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The very same thing: Extending the object token concept to incorporate causal constraints on individual identity

By Chris Fields


The contributions of feature recognition, object categorization, and recollection of episodic memories to the re-identification of a perceived object as the very