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Intractability is a growing concern across the cognitive sciences: while many models of cognition can describe and predict human behavior in the lab, it remains unclear how these models can scale to situations of real-world complexity. Cognition and Intractability is the first book to provide an accessible introduction to computational complexity analysis and its application to questions of intractability in cognitive science. Covering both classical and parameterized complexity analysis, it introduces the mathematical concepts and proof techniques that can be used to test one's intuition of (in)tractability. It also describes how these tools can be applied to cognitive modeling to deal with intractability, and its ramifications, in a systematic way. Aimed at students and researchers in philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence, and linguistics who want to build a firm understanding of intractability and its implications in their modeling work, it is an ideal resource for teaching or self-study.
Abstract concepts are often embodied through metaphor. For example, we talk about moving through time in metaphorical terms, as if we were moving through space, allowing us to 'look back' on past events. Much of the work on embodied metaphor to date has assumed a single set of universal, shared bodily experiences that motivate our understanding of abstract concepts. This book explores sources of variation in people's experiences of embodied metaphor, including, for example, the shape and size of one's body, one's age, gender, state of mind, physical or linguistic impairments, personality, ideology, political stance, religious beliefs, and linguistic background. It focuses on the ways in which people's experiences of metaphor fluctuate over time within a single communicative event or across a lifetime. Combining theoretical argument with findings from new studies, Littlemore analyses sources of variation in embodied metaphor and provides a deeper understanding of the nature of embodied metaphor itself.
'A gripping new drama in science ... if you want to understand how the concept of life is changing, read this' Professor Andrew Briggs, University of Oxford When Darwin set out to explain the origin of species, he made no attempt to answer the deeper question: what is life? For generations, scientists have struggled to make sense of this fundamental question. Life really does look like magic: even a humble bacterium accomplishes things so dazzling that no human engineer can match it. And yet, huge advances in molecular biology over the past few decades have served only to deepen the mystery. So can life be explained by known physics and chemistry, or do we need something fundamentally new? In this penetrating and wide-ranging new analysis, world-renowned physicist and science communicator Paul Davies searches for answers in a field so new and fast-moving that it lacks a name, a domain where computing, chemistry, quantum physics and nanotechnology intersect. At the heart of these diverse fields, Davies explains, is the concept of information: a quantity with the power to unify biology with physics, transform technology and medicine, and even to illuminate the age-old question of whether we are alone in the universe. From life's murky origins to the microscopic engines that run the cells of our bodies, The Demon in the Machine is a breath-taking journey across the landscape of physics, biology, logic and computing. Weaving together cancer and consciousness, two-headed worms and bird navigation, Davies reveals how biological organisms garner and process information to conjure order out of chaos, opening a window on the secret of life itself.
Brain and behaviour are intrinsically linked. Animals demonstrate a huge and complex repertoire of behaviours, so how can specific behaviours be mapped onto the complicated neural circuits of the brain? Highlighting the extraordinary advances that have been made in the field of behavioural neuroscience over recent decades, this book examines how behaviours can be understood in terms of their neural mechanisms. Each chapter outlines the components of a particular behaviour, discussing laboratory techniques, the key brain structures involved, and the underpinning cellular and molecular mechanisms. Commins covers a range of topics including learning in a simple invertebrate, fear conditioning, taste aversion, sound localization, and echolocation in bats, as well as more complex behaviours, such as language development, spatial navigation and circadian rhythms. Demonstrating key processes through clear, step-by-step explanations and numerous illustrations, this will be valuable reading for students of zoology, animal behaviour, psychology, and neuroscience.
In The Power of Habit , award-winning New York Times business
reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific
discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed.
‘Wendy Wood is the world’s foremost expert in the field, and this book is essential’ – Angela Duckworth, bestselling author of Grit
The scientifically proven way to easily make positive changes in your life by unlocking your habits, written the world's foremost expert on habits.
