Rumination is a process of uncontrolled, narrowly focused negative thinking that is often self-referential, and that is a hallmark of depression. Despite its importance, little is known about its cognitive mechanisms. Rumination can be thought of as a specific, constrained form of mind-wandering. Here, we introduce a cognitive model of rumination that we developed on the basis of our existing model of mind-wandering. The rumination model implements the hypothesis that rumination is caused by maladaptive habits of thought. These habits of (...) thought are modeled by adjusting the number of memory chunks and their associative structure, which changes the sequence of memories that are retrieved during mind-wandering, such that during rumination the same set of negative memories is retrieved repeatedly. The implementation of habits of thought was guided by empirical data from an experience sampling study in healthy and depressed participants. On the basis of this empirically derived memory structure, our model naturally predicts the declines in cognitive task performance that are typically observed in depressed patients. This study demonstrates how we can use cognitive models to better understand the cognitive mechanisms underlying rumination and depression. (shrink)
The goal of cognitive modeling is to build faithful simulations of human cognition. One of the challenges is that multiple models can often explain the same phenomena. Another challenge is that models are often very hard to understand, explore, and reuse by others. We discuss some of the solutions that were discussed during the 2015 International Conference on Cognitive Modeling.
Cognitive modeling is the effort to understand the mind by implementing theories of the mind in computer code, producing measures comparable to human behavior and mental activity. The community of cognitive modelers has traditionally met twice every 3 years at the International Conference on Cognitive Modeling. In this special issue of topiCS, we present the best papers from the ICCM meeting. These best papers represent advances in the state of the art in cognitive modeling. Since ICCM was for the first (...) time also held jointly with the Society for Mathematical Psychology, we use this preface to also reflect on the similarities and differences between mathematical psychology and cognitive modeling. (shrink)
Compared to approach motivation, avoidance motivation evokes vigilance, attention to detail, systematic information processing, and the recruitment of cognitive resources. From a conservation of energy perspective it follows that people would be reluctant to engage in the kind of effortful cognitive processing evoked by avoidance motivation, unless the benefits of expending this energy outweigh the costs. We put forward three empirically testable propositions concerning approach and avoidance motivation, investment of energy, and the consequences of such investments. Specifically, we propose that (...) compared to approach-motivated people, avoidance-motivated people (a) carefully select situations in which they exert such cognitive effort, (b) only perform well in the absence of distracters that occupy cognitive resources, and (c) become depleted after exerting such cognitive effort. (shrink)
ABSTRACTEmotion differentiation refers to the precision with which people can identify and distinguish their emotions and has been associated with well-being in adults. This study investigated ED and its relation with emotional well-being in adolescents. We used an experience sampling method with 72 participants to assess adolescents’ positive and negative emotions at different time points over the course of two weekends and a baseline questionnaire to assess emotional well-being. Differentiating negative emotions was related to less negativity intensity and propensity, and (...) to the belief that emotions are malleable. Differentiating positive emotions was not related to any of the assessed well-being variables. Together, these results suggest that a detailed awareness of one’s negative emotional states is an important dimension of well-being, also in adolescence. (shrink)
For a large proportion of our daily lives, spontaneously occurring thoughts tend to disengage our minds from goal-directed thinking. Previous studies showed that EEG features such as the P3 and alpha oscillations can predict mind-wandering to some extent, but only with accuracies of around 60%. A potential candidate for improving prediction accuracy is the Steady-State Visual Evoked Potential, which is used frequently in single-trial contexts such as brain-computer interfaces as a marker of the direction of attention. In this study, we (...) modified the sustained attention to response task that is usually employed to measure spontaneous thought to incorporate the SSVEP elicited by a 12.5-Hz flicker. We then examined whether the SSVEP could track and allow for the prediction of the stickiness and task-relatedness dimensions of spontaneous thought. Our results show that the SSVEP evoked by flickering words was able to distinguish between more and less sticky thinking but not between whether a participant was on- or off-task. This suggests that the SSVEP is able to track spontaneous thinking when it is strongly disengaged from the task but not off-task thought in general. Future research should determine the exact dimensions of spontaneous thought to which the SSVEP is most sensitive. (shrink)
This article presents preliminary considerations and results from a research project designed to investigate the relation between gestures, graphic traces and perceptions. More specifically, the project aims to test the hypothesis that graphic traces, including handwriting, can set up graphetic empathy between writers and readers of traces across long temporal and spatial distances. Insofar as a graphic trace is lawfully related to the gesture by which it came into being, the trace itself will hold information about the gesture, which may (...) resonate with the sensorimotor system of a perceiver, as if they themselves performed the gesture. If this is in fact so, it will have important and hitherto unanticipated implications for our understanding of the embodiment of reading. As part of the article we will present and discuss the results of a neurophenomenological trial study through which we attempt to operationalize the gesture-trace and trace–perception relations respectively. (shrink)
This article focuses on an anonymous ascetic text which is unpublished until now, and offers the critical edition of this short work containing a series of recommendations to Athonite monks, alphabetically organized and ending with the letter gamma ; the text is preserved in two manuscripts: Athous, Dionysiou 269, of the XVth c., and Athous, Lavra K 116, of the XVIth c.
