We analyze different aspects of our quantum modeling approach of human concepts and, more specifically, focus on the quantum effects of contextuality, interference, entanglement, and emergence, illustrating how each of them makes its appearance in specific situations of the dynamics of human concepts and their combinations. We point out the relation of our approach, which is based on an ontology of a concept as an entity in a state changing under influence of a context, with the main traditional concept theories, (...) that is, prototype theory, exemplar theory, and theory theory. We ponder about the question why quantum theory performs so well in its modeling of human concepts, and we shed light on this question by analyzing the role of complex amplitudes, showing how they allow to describe interference in the statistics of measurement outcomes, while in the traditional theories statistics of outcomes originates in classical probability weights, without the possibility of interference. The relevance of complex numbers, the appearance of entanglement, and the role of Fock space in explaining contextual emergence, all as unique features of the quantum modeling, are explicitly revealed in this article by analyzing human concepts and their dynamics. (shrink)
American Political Science Association Meeting, New Orleans, 1985. Belew, R. K. "E,volut,ioi1. Leariiing, and Culture: Computational Metaphors for Adaptive Algorithms? Complex Systems 4 (1990}: 11-49. Banner, J. T. The Evolution of Culture in Animals. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univcrsitv Press. 1980.
Dual-process models of cognition suggest that there are two types of thought: autonomous Type 1 processes and working memory dependent Type 2 processes that support hypothetical thinking. Models of creative thinking also distinguish between two sets of thinking processes: those involved in the generation of ideas and those involved with their refinement, evaluation, and/or selection. Here we review dual-process models in both these literatures and delineate the similarities and differences. Both generative creative processing and evaluative creative processing involve elements that (...) have been attributed to each of the dual processes of cognition. We explore the notion that creative thinking may rest upon the nature of a shifting process between Type 1 and Type 2 dual processes. We suggest that a synthesis of the evidence bases on dual-process models of cognition and of creative thinking, together with developing time-based approaches to explore the shifting process, could better inform the development of i.. (shrink)
We show that Bell inequalities can be violated in the macroscopic world. The macroworld violation is illustrated using an example involving connected vessels of water. We show that whether the violation of inequalities occurs in the microworld or the macroworld, it is the identification of nonidentical events that plays a crucial role. Specifically, we prove that if nonidentical events are consistently differentiated, Bell-type Pitowsky inequalities are no longer violated, even for Bohm's example of two entangled spin 1/2 quantum particles. We (...) show how Bell inequalities can be violated in cognition, specifically in the relationship between abstract concepts and specific instances of these concepts. This supports the hypothesis that genuine quantum structure exists in the mind. We introduce a model where the amount of nonlocality and the degree of quantum uncertainty are parameterized, and demonstrate that increasing nonlocality increases the degree of violation, while increasing quantum uncertainty decreases the degree of violation. (shrink)
We outline the rationale and preliminary results of using the State Context Property (SCOP) formalism, originally developed as a generalization of quantum mechanics, to describe the contextual manner in which concepts are evoked, used, and combined to generate meaning. The quantum formalism was developed to cope with problems arising in the description of (1) the measurement process, and (2) the generation of new states with new properties when particles become entangled. Similar problems arising with concepts motivated the formal treatment introduced (...) here. Concepts are viewed not as fixed representations, but entities existing in states of potentiality that require interaction with a context---a stimulus or another concept---to `collapse' to observable form as an exemplar, prototype, or other (possibly imaginary) instance. The stimulus situation plays the role of the measurement in physics, acting as context that induces a change of the cognitive state from superposition state to collapsed state. The collapsed state is more likely to consist of a conjunction of concepts for associative than analytic thought because more stimulus or concept properties take part in the collapse. We provide two contextual measures of conceptual distance---one using collapse probabilities and the other weighted properties---and show how they can be applied to conjunctions using the pet fish problem. (shrink)
