2 Cognitive Sciences Centre Seminars this week at Southampton U. 
Author Message
 2 Cognitive Sciences Centre Seminars this week at Southampton U.
You are invited to TWO seminars this week in the Cognitive Sciences
Centre (CSC) Speaker Series at the University of Southampton. One talk
will be on the neuropsychology of memory (Tuesday, E. Funnell) and the
other on infant cognition (Wednesday, G. Gergely). Both talks are at
4pm in Lecture Room 2 of the Murray Building. Forthcoming seminars
follow the two abstracts below.

Tuesday 14 March 1995, 4.00pm, Lecture Room 2, Murray Building
"THESE OLD FAMILIAR THINGS": THE ROLE OF FAMILIARITY
IN THE RETENTION OF OBJECT CONCEPTS IN SEMANTIC MEMORY.
Elaine Funnell, Royal Holloway, University of London

    ABSTRACT: Studies of the breakdown of semantic memory in {*filter*}s have
    suggested that object concepts are lost when knowledge of the defining
    features is lost. In particular, when perceptual features are damaged,
    knowledge of living things is impaired, and when functional features
    are damaged, knowledge of nonliving things is impaired (Warington and
    Shallice, 1984; Farah and McClelland, 1991). This talk will discuss an
    alternative hypothesis which proposes that the loss of conceptual
    knowledge depends upon how familiar the concepts is in the subject's
    experience. It is argued that object concepts are not lost because
    property knowledge is lost, but rather, access to knowledge of
    properties depends upon the familiarity of the object concept. What
    makes an object concept familiar will be discussed in relation to
    language use and every-day experience with objects.
       Warrington, E.K. and Shallice, T. (1984). Category-specific
    semantic impairment. Brain, 107, 829-854.
       Farah, M. and McClelland, J. (1991). A computational model of
    semantic memory impairment: Modality specificity and emergent
    category-specificity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,
    120, 330-357.

Wednesday 15 March 1995, 4.00pm, Lecture Room 2, Murray Building
THE INFANT'S PERCEPTION OF RATIONALITY OF ACTION:
ADOPTING THE DESIGN STANCE AT ONE YEAR OF AGE.
Gy{*filter*} Gergely, Psychological Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

    ABSTRACT: Recent habituation studies indicate that 9- and 12-month-old
    infants (but not 6-month-olds) evaluate the rationality of the
    goal-directed movement of an agent. When the rationality assumption is
    upheld, infants can infer the most rational future means of action that
    the agent is likely to perform in a new situation. These results are
    related to current approaches to the origins of understanding
    intentional action: Recent models of Agency (Leslie, Premack,
    Baron-Cohen, Mandler), which assume the primacy of a naive theory of
    physics to identify self-propelled objects as the proper domain for
    intentional explanations, will be contrasted with an alternative
    approach that grounds naive psychology in the rationality assumption,
    which is independent of the infant's physical theory. Our recent
    evidence that the rationality of movement is evaluated even without
    perceptual cues of biological agency supports the alternative view
    which places the rationality assumption at the core of the development
    of naive psychology.

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Forthcoming CSC Talks:

Monday 3 April 1995, 4.30pm, Lecture Room 1 Murray Building
RULE EXTRACTION AND REFINEMENT BY RULEX
Robert Andrews, Information Systems, Queensland Institute of Technology

Monday 22 May 1995, 4.00pm, Lecture Room 1, Murray Building
RECOGNITION CONCEPTS: WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW THEY ARE ENTANGLED WITH LANGUAGE
Ruth Millikan, Department of Philosophy, University of Connecticut

Friday 26 May, 4.00 pm, Lecture Room 1, Murray Building
REFERENTIAL COMMUNICATION AS COORDINATED ATTENTION TO SIGNIFIERS
Bill Noble, Psychology Dept, Univ. New England, Australia

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Abstracts of Forthcoming Talks:

Monday 3 April 1995, 4.30pm, Lecture Room 1 Murray Building
RULE EXTRACTION AND REFINEMENT BY RULEX
Robert Andrews, Information Systems, Queensland Institute of Technology

ABSTRACT: In artificial intelligence systems knowledge is often
represented as a set of rules to be interpreted by an expert system.
This rule base is garnered from the knowledge of a domain expert, and,
for a variety of reasons, may be incomplete, contradictory, or
inaccurate. A system that merely uses these rules is then static, and
unable to learn new rules or to modify existing rules in the problem
domain. On the other hand, Artificial Neural Networks, (ANNs), have
been shown to be able to perform inductive learning from a set of
domain examples and to modify their behavior in the light of new
training examples. Various techniques have been devised to extract
symbolic rules from trained ANNs. In this talk I will give an overview
of rule extraction techniques from trained ANNs, with specific focus on
RULEX. I will then show how RULEX can be used to preconfigure an ANN
according to a given set of symbolic rules. This ability to encode
existing knowledge into the network, train, and then extract accurate
rules makes RULEX the basis for a rule refinement system which may be
used modify/maintain the rule base of an expert system.