Much of what we do, we do by habit. How we respond to the people around us; what we buy; when and how we exercise, eat and drink are nearly all done without conscious thought.
And yet, whenever we want to change something about ourselves, we rely on willpower alone. We hope that our determination and intention will be enough to effect positive change. And that is why almost all of us fail.
What if you could harness the extraordinary power of your unconscious mind, which already determines so much of what you do, to achieve your goals? Drawing on three decades of original research, Wendy Wood shows how habits are stress-resistant, that varying rewards leads to faster and more effective habit formation, and why the oft-repeated idea that forming a habit takes twenty-one days is wrong. Explaining the fascinating science of how habits form, Wood provides the key to unlocking our habitual mind in order to make the changes we seek.
"Please read this book. It's the best tool to obtain the best mental health for the average man or woman" - Santiago Dexeus MD. "Without doubt, this is the best method to acquire emotional strength" - Dr Luis Miguel Martin, psychiatrist. "With this book you will initiate a marvelous trip to inner peace and fulfillment" - Manolo Garcia, musician. Bestselling author Rafael Santandreu knows how to ensure our happiness in life. One of the most prestigious psychologists in Spain, he has established his own renowned center of psychotherapy and has laid the foundations of a new era in the treatment of emotional disorders. Teaching a philosophy of rational acceptance and emotional resilience, Santandreu allows us to use our capacity for logic to good effect in everyday life. We do not need to be buffeted by our emotions or to catastrophise our lives. Building on the work of the imminent psychologist Albert Ellis, Santandreu adds his own take on how to build our capacity for dealing with life's problems. Shake It Off! offers ways to: - Build self-esteem - Improve personal relationships - Alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety - Unravel irrational beliefs and unhealthy thought-patterns With case studies and suggestions throughout, you will learn how to stop obsessive, unhelpful thoughts and create a life which is free from fears and open to adventure.
Bodies and Other Objects is written for students, scholars and anyone with an interest in embodied cognition - the claim that the human mind cannot be understood without regard for the actions and capacities of the body. The impulse to write this book was a dissatisfaction with the inconsistent, and often shallow, use of the term 'embodied cognition'. This text attempts to reframe cognitive science with a unified theory of embodied cognition in which sensorimotor elements provide the basis for cognition, including symbolic exchanges that arise within a society of agents. It draws ideas and evidence from experimental psychology, neuroscience, philosophy and anthropology in reaching the conclusion that human cognition is best understood as the means by which exchanges within a constantly evolving network of skilful bodies and objects are regulated so as to further human interests.
Where do the best ideas come from? And how do we apply these ideas to the problems we face - at work, in the education of our children, and in the biggest shared challenges of our age: rising obesity, terrorism and climate change? In this bold and inspiring new book, Matthew Syed - the bestselling author of Bounce and Black Box Thinking - argues that individual intelligence is no longer enough; that the only way to tackle these complex problems is to harness the power of our 'cognitive diversity'. Rebel Ideas is a fascinating journey through the science of team performance. It draws on psychology, economics, anthropology and genetics, and takes lessons from a dazzling range of case-studies, including the catastrophic intelligence failings of the CIA before 9/11, a communication breakdown at the top of Mount Everest, and a moving tale of deradicalization in America's deep South. It is book that will strengthen any company, institution or team, but it also offers many individual applications too: the remarkable benefits of personalised nutrition, advice on how to break free of the echo chambers that surround us, and tips on how we can all develop an 'outsider mindset'. Rebel Ideas offers a radical blueprint for creative problem-solving. It challenges hierarchies, encourages constructive dissent and forces us to think again about where the best ideas come from.
Whenever you get dressed, carry objects, write, draw, or gesture, you express knowledge about how to get things done with your hands. Ironically, that knowledge is often difficult to express. Typically you can't say what you know. Still, it would be enormously useful to identify the knowledge underlying manual control. The design of equipment and transportation systems might better anticipate the abilities and limitations of users, and methods of teaching and rehabilitating skills might improve. This book, the first on the cognitive psychology of manual control, uncovers the hidden knowledge that hands express. Organized around key topics in this emerging area, including the role of the will in manual control, illusions concerning hand position sense, and the coordination of manual actions with others, Knowing Hands explains the planning and control of manual actions in everyday life.