We propose a theory for modeling concepts that uses the state-context-property theory (SCOP), a generalization of the quantum formalism, whose basic notions are states, contexts and properties. This theory enables us to incorporate context into the mathematical structure used to describe a concept, and thereby model how context influences the typicality of a single exemplar and the applicability of a single property of a concept. We introduce the notion `state of a concept' to account for this contextual influence, and show (...) that the structure of the set of contexts and of the set of properties of a concept is a complete orthocomplemented lattice. The structural study in this article is a preparation for a numerical mathematical theory of concepts in the Hilbert space of quantum mechanics that allows the description of the combination of concepts. (shrink)
Autocatalytic networks have been used to model the emergence of self‐organizing structure capable of sustaining life and undergoing biological evolution. Here, we model the emergence of cognitive structure capable of undergoing cultural evolution. Mental representations (MRs) of knowledge and experiences play the role of catalytic molecules, and interactions among them (e.g., the forging of new associations) play the role of reactions and result in representational redescription. The approach tags MRs with their source, that is, whether they were acquired through social (...) learning, individual learning (of pre‐existing information), or creative thought (resulting in the generation of new information). This makes it possible to model how cognitive structure emerges and to trace lineages of cumulative culture step by step. We develop a formal representation of the cultural transition from Oldowan to Acheulean tool technology using Reflexively Autocatalytic and Food set generated (RAF) networks. Unlike more primitive Oldowan stone tools, the Acheulean hand axe required not only the capacity to envision and bring into being something that did not yet exist, but hierarchically structured thought and action, and the generation of new MRs: the concepts EDGING, THINNING, SHAPING, and a meta‐concept, HAND AXE. We show how this constituted a key transition toward the emergence of semantic networks that were self‐organizing, self‐sustaining, and autocatalytic, and we discuss how such networks replicated through social interaction. The model provides a promising approach to unraveling one of the greatest anthropological mysteries: that of why development of the Acheulean hand axe was followed by over a million years of cultural stasis. (shrink)
We support the authors' claims, except that we point out that also quantum structure different from quantum probability abundantly plays a role in human cognition. We put forward several elements to illustrate our point, mentioning entanglement, contextuality, interference, and emergence as effects, and states, observables, complex numbers, and Fock space as specific mathematical structures.
The sets of contexts and properties of a concept are embedded in the complex Hilbert space of quantum mechanics. States are unit vectors or density operators, and contexts and properties are orthogonal projections. The way calculations are done in Hilbert space makes it possible to model how context influences the state of a concept. Moreover, a solution to the combination of concepts is proposed. Using the tensor product, a procedure for describing combined concepts is elaborated, providing a natural solution to (...) the pet fish problem. This procedure allows the modeling of an arbitrary number of combined concepts. By way of example, a model for a simple sentence containing a subject, a predicate and an object, is presented. (shrink)
An idea is not a replicator because it does not consist of coded self-assembly instructions. It may retain structure as it passes from one individual to another, but does not replicate it. The cultural replicator is not an idea but an associatively-structured network of them that together form an internal model of the world, or worldview. A worldview is a primitive, uncoded replicator, like the autocatalytic sets of polymers widely believed to be the earliest form of life. Primitive replicators generate (...) self-similar structure, but because the process happens in a piecemeal manner, through bottom-up interactions rather than a top-down code, they replicate with low fidelity, and acquired characteristics are inherited. Just as polymers catalyze reactions that generate other polymers, the retrieval of an item from memory can in turn trigger other items, thus cross-linking memories, ideas, and concepts into an integrated conceptual structure. Worldviews evolve idea by idea, largely through social exchange. An idea participates in the evolution of culture by revealing certain aspects of the worldview that generated it, thereby affecting the worldviews of those exposed to it. If an idea influences seemingly unrelated fields this does not mean that separate cultural lineages are contaminating one another, because it is worldviews, not ideas, that are the basic unit of cultural evolution. (shrink)