This book presents the framework for a new, comprehensive approach to cognitive science. The proposed paradigm, enaction, offers an alternative to cognitive science's classical, first-generation Computational Theory of Mind. _Enaction_, first articulated by Varela, Thompson, and Rosch in _The Embodied Mind_, breaks from CTM's formalisms of information processing and symbolic representations to view cognition as grounded in the sensorimotor dynamics of the interactions between a living organism and its environment. A living organism enacts the world it lives in; its embodied (...) action in the world constitutes its perception and thereby grounds its cognition. _Enaction_ offers a range of perspectives on this exciting new approach to embodied cognitive science. Some chapters offer manifestos for the enaction paradigm; others address specific areas of research, including artificial intelligence, developmental psychology, neuroscience, language, phenomenology, and culture and cognition. Three themes emerge as testimony to the originality and specificity of enaction as a paradigm: the relation between first-person lived experience and third-person natural science; the ambition to provide an encompassing framework applicable at levels from the cell to society; and the difficulties of reflexivity. Taken together, the chapters offer nothing less than the framework for a far-reaching renewal of cognitive science. Contributors: Renaud Barbaras, Didier Bottineau, Giovanna Colombetti, Diego Cosmelli, Hanne De Jaegher, Ezequiel A. Di Paolo. Andreas K. Engel, Olivier Gapenne, Véronique Havelange, Edwin Hutchins, Michel Le Van Quyen, Rafael E. Núñez, Marieke Rohde, Benny Shanon, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Adam Sheya, Linda B. Smith, John Stewart, Evan Thompson. (shrink)
Within current debates about the future impact of Artificial Intelligence on human society, roughly three different perspectives can be recognised: the technology-centric perspective, claiming that AI will soon outperform humankind in all areas, and that the primary threat for humankind is superintelligence; the human-centric perspective, claiming that humans will always remain superior to AI when it comes to social and societal aspects, and that the main threat of AI is that humankind’s social nature is overlooked in technological designs; and the (...) collective intelligence-centric perspective, claiming that true intelligence lies in the collective of intelligent agents, both human and artificial, and that the main threat for humankind is that technological designs create problems at the collective, systemic level that are hard to oversee and control. The current paper offers the following contributions: a clear description for each of the three perspectives, along with their history and background; an analysis and interpretation of current applications of AI in human society according to each of the three perspectives, thereby disentangling miscommunication in the debate concerning threats of AI; and a new integrated and comprehensive research design framework that addresses all aspects of the above three perspectives, and includes principles that support developers to reflect and anticipate upon potential effects of AI in society. (shrink)
Nudging is considered a promising approach for behavioural change. At the same time, nudging has raised ethical concerns, specifically in relation to the impact of nudges on autonomous choice. A complexity is that in this debate authors may appeal to different understandings or dimensions of autonomy. Clarifying the different conceptualisations of autonomy in ethical debates around nudging would help to advance our understanding of the ethics of nudging. A literature review of these considerations was conducted in order to identify and (...) differentiate between the conceptualisations of autonomy. In 33 articles on the ethics of nudging, we identified 280 autonomy considerations, which we labelled with 790 unique autonomy codes and grouped under 61 unique super-codes. Finally, we formulated three general conceptualisations of autonomy. Freedom of choice refers to the availability of options and the environment in which individuals have to make choices. Agency involves an individual's capacity to deliberate and determine what to choose. Self-constitution relates to someone's identity and self-chosen goals. In the debate about the ethics of nudging, authors refer to different senses of autonomy. Clarifying these conceptualisations contributes to a better understanding of how nudges can undermine or, on the other hand, strengthen autonomy. (shrink)
