Computational Modeling

Developing Intelligence

Category archives for Computational Modeling

The ability to suppress unwanted thoughts and actions is thought (by some) to be crucial in your ability to control behavior. However, alternative perspectives suggest that this emphasis on suppression or “inhibition” is misplaced. These perspectives, largely motivated by computational models of the brain, suggest that alternative abilities (such as the activation or “active maintenance”…

For the basics about multivariate fMRI “mind-reading” techniques, see the video below. Some of it is based on this 2007 Haynes et al paper from Current Biology, described in more detail following the video.

Play cognitive engineer: if you were designing an intelligent system, you’d probably use the same system to detect novelty as that used to detect familiarity. After all, one is simply the inverse of the other – so novelty can be thought of as a below-threshold value for some familiarity signal. Upon reflection, however, you might…

Much has been written about the nonspatial functions of the parietal lobe, but these nonspatial functions are rarely evaluated as to whether they are also nonmotoric or reflect some covert form of spatial attention. Establishing whether the parietal lobe has truly nonmotoric and nonspatial functions is essential for understanding why parietal cortex appears to be…

An absence of evidence is not itself evidence for the absence of a particular effect. This simple problem – generally known as the problem of null effects – yields many difficulties in cognitive science, making it relatively easier to parcellate cognitive and neural processes into ever-finer detail than to show when two processes are identical.…

In a recent issue of Science, Dahlin et al report the results of an executive function training paradigm focused on the process of mental updating. “Updating” is thought to be one of the core executive functions (as determined through confirmatory factor analysis), is thought to rely on the striatum (as determined through computational neural network…

Could something be perceived if there is no sensory system which is dedicated to it? For everyone except parapsychologists, the obvious answer is no – but this raises questions about the ability to perceive short temporal intervals, for which there appears to be no dedicated sensory system. In their newly in-press TICS article, Ivry and…

Working memory – the ability to hold information “in mind” in the face of environmental interference – has traditionally been associated with the prefrontal cortices (PFC), based primarily on data from monkeys. High resolution functional imaging (such as fMRI) have revealed that PFC is just one part of a larger working memory network, notably including…

The organization of the human prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a lasting mystery in cognitive neuroscience, but not for lack of answers – the issue is deciding among them, since all seem to characterize prefrontal function in very different but apparently equally-valid ways. If this mystery were resolved, it could revolutionize cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology as…

“It has attained a certain mystique in the physical and biological sciences because it manages to be both rare and ubiquitous. Examples […] are found in quasar luminosity, tide and river height, traffic flow, and human heartbeat…” (Gilden & Hannock) Since the mid-90s, a small group of cognitive psychologists have turned their attention to variability…