Monday 22 May 1995, 4.00pm, Lecture Room 1, Murray Building
RECOGNITION CONCEPTS: WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW THEY ARE ENTANGLED WITH LANGUUAGE
Ruth Millikan, Department of Philosophy, University of Connecticut

ABSTRACT: I will sketch a theory of what concepts of individuals,
certain kinds, and stuffs are. These concepts are abilities to
recognize these various things, in varous ways, when one encounters
them, rather than, say, methods of classifying things. I will explain
the difference. Then I will argue that believing what you hear said is
surprisingly like believing what you see, so that concepts of this kind
can be had through language alone without the ability to recognize
these individuals, kinds or stuffs in the flesh.

Friday 26 May, 4.00 pm, Lecture Room 1, Murray Building
REFERENTIAL COMMUNICATION AS COORDINATED ATTENTION TO SIGNIFIERS
Bill Noble, Psychology Dept, Univ. New England, Australia

ABSTRACT: The bulk of animals' communications draws attention to the
communicator and/or wards off other creatures. Some communicative
signs can make another organism aware of both the communicator and
of something in the environment besides that communicator. The vocal
signs of vervet monkeys may be described this way. In their case the
coordination achieved takes the form of combined visual attention to
various sources of external threat. That is a significant behaviour. It
does not seem to be referential; but it underpins a subsequent capacity
for reference to environmental events and objects which emerges in
evolutionary terms. In the case of the monkeys, the signs which
achieve coordination are not, themselves, objects of the monkeys'
attention. A context would have to arise in which coordinated activity
that could induce combined attention is addressed to signs as such
(signifiers), not just to what they signify. Referential communication
results when coordinated activity takes the form of combined attention
to external objects in association with signs that are also the
combined (and "externalised") objects of attention.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Past CSC Talks:

Wednesday 8 March 1995, 4.00pm, Lecture Room 2, Murray Building
ABNORMAL PHENOTYPES: A WINDOW ON THE NATURE/NURTURE DEBATE
Annette Karmiloff-Smith,
MRC Cognitive Development Unit, London
Wednesday 15 March 1995, 4.00pm
Lecture Room 2, Murray Building

ABSTRACT: Abnormal development poses interesting challenges to the
nature/nurture debate, the relationship between language and cognition,
and the extent to which the mind/brain is modular. Individuals with
Down's syndrome usually show across the-board deficits which many have
used to argue for a general, domain-neutral learning mechanism which is
impaired in these subjects but operates efficiently in normal
individuals. By contrast, the development of individuals with autism,
Williams syndrome (WS), hydrocephalus with associated myelomeningocele,
dyslexia, and specific language impairment, results in very uneven
cognitive-linguistic profiles in which some domains are relatively
spared while others are seriously impaired. These different, uneven
profiles challenge any view of development solely in terms of an
across-the-board domain-general intelligence, and at first blush seem
to point to innately-specified, domain-specific, special-purpose
modules. A number of theorists have used the case of WS to argue for an
innately-specified, strictly modular view of the human mind/brain in
which language is preserved in the face of serious impairments in
non-verbal domains. However, in-depth studies of WS demonstrate the
existence not only of across-domain dissociations, but also of
*within-domain* dissociations in language and in spatial cognition,
suggesting that domain-general and domain-specific mechanisms both play
a crucial role in language and cognition. By drawing a distinction
between computational, architectural, chronotropic and representational
biases for processing different inputs, one can postulate the
*progressive* domain-specific specialization of the normal infant
mind/brain on the basis of minimal predispositions *as development
proceeds*. In abnormal development, either the initial biases or the
process of specialization is impaired.