Over the course of her career, Barbara Stafford has established herself the preeminent scholar of the intersections of the arts and sciences, articulating new theories and methods for understanding the sublime, the mysterious, the inscrutable. Omnivorous in her research, she has published work that embraces neuroscience and philosophy, biology and culture, pinpointing connections among each discipline's parallel concerns. Ribbon of Darkness is a monument to the scope of her work and the range of her intellect. At times associative, but always incisive, the essays in this new volume take on a distinctly contemporary purpose: to uncover the ethical force and moral aspects of overlapping scientific and creative inquiries. This shared territory, Stafford argues, offers important insights into--and clarifications of--current dilemmas about personhood, the supposedly menial nature of manual skill, the questionable borderlands of gene editing, the potentially refining value of dualism, and the limits of a materialist worldview. Stafford organizes these essays around three concepts that structure the book: inscrutability, ineffability, and intuitability. All three, she explains, allow us to examine how both the arts and the sciences imaginatively infer meaning from the "veiled behavior of matter," bringing these historically divided subjects into a shared intellectual inquiry and imbuing them with an ethical urgency. A vanguard work at the intersection of the arts and sciences, this book will be sure to guide readers from either realm into unfamiliar yet undeniably fertile territory.
Why people are not as gullible as we think Not Born Yesterday explains how we decide who we can trust and what we should believe-and argues that we're pretty good at making these decisions. In this lively and provocative book, Hugo Mercier demonstrates how virtually all attempts at mass persuasion-whether by religious leaders, politicians, or advertisers-fail miserably. Drawing on recent findings from political science and other fields ranging from history to anthropology, Mercier shows that the narrative of widespread gullibility, in which a credulous public is easily misled by demagogues and charlatans, is simply wrong. Why is mass persuasion so difficult? Mercier uses the latest findings from experimental psychology to show how each of us is endowed with sophisticated cognitive mechanisms of open vigilance. Computing a variety of cues, these mechanisms enable us to be on guard against harmful beliefs, while being open enough to change our minds when presented with the right evidence. Even failures-when we accept false confessions, spread wild rumors, or fall for quack medicine-are better explained as bugs in otherwise well-functioning cognitive mechanisms than as symptoms of general gullibility. Not Born Yesterday shows how we filter the flow of information that surrounds us, argues that we do it well, and explains how we can do it better still.
This book explains the foundation of approximate Bayesian computation (ABC), an approach to Bayesian inference that does not require the specification of a likelihood function. As a result, ABC can be used to estimate posterior distributions of parameters for simulation-based models. Simulation-based models are now very popular in cognitive science, as are Bayesian methods for performing parameter inference. As such, the recent developments of likelihood-free techniques are an important advancement for the field. Chapters discuss the philosophy of Bayesian inference as well as provide several algorithms for performing ABC. Chapters also apply some of the algorithms in a tutorial fashion, with one specific application to the Minerva 2 model. In addition, the book discusses several applications of ABC methodology to recent problems in cognitive science. Likelihood-Free Methods for Cognitive Science will be of interest to researchers and graduate students working in experimental, applied, and cognitive science.
THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER'A master of the genre' THE TIMES 'A gripping read, full of intelligence and perspective' JAMES DYSON 'Will change the way you think about success and even about life' JUDY MURRAY 'On a vital and still-overlooked topic, Matthew Syed has assembled a compelling base of evidence from a wide range of scientists. If that sounds intimidating, don't worry: Syed is a superb storyteller. I couldn't put the book down, and I learned so much. A stunning achievement' TIM HARFORD, AUTHOR OF THE UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST Matthew Syed's phenomenal bestseller will change the way you think about success - forever. Rebel Ideas examines the power of 'cognitive diversity' - the ability to think differently about the world around us. It explains how to harness our unique perspectives, pool our collective intelligence and tackle the greatest challenges of our age - from climate change to terrorism. It draws on a dazzling range of case studies, including the catastrophic failings of the CIA before 9/11, a fatal communication breakdown on top of Mount Everest and a moving tale of de-radicalisation in America's Deep South. Rebel Ideas will strengthen any team or organisation, but has dozens of personal applications, too: from the art of personal reinvention to the remarkable benefits of personalised nutrition. It shows us how to become more creative, how to collaborate in a world becoming more interconnected, and how to break free of the echo chambers that surround us all. It's time to think differently...
No one likes to be bored. Two leading psychologists explain what causes boredom and how to listen to what it is telling you, so you can live a more engaged life. We avoid boredom at all costs. It makes us feel restless and agitated. Desperate for something to do, we play games on our phones, retie our shoes, or even count ceiling tiles. And if we escape it this time, eventually it will strike again. But what if we listened to boredom instead of banishing it? Psychologists James Danckert and John Eastwood contend that boredom isn't bad for us. It's just that we do a bad job of heeding its guidance. When we're bored, our minds are telling us that whatever we are doing isn't working-we're failing to satisfy our basic psychological need to be engaged and effective. Too many of us respond poorly. We become prone to accidents, risky activities, loneliness, and ennui, and we waste ever more time on technological distractions. But, Danckert and Eastwood argue, we can let boredom have the opposite effect, motivating the change we need. The latest research suggests that an adaptive approach to boredom will help us avoid its troubling effects and, through its reminder to become aware and involved, might lead us to live fuller lives. Out of My Skull combines scientific findings with everyday observations to explain an experience we'd like to ignore, but from which we have a lot to learn. Boredom evolved to help us. It's time we gave it a chance.
In this ground-breaking work, philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark turns a common view of the human mind upside down. In stark opposition to familiar models of human cognition, Surfing Uncertainty explores exciting new theories in neuroscience, psychology, and artificial intelligence that reveal minds like ours to be prediction machines-devices that have evolved to anticipate the incoming streams of sensory stimulation before they arrive. This keeps minds like ours a few steps ahead of the game, poised to respond rapidly and apparently effortlessly to threats and opportunities as (and sometimes even before) they arise. Creatures thus equipped are more than simple response machines. They are knowing agents deep in the business of understanding their worlds. Such agents cope with changing and uncertain worlds by combining sensory evidence with informed prediction. Remarkably, the learning that makes neural prediction possible can itself be accomplished by the ceaseless effort to make better and better predictions. A single fundamental trick (the trick of trying to predict your own sensory inputs) thus enables learning, empowers moment-by-moment perception, and installs a rich understanding of the surrounding world. Action itself now appears in a new and revealing light. For action is not so much a 'response to an input' as a neat and efficient way of selecting the next 'input'. As mobile embodied agents we are forever intervening, actively bringing about the very streams of sensory information that our brains are simultaneously trying to predict. This binds perception and action in a delicate dance, a virtuous circle in which neural circuits animate, and are animated by, the movements of our own bodies. Some of our actions, in turn, structure the physical, social, and technological worlds around us. This moves the goalposts by altering the very things we need to engage and predict. Surfing Uncertainty brings work on the predictive brain into full and satisfying contact with work on the embodied and culturally situated mind. What emerges is a bold new vision of what brains do that places circular causal flows and the active structuring of the environment, center-stage. In place of cognitive couch potatoes idly awaiting the next sensory inputs, Clark's journey reveals us as proactive predictavores, skilfully surfing the waves of sensory stimulation.
