ERIC Number: EJ1069847
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Mechanisms for Robust Cognition
Walsh, Matthew M.; Gluck, Kevin A.
Cognitive Science, v39 n6 p1131-1171 Aug 2015
To function well in an unpredictable environment using unreliable components, a system must have a high degree of robustness. Robustness is fundamental to biological systems and is an objective in the design of engineered systems such as airplane engines and buildings. Cognitive systems, like biological and engineered systems, exist within variable environments. This raises the question, how do cognitive systems achieve similarly high degrees of robustness? The aim of this study was to identify a set of mechanisms that enhance robustness in cognitive systems. We identify three mechanisms that enhance robustness in biological and engineered systems: "system control, redundancy", and "adaptability." After surveying the psychological literature for evidence of these mechanisms, we provide simulations illustrating how each contributes to robust cognition in a different psychological domain: psychomotor vigilance, semantic memory, and strategy selection. These simulations highlight features of a mathematical approach for quantifying robustness, and they provide concrete examples of mechanisms for robust cognition.
Descriptors: Schemata (Cognition), Simulation, Semantics, Memory, Psychomotor Skills, Mathematical Models, Robustness (Statistics), Cognitive Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Air Force Research Laboratory (DOD); US Air Force (DOD), Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 13RH06COR