Publication 2532

Carello C., Turvey M. T., Kugler P. N. & Shaw R. E. (1984) Inadequacies of the computational metaphor. In: Gazzaniga M. (ed.) Handbook of cognitive neuroscience. Plenum Press, New York: 229–248. Fulltext at
One of the most popular tacks taken to explain cognitive processes likens them to the operations of a digital computer. Indeed, the tasks for the cognitive scientist and the artificial intelligence scientist are often seen as indistinguishable: to understand how a machine or a brain “can store past information about the world and use that memory to abstract meaning from its percepts” (Solso, 1979, p. 425). The fact that there are machines that appear to do this, to varying degrees of success, is often taken to imply, almost by default, that cognition would have to embody the same steps in order to achieve the same results. In what folIows, we outline our objections to this attitude and briefly consider some alternatives.


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