COGSCI 600, 2007, Discussion questions

Note: Do not attempt to answer all these questions. Rather, write a 1-page reflection on the readings for this week based on 1 or more of the questions. Your reflections could describe questions concerning aspect of the readings that you do not understand.

Discussion questions for Week 2: Ori Friedman

1. What is belief-desire reasoning?
2. What is a theory of mind module supposed to do?
3. What are the two proposed models of belief-desire reasoning?
4. How does the experiment support one model over the other?
5. What is the role of inhibition in belief-desire reasoning?

Discussion questions for Week 3: Chris Eliasmith

1. What is gained by approaching the study of brain function computationally?
2. How do single neurons contribute to brain computation?
3. What is the role of models in cognitive neuroscience?
4. Is the brain really a computer? Are there non-computational brain functions?
5. What is the relation between cognitive neuroscience and experimental psychology?

Discussion questions for Week 4: Paul Thagard

1. What is the purpose of building computational models of mind?

2. How do cells contribute to neural computation?

3. What are neurotransmitters and neuromodulators?

4. Why is emotion partly a matter of chemistry?

5. What are the implications of the chemical nature of the brain for the prospects of artificial intelligence?

Discussion questions for Week 5: Rob Duimering.

1. How does group problem solving differ from individual problem solving?

2. What is balance theory and how is it relevant to problem solving?

3. How would you solve the five squares problem?

4. How generally does the structural balance framework apply to real-world problems?

5. What is the relation between balance theory and cognitive theories of parallel constraint satisfaction?

Discussion questions for Week 6: Jose Arocha

1. How can cognitive science contribute to medical informatics?

2. Is medical cognition different from other kinds of thinking?

3. What is the structure of medical knowledge?

4. How is medical cognition socially distributed?

5. How is medical expertise acquired?

Discussion questions for Week 7: Benoit Hardy-Vallee

1. Can economics, psychology, and neuroscience really converge?
2. Why are people and other animals averse to risk?
3. How do brain scans such as fMRI contribute to understanding of decision
4. How should you play the ultimatum game?
5. Will neuroeconomics supersede current economic theory?

Discussion questions for Week 8: Pascale Poupart

1. Would you want a robot looking after your grandmother?

2. How do causal graphs help to capture the knowledge involved in everyday tasks?

3. Could rules capture such knowledge equally well?

4. Why is assessing rewards an important part of cognitive assistance?

5. How can cognitive assistance technologies be assessed?

Discussion questions for Week 9: Jonathan Fugelsang

1. What is the difference between causal perception and causal inference?

2. What are the relevant differences between the left and right hemispheres?

3. What do callostomy patients reveal about causal perception and inference?

4. Is causality in the world or in our minds, or both?

Discussion questions for Week 10: James Danckert

1. What is unilateral neglect?

2. What kinds of brain damage seem to cause unilateral neglect?

3. How does prism adaptation shed light on the causes of neglect?

4. Why is it difficult to identify neuroanatomical correlates of spatial neglect?

5. How can brain scans, experiments with brain-damaged patients, and other methods of neuroscience converge to provide evidence for neural theories?

Discussion questions for Week 11: Chrysanne DiMarco

1. How are techniques from natural language processing useful for bioinformatics?

2. How do lexical chains help to identify protein interactions?

3. What other information-gathering tasks might be aided by similar techniques?

4. What are the limitations of lexical chaining for biomedical information extraction?


Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

Paul Thagard

This page updated Mar. 22, 2007