The hugely influential book on how the understanding of causality revolutionized science and the world, by the pioneer of artificial intelligence 'Wonderful ... illuminating and fun to read' Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize-winner and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow 'Correlation does not imply causation.' For decades, this mantra was invoked by scientists in order to avoid taking positions as to whether one thing caused another, such as smoking and cancer, or carbon dioxide and global warming. But today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, sparked by world-renowned computer scientist Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and placed cause and effect on a firm scientific basis. Now, Pearl and science journalist Dana Mackenzie explain causal thinking to general readers for the first time, showing how it allows us to explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. It is the essence of human and artificial intelligence. And just as Pearl's discoveries have enabled machines to think better, The Book of Why explains how we too can think better. 'Pearl's accomplishments over the last 30 years have provided the theoretical basis for progress in artificial intelligence and have redefined the term "thinking machine"' Vint Cerf
Approaching the topic from a social psychological viewpoint, this
book provides a forum for some currently active theorists to
provide concise descriptions of their models in a way that
addresses four of the most central issues in the field: How does
affect influence memory, judgment, information processing, and
creativity? Each presentation includes a concise description of the
theory's underlying assumptions, an application of these
assumptions to the four central issues, and some answers to
questions posed by the other theorists.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE PHYSICS WORLD BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019 A groundbreaking examination of human perception, reality and the evolutionary schism between the two Do we see the world as it truly is? In The Case Against Reality, pioneering cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman says no? we see what we need in order to survive. Our visual perceptions are not a window onto reality, Hoffman shows us, but instead are interfaces constructed by natural selection. The objects we see around us are not unlike the file icons on our computer desktops: while shaped like a small folder on our screens, the files themselves are made of a series of ones and zeros - too complex for most of us to understand. In a similar way, Hoffman argues, evolution has shaped our perceptions into simplistic illusions to help us navigate the world around us. Yet now these illusions can be manipulated by advertising and design. Drawing on thirty years of Hoffman's own influential research, as well as evolutionary biology, game theory, neuroscience, and philosophy, The Case Against Reality makes the mind-bending yet utterly convincing case that the world is nothing like what we see through our eyes.
Up to the 1960s, psychology was deeply under the influence of behaviourism, which focused on stimuli and responses, and regarded consideration of what may happen in the mind as unapproachable scientifically. This began to change with the devising of methods to try to tap into what was going on in the 'black box' of the mind, and the development of 'cognitive psychology'. With the study of patients who had suffered brain damage or injury to limited parts of the brain, outlines of brain components and processes began to take shape, and by the end of the 1970s, a new science, cognitive neuroscience, was born. But it was with the development of ways of accessing activation of the working brain using imaging techniques such as PET and fMRI that cognitive neuroscience came into its own, as a science cutting across psychology and neuroscience, with strong connections to philosophy of mind. Experiments involving subjects in scanners while doing various tasks, thinking, problem solving, and remembering are shedding light on the brain processes involved. The research is exciting and new, and often makes media headlines. But there is much misunderstanding about what brain imaging tells us, and the interpretation of studies on cognition. In this Very Short Introduction Richard Passingham, a distinguished cognitive neuroscientist, gives a provocative and exciting account of the nature and scope of this relatively new field, and the techniques available to us, focusing on investigation of the human brain. He explains what brain imaging shows, pointing out common misconceptions, and gives a brief overview of the different aspects of human cognition: perceiving, attending, remembering, reasoning, deciding, and acting. Passingham concludes with a discussion of the exciting advances that may lie ahead. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
We remember in social contexts. We reminisce about the past together, collaborate to remember shared experiences, and, even when we are alone, we remember in the context of our communities and cultures. Taking an interdisciplinary approach throughout, this text comprehensively covers collaborative remembering across the fields of developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, discourse processing, philosophy, neuropsychology, design, and media studies. It highlights points of overlap and contrast across the many disciplinary perspectives and, with its sections on 'Approaches of Collaborative Remembering' and 'Applications of Collaborative Remembering', also connects basic and applied research. Written with late-stage undergraduates and early-stage graduates in mind, the book is also a valuable tool for memory specialists and academics in the fields of psychology, cognitive science and philosophy who are interested in collaborative memory research.
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