COGSCI 600, 2002, 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: 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 3: Tim Kenyon

1. What model of communication do you find most plausible?
2. How is inference used in verbal comprehension?
3. How is relevance relevant to communication?
4. What is the relation between communication processes involving decoding and ones involving inference?
5. What is the relation between thinking and communicating?

Discussion questions for Week 4: Don Grierson

1. What is the nature of the problem to be solved by designers of high-rise buildings?
2. How do genetic algorithms help to suggest solutions that human designers might miss?
3. What information is required to apply a genetic algorithm to a problem?
4. Does human thinking use the kind of genetic algorithm procedure shown in figure 3?
5. How can human and computer problem solving support each other?

Discussion questions for Week 5: Hamid Tizhoosh

1. What is fuzziness?
2. Is the world fuzzy?
3. Is human thinking fuzzy?
4. How is fuzziness useful for processing images?
5. Is human image processing like fuzzy image processing?

Discussion questions for week 6: Randy Harris

1. What is rhetoric?
2. Why have some thinkers such as Plato seen rhetoric as antagonistic to knowing?
3. Is the role of rhetoric and figuration in scientific discourse consistent with there being scientific knowledge?
4. What is antimetabole and what is its role in discourse?
5. Do you accept Randy's 4 claims? Why or why not?

Discussion questions for Week 7: Michael Ross

1. How is human memory different from a computer file?
2. How does memory contribute to the self?
3. When do people not value personal consistency?
4. How does motivation affect our representations of ourselves?
5. What are the social functions of autobiographical memory?

Discussion questions for week 8: Chrysanne diMarco

1. How has the Web aided human thinking?
2. How does graphic design affect the usability of the Web?
3. What are the cognitive costs and benefits of links?
4. How is language on the Web different from language in books and articles?
5. Is the Web contributing to world dominance of English?

Discussion questions for week 9: Steven Salterio

1. What is the nature of the problems to be solved by accounting judgments?
2. What kind of expertise do accounting experts need to have?
3. How is decision making in accounting similar to that in other fields?
4. How does company performance benefit from organizational memory?
5. How is problem solving a social as well as an individual activity?

Discussions questions for week 10: Daniela O'Neill

1. What is a mental model?
2. How are mental models important for understanding text?
3. What other cognitive functions depend on mental models.?
4. Are mental models and situation models the same?
5. How do situation models aid memory?

Discussion questions for week 11: Pat Wainwright

1. What is neural constructivism?
2. How does it differ from selectionism and evolutionary psychology?
3. What is the evidence that brains develop greater flexibility as they learn?
4. What are the computational advantages of representational change?
5. What are the implications of neural constructivism for child rearing and education?

Page updated Nov. 11, 2002

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