Csaba Szepesvari (1996) Comparing Yardsticks for Cognition
. Psycoloquy: 7(26) Optimal Cognition (4)
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Psycoloquy 7(26): Comparing Yardsticks for Cognition
COMPARING YARDSTICKS FOR COGNITION
Commentary on Worden on Optimal-Cognition
Bolyai Institute of Mathematics
Jozsef Attila University
Szeged, 6720 Aradi vrt tere 1.
Department of Adaptive Systems,
Institute of Isotopes
Hungarian Academy of Sciences and
Jozsef Attila University
Budapest 1525, Pf. 77. HUNGARY
Worden (1996) has suggested that cognitive science could
be built around a model for optimal cognition. He has also proposed
an equation, called the Requirement Equation (RE), which should
describe the biological requirement brains must meet. Here I
analyse the limitations of his equation in detail. The analysis is
based on a more general class of models, namely, models of optimal
sequential decisions, of which Worden's equation is a special case.
It turns out that the RE can describe optimal behaviour if there is
no perceptual aliasing. If the RE is able to capture all aspects of
cognition then animal cognition is probably modular and thus it is
more likely to be suboptimal than optimal. I also show that --
contrary to Worden's suggestion -- the optimisation problem faced
by evolution may have many local minima, depending on the genetic
encoding. Nevertheless, one can show, purely on the basis of the
theory of optimal sequential decisions, that brains of animals
probably use internal representations and that cognition has a
universal limit when one considers its biological function.
evolution of cognition, immediate rewards, internal
representation, modularity of cognition, optimal sequential decisions.
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