Empirical results suggest that defocusing attention results in primary process or associative thought, conducive to finding unusual connections, while focusing attention results in secondary process or analytic thought, conducive to rule-based operations. Creativity appears to involve both. It is widely believed that it is possible to escape mental fixation by spontaneously and temporarily engaging in a more divergent or associative mode of thought. The resulting insight may be refined in a more analytic mode of thought. The question addressed here is: (...) how does the architecture of memory support these two modes of thought, and what is happening at the neural level when one shifts between them? Recent advances in neuroscience shed light on this. It was demonstrated that activated cell assemblies are composed of multiple ‘neural cliques’, groups of neurons that respond differentially to general or context-specific aspects of a situation. I refer to neural cliques that would not be included in the assembly if one were in an analytic mode, but would be if one were in an associative mode, as ‘neurds’. It is posited that the shift to a more associative mode of thought conducive to insight is accomplished by recruiting neurds that respond to abstract or atypical subsymbolic microfeatures of the problem or situation. Since memory is distributed and content-addressable this fosters remindings and the forging of creative connections to potentially relevant items previously encoded in those neurons. Thus it is proposed that creative thought involves neither randomness, nor search through a space of predefined alternatives, but emerges naturally through the recruitment of neurds. It is suggested this occurs when there is a need to resolve conceptual gaps in ones’ internal model of the world, and resolution involves context-driven actualization of the potentiality afforded by its fine-grained associative structure. (shrink)
The quantum logical `or' is analyzed from a physical perspective. We show that it is the existence of EPR-like correlation states for the quantum mechanical entity under consideration that make it nonequivalent to the classical situation. Specifically, the presence of potentiality in these correlation states gives rise to the quantum deviation from the classical logical `or'. We show how this arises not only in the microworld, but also in macroscopic situations where EPR-like correlation states are present. We investigate how application (...) of this analysis to concepts could alleviate some well known problems in cognitive science. (shrink)
Because human cognition is creative and socially situated, knowledge accumulates, diffuses, and gets applied in new contexts, generating cultural analogs of phenomena observed in population genetics such as adaptation and drift. It is therefore commonly thought that elements of culture evolve through natural selection. However, natural selection was proposed to explain how change accumulates despite lack of inheritance of acquired traits, as occurs with template-mediated replication. It cannot accommodate a process with significant retention of acquired or horizontally (e.g. socially) transmitted (...) traits. Moreover, elements of culture cannot be treated as discrete lineages because they constantly interact and influence one another. It is proposed that what evolves through culture is the mind; ideas and artifacts are merely reflections of its current evolved state. Interacting minds transform (in part) through through a non-Darwinian autopoietic process similar to that by which early life evolved, involving not survival of the fittest but actualization of their potential. (shrink)
This paper reviews and clarifies five misunderstandings about cultural evolution identified by Henrich et al.. First, cultural representations are neither discrete nor continuous; they are distributed across neurons that respond to microfeatures. This enables associations to be made, and cultural change to be generated. Second, ‘replicator dynamics’ do not ensure natural selection. The replicator notion does not capture the distinction between actively interpreted self-assembly code and passively copied self-description, which leads to a fundamental principle of natural selection: inherited information is (...) transmitted, whereas acquired information is not. Third, this principle is violated in culture by the ubiquity of acquired change. Moreover, biased transmission is less important to culture than the creative processes by which novelty is generated. Fourth, there is no objective basis for determining cultural fitness. Fifth, the necessity of randomness is discussed. It is concluded that natural selection inappropriate is an explanatory framework for culture. (shrink)
To cope with problems arising in the description of (1) contextual interactions, and (2) the generation of new states with new properties when quantum entities become entangled, the mathematics of quantum mechanics was developed. Similar problems arise with concepts. We use a generalization of standard quantum mechanics, the mathematical lattice theoretic formalism, to develop a formal description of the contextual manner in which concepts are evoked, used, and combined to generate meaning.