Friday 3 March 1995, 4.30pm, Lecture Room 1 Murray Building
WHAT WERE HUMAN BEINGS MADE FOR?
OR, POPPER AND THE SCEPTICISMS OF EVOLUTIONARY EPISTEMOLOGY
Mike Smithurst, Philosophy, University of Southampton

ABSTRACT: Darwin's theory of evolution has been used to argue that
because we humans are fitted by natural selection for survival and
reproduction, and associated understanding, it is unlikely that we are
made to understand remoter matters, such as consciousness, the origin
of the universe, of life, etc. The difficulty is logical, because it is
the quality not the quantity of human intelligence that is deficient,
some varieties of sceptical naturalism have suggested. How might this
scepticism be resisted? By a better understanding of Darwinism. The
"over-capacity" of human intelligence is both compatible with Darwinism
and explicable by it. Does the sceptic's worry really make sense?
Scientific problems are collective and projective concerns. Natural
selection could only ever deal with problems "set by the world", with
the "surface" and "immediate" problems of individual units of
selection. What would it be like for other rational beings to have
scientific understanding from which we were logically excluded? This is
by no means clear. Davidson argued against radically incommensurable
conceptual schemes. Where would Popper, a father of naturalised
epistemology, have stood in this dispute? His resolute anti-determinism
and his stress on creativity in science locate him in the
anti-sceptical camp. Naturalism is a new feint in an old joust. Well
before Darwin, philosophers sought to set a priori limits to the scope
of the human mind. McGinn, who utilized sceptical naturalism to claim
that consciousness might be forever mysterious, now asks - Why is it
impossible to do philosophy?
(Because we are not biologically fitted for it!) I dispute McGinn's
contention, but, of course, if he is right, this paper must stand
as its own refutation.

Wednesday 16 November 4.00pm Lab 1, Level 1, Murray Building
NEURAL NETWORKS & BRAIN FUNCTION
Stephen J Hanson, SIEMENS Corporate Research & Princeton University

ABSTRACT: The connectionist decade is drawing to a close.
Notwithstanding some significant technological successes (e.g., the
IEEE describes Neural Networks as "standard technology" in 1994)
connectionist models have had limited impact in the cognitive sciences
and neuroscience. Difficulties have come in many forms: (1) confusing
technology (hacking) with science (2) dissociation from data (e.g.,
ignoring behavi{*filter*}data) (3) taking the brain too seriously (4)
temp{*filter*}control problems As connectionist approaches migrate towards
normal science, these and other difficulties will focus our attention
on providing a basic framework for the application of connectionist
tools to the study of brain function and its organization. I will
discuss these issues in the context of specific variations in
connectionist networks that I have worked on and their applications in
defining the appropriate level of analysis, controlling technology and
finding behavi{*filter*}phenonmena that can reveal important properties of
brain function.

Thursday 24 November 5.00pm Lecture Room 2, Murray Building
CONSCIOUSNESS, COGNITION, AND CONSCIOUSNESS
James H. Fetzer, Philosophy, University of Minnesota

ABSTRACT: The theory of minds as "semiotic" (sign-using) systems offers
a promising approach to the problem of relating consciousness and
cognition, mind and body. The approach is highly compatible with
connectionist (or "neural network") models of the brain and has many
advantages over alternative theories.

Tuesday, October 11, 12:45 - 13:45 Murray Lecture Theater, Murray Building
AUTONOMOUS ADAPTIVE AGENTS: GENERALIZED DYNAMIC CONCEPTS
Csaba Szepesvari, Bolyai Institute of Mathematics Szeged, Hungary

ABSTRACT: A brain-based alternative to reinforcement learning
integrates artificial neural networks (ANN) and knowledge based (KB)
systems into one unit or agent for goal-oriented problem solving. The
agent works under closed-loop control. Its sensory system provides the
input to the controller and the controller's output results in the
agent's immediate motor actions.
The controller can have both inherited and learned ANN and KB systems.
The agent has and develops ANN cues to the environment for
dimensionality reduction (data compression) in order to ease the
problem of combinatorial explosion. A dynamic conceptual model (DCM)
builds cue-models of the phenomena in the world, designs dynamic action
sets and makes them compete at a spreading-activation neuronal stage to
come to a decision.
DCM can create concepts or subgoals. For the production of subgoals two
things are important: (i) DCM has an inherited goal system and (ii)
subgoals are created by the agent's experiences encountered during the
interaction with the environment. Concepts allow the use of rule-based
systems for control. The agent's experiences transform during learning
into a rule system. Concept generation reduces memory and time
requirements. It also improves the system's ability to handle unknown
situations. We examine the capabilities of a simple robotic-like object
in a two-dimensional conditionally probabilistic space.



Wed, 27 Aug 1997 20:23:22 GMT
 
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