Several evolutionary accounts of human social cognition posit that language has co-evolved with the sophisticated mindreading abilities of modern humans. It has also been argued that these mindreading abilities are the product of cultural, rather than biological, evolution. Taken together, these claims suggest that the evolution of language has played an important role in the cultural evolution of human social cognition. Here we present a new computational model which formalises the assumptions that underlie this hypothesis, in order to explore how (...) language and mindreading interact through cultural evolution. This model treats communicative behaviour as an interplay between the context in which communication occurs, an agent’s individual perspective on the world, and the agent’s lexicon. However, each agent’s perspective and lexicon are private mental representations, not directly observable to other agents. Learners are therefore confronted with the task of jointly inferring the lexicon and perspective of their cultural parent, based on their utterances in context. Simulation results show that given these assumptions, an informative lexicon evolves not just under a pressure to be successful at communicating, but also under a pressure for accurate perspective-inference. When such a lexicon evolves, agents become better at inferring others’ perspectives; not because their innate ability to learn about perspectives changes, but because sharing a language with others helps them to do so. (shrink)
In his The Symbolism of Evil Ricœur explores the dynamics of human consciousness of evil in different cultures and times. Consciousness of evil is examined by looking at the different prevailing symbols wherein human beings confess their experience with evil. Although appeared in 1960, this study is still cited in recent publications in psychology, cultural anthropology and religion. In this article I describe the context of The Symbolism of Evil as the last part of Ricœur’s study of the will and (...) give a summary of its relevant content. (shrink)
Most language learners have difficulties acquiring the phonemes of a second language. Unfortunately, they are often judged on their L2 pronunciation, and segmental inaccuracies contribute to miscommunication. Therefore, we aim to determine how to facilitate phoneme acquisition. Given the close relationship between speech and co-speech gesture, previous work unsurprisingly reports that gestures can benefit language acquisition, e.g., in word learning. However, gesture studies on L2 phoneme acquisition present contradictory results, implying that both specific properties of gestures and phonemes used in (...) training, and their combination, may be relevant. We investigated the effect of phoneme and gesture complexity on L2 phoneme acquisition. In a production study, Dutch natives received instruction on the pronunciation of two Spanish phonemes, /u/ and /θ/. Both are typically difficult to produce for Dutch natives because their orthographic representation differs between both languages. Moreover, /θ/ is considered more complex than /u/, since the Dutch phoneme inventory contains /u/ but not /θ/. The instruction participants received contained Spanish examples presented either via audio-only, audio-visually without gesture, audio-visually with a simple, pointing gesture, or audio-visually with a more complex, iconic gesture representing the relevant speech articulator. Preceding and following training, participants read aloud Spanish sentences containing the target phonemes. In a perception study, Spanish natives rated the target words from the production study on accentedness and comprehensibility. Our results show that combining gesture and speech in L2 phoneme training can lead to significant improvement in L2 phoneme production, but both gesture and phoneme complexity affect successful learning: Significant learning only occurred for the less complex phoneme /u/ after seeing the more complex iconic gesture, whereas for the more complex phoneme /θ/, seeing the more complex gesture actually hindered acquisition. The perception results confirm the production findings and show that items containing /θ/ produced after receiving training with a less complex pointing gesture are considered less foreign-accented and more easily comprehensible as compared to the same items after audio-only training. This shows that gesture can facilitate task performance in L2 phonology acquisition, yet complexity affects whether certain gestures work better for certain phonemes than others. (shrink)