In order to become aware of inconsistencies, one must first construe of the world in a way that reflects its consistencies. This paper begins with a tentative model for how a set of discrete memories transforms into an interconnected worldview wherein relationships between memories are forged by way of abstractions. Inconsistencies prompt the invention of new abstractions. In regions of the conceptual network where inconsistencies abound, a cognitive analog of simulated annealing is in order; there is a willingness to question (...) previous assumptionsto loosen conceptual relationshipsso as to let new concepts thoroughly percolate through the worldview and exert the needed revolutionary effect. In so doing there is a risk of assimilating dangerous concepts. Repression arrests the process by which dangerous thoughts infiltrate the conceptual network, and deception blocks thoughts that have already been assimilated. These forms of self-initiated worldview inconsistency may evoke feelings of fragmentation at the level of the individual or the society. (shrink)
A stream of conscious experience is extremely contextual; it is impacted by sensory stimuli, drives and emotions, and the web of associations that link, directly or indirectly, the subject of experience to other elements of the individual's worldview. The contextuality of one's conscious experience both enhances and constrains the contextuality of one's behavior. Since we cannot know first-hand the conscious experience of another, it is by way of behavioral contextuality that we make judgements about whether or not, and to what (...) extent, a system is conscious. Thus we believe that a deep understanding of contextuality is vital to the study of consciousness. Methods have been developed for handling contextuality in the microworld of quantum particles. Our goal has been to investigate the extent to which these methods can be used to analyze contextuality in conscious experience. (shrink)
from non-conscious components by positing that consciousness is a universal primitive. For example, the double aspect theory of information holds that infor- mation has a phenomenal aspect. How then do you get from phenomenal infor- mation to human consciousness? This paper proposes that an entity is conscious to the extent it amplifies information, first by trapping and integrating it through closure, and second by maintaining dynamics at the edge of chaos through simul- taneous processes of divergence and convergence. The origin (...) of life through autocatalytic closure, and the origin of an interconnected worldview through conceptual closure, induced phase transitions in the degree to which informa- tion, and thus consciousness, is locally amplified. Divergence and convergence of cognitive information may involve phenomena observed in light e.g. focusing, interference, and resonance. By making information flow inward- biased, clo- sure shields us from external consciousness; thus the paucity of consciousness may be an illusion. (shrink)
Encultured individuals see the behavioral rules of cultural systems of moral norms as objective. In addition to prescriptive regulation of behavior, moral norms provide templates, scripts, and scenarios regulating the expression of feelings and triggered emotions arising from perceptions of norm violation. These allow regulated defensive responses that may arise as moral idea systems co-opt emotionally associated biological survival instincts.
The improbability of a spontaneously generated self-assembling molecule has suggested that life began with a set of simpler, collectively replicating elements, such as an enclosed autocatalytic set of polymers (or autocell). Since replication occurs without a self-assembly code, acquired characteristics are inherited. Moreover, there is no strict distinction between alive and dead; one can only infer that an autocell was alive if it replicates. These features of early life render natural selection inapplicable to the description of its change-of-state because they (...) defy its underlying assumptions. Moreover, natural selection describes only randomly generated novelty; it cannot describe the emergence of form at the interface between organism and environment. Self-organization is also inadequate because it is restricted to interactions amongst parts; it too cannot account for context-driven change. A modified version of selection theory or self-organization would not work because the description of change-of-state through interaction with an incompletely specified context has a completely different mathematical structure, i.e. entails a non-Kolmogorovian probability model. It is proposed that the evolution of early life is appropriately described as lineage transformation through context-driven actualization of potential, with self-organized change-of-state being a special case of no contextual influence, and competitive exclusion of less fit individuals through a selection-like process possibly (but not necessarily) playing a secondary role. It is argued that natural selection played an important role in evolution only after genetically mediated replication was established. (shrink)
