic computational cognitive science:
Here the concept is that the mind exists as a physically implemented “symbol system”. A symbol system is any effectively computable procedure, i.e., a universal machine (which by Church’s Thesis, could be a Turing machine, a recursive function, a general-purpose digital computer, etc.)

Connectionist computational cognitive science:
The “connectionist” (or “neural network”, or “parallel distributed processing”) approach to artificial intelligence and computational cognitive science can be seen as one way for a system to behave intelligently without being a “symbol system” and yet be computational. On this approach large numbers of very simple processors (“nodes”) are connected in multiple ways by communication links of varying strengths. Input nodes receive information from the external world. The information is propagated along the links to and among intermediate nodes, finally reaching output nodes. Connectionist systems & techniques have been developed for learning features of natural language, for aspects of visual perception and for a number of other cognitive phenomena. The kind of information that the symbol approach would represent using various symbolic knowledge-representation techniques is, instead, “represented” by the strengths and connectivity patters of the links.

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