This paper uses autocatalytic networks to model discontinuous cultural transitions involving cross-domain transfer, using as an illustrative example, artworks inspired by the oldest-known uncontested example of figurative art: the carving of the Hohlenstein-Stadel Löwenmensch, or lion-human. Autocatalytic networks provide a general modeling setting in which nodes are not just passive transmitters of activation; they actively galvanize, or “catalyze” the synthesis of novel nodes from existing ones This makes them uniquely suited to model how new structure grows out of earlier structure, (...) i.e., cumulative, generative network growth. They have been used to model the origin and early evolution of biological life, and the emergence of cognitive structures capable of undergoing cultural evolution. We conducted a study in which six individual creators and one group generated music, prose, poetry, and visual art inspired by the Hohlenstein-Stadel Löwenmensch, and answered questions about the process. The data revealed four through-lines by which they expressed the Löwenmensch in an alternative art form: lion-human hybrid, subtracting from the whole to reveal the form within, deterioration, and waiting to be found with a story to tell. Autocatalytic networks were used to model how these four spontaneously derived through-lines form a cultural lineage from Löwenmensch to artist to audience. We used the resulting data from three creators to model the cross-domain transfer from inspirational source to creative product. These four spontaneously-generated threads of cultural continuity formed the backbone of this Löwenmensch-inspired cultural lineage, enabling culture to evolve even in the face of discontinuity at the level conventional categories or domains. We know of no other theory of cultural evolution that accommodates cross-domain transfer or other forms of discontinuity. The approach paves the way for a broad scientific framework for the origins of evolutionary processes. (shrink)
Like the information patterns that evolve through. biological processes, mental representations or memes evolve through adaptive exploration and transformation of an information space through variation, selection, and transmission. However since memes do not contain instructions for their replication our brains do it for them, strategically, guided by a fitness landscape that reflects both internal drives and a worldview that forms through meme assimilation. This paper presents a tentative model for how an individual becomes a meme evolving agent via the emergence (...) of an autocatalytic network of sparse, distributed memories, and discusses implications for complex creative thought processes and why they are unique to humans. A hypothetical scenario for the evolutionary dynamics of a given meme in a society of interacting individuals is presented. (shrink)
It is increasingly evident that there is more to biological evolution than natural selection; moreover, the concept of evolution is not limited to biology. We propose an integrative framework for characterizing how entities evolve, in which evolution is viewed as a process of context-driven actualization of potential (CAP). Processes of change differ according to the degree of nondeterminism, and the degree to which they are sensitive to, internalize, and depend upon a particular context. The approach enables us to embed phenomena (...) across disciplines into a broad conceptual framework. We give examples of insights into physics, biology, culture and cognition that derive from this unifying framework. (shrink)
This paper describes a tentative model for how discrete memories transform into an interconnected conceptual network, or worldview, wherein relationships between memories are forged by way of abstractions. The model draws on Kauffman’s theory of how an information-evolving system could emerge through the formation and closure of an autocatalytic network. Here, the information units are not catalytic molecules, but memories and abstractions, and the process that connects them is not catalysis but reminding events (i.e. one memory evokes another). The result (...) is a worldview that both structures, and is structured by, self-triggered streams of thought. (shrink)
It is perhaps not so baffling that we have the ability to develop, refine, and manifest a creative idea, once it has been conceived. But what sort of a system could spawn the initial seed of creativity from which an idea grows? This paper looks at how the mind is structured in such a way that we can experience a glimmer of insight or inkling of artistic inspiration.
We re-examine the long-held postulate that there are two modes of thought, and develop a more fine-grained analysis of how different modes of thought affect conceptual change. We suggest that cognitive development entails the fine-tuning of three dimensions of thought: abstractness, divergence, and context-specificity. Using a quantum cognition modeling approach, we show how these three variables differ, and explain why they would have a distinctively different impacts on thought processes and mental contents. We suggest that, through simultaneous manipulation of all (...) three variables, one spontaneously, and on an ongoing basis, tailors one's mode of thought to the demands of the current situation. The paper concludes with an analysis based on results from an earlier study of children's mental models of the shape of the Earth. The example illustrates how, through reiterated transition between mental states using these three variables, thought processes unfold, and conceptual change ensues. While this example concerns children, the approach applies more broadly to adults as well as children. (shrink)
As the physical world becomes tamed and mapped out, opportunities to experience the unknown become rarer; imaginary worlds provide a much-needed sense of potentiality. Potentiality is central to the Self-Other Re-organization theory of cultural evolution, which postulates that creativity fuels cumulative cultural change. We point to evidence that fear affects, not the magnitude of exploration, but how cautiously it proceeds.
Selection theory requires multiple, simultaneously-actualized states. In cognition, each thought changes the “selection pressure” against which the next is evaluated; they are not simultaneously selected amongst. Cognitive change occurs not through selection among discrete “neural configurations,” but through interaction between conceptual web and context. This introduces a non-Kolmogorovian probability distribution, hence a classical formalism (e.g., selection theory) cannot be used.
The argument that cumulative technological culture originates in technical-reasoning skills is not the only alternative to social accounts; another possibility is that accumulation ofbothtechnical-reasoning skillsandenhanced social skills stemmed from the onset of a more basic cognitive ability such as recursive representational redescription. The paper confuses individual learning of pre-existing information with creative generation of new information.
The metaphor between physical light and inner light has a long history that permeates diverse languages and cultures. This paper outlines a system for using basic principles from optics to visually represent psychological states and processes, such as ideation, enlightenment, mindfulness, and fragmentation versus integrity, as well as situations that occur between people involving phenomena such as honest versus deceptive communication, and understanding versus misunderstanding. The paper summarizes two ongoing projects based on this system: The ‘Light and Enlightenment” art installation (...) project, and the Soultracker virtual reality project. These projects enable people to depict their inner lives and external worlds including situations and relationships with others, both as they are and as they could be, and explore alternative paths for navigating challenges and living to their fullest potential. The projects aim to be of clinical value as therapeutic tools, as well as of pedagogical value by providing a concrete language for depicting aspects of human nature that can otherwise seem elusive and intangible. (shrink)
The capacity for flexible niche construction increases suddenly and dramatically when discrete memories and sensorimotor associations become woven into an interconnected worldview. Ontogenetic learning is as vital to culture as social learning because it is the wellspring of cultural novelty. Human altruism may result from pressures exerted at the level of cultural rather than biological replicators.
The argument that heritable epigenetic change plays a distinct role in evolution would be strengthened through recognition that it is what bootstrapped the origin and early evolution of life, and that, like behavioral and symbolic change, it is non-Darwinian. The mathematics of natural selection, a population-level process, is limited to replication with negligible individual-level change that uses a self-assembly code.
The improbability of a spontaneously generated self-assembling molecule has suggested that life began with a set of simpler, collectively replicating elements, such as an enclosed autocatalytic set of polymers (or protocell). Since replication occurs without a self-assembly code, acquired characteristics are inherited. Moreover, there is no strict distinction between alive and dead; one can only infer that a protocell was alive if it replicates. These features of early life render natural selection inapplicable to the description of its change-of-state because they (...) defy its underlying assumptions. Moreover, natural selection describes only randomly generated novelty; it cannot describe the emergence of form at the interface between organism and environment. Self-organization is also inadequate because it is restricted to interactions amongst parts; it too cannot account for context-driven change. A modified version of selection theory or self-organization would not work because the description of change-of-state through interaction with an incompletely specified context has a completely different mathematical structure, i.e. entails a non-Kolmogorovian probability model. It is proposed that the evolution of early life is appropriately described as lineage transformation through context-driven actualization of potential (CAP), with self-organized change-of-state being a special case of no contextual influence, and competitive exclusion of less fit individuals through a selection-like process possibly (but not necessarily) playing a secondary role. It is argued that natural selection played an important role in evolution only after genetically mediated replication was established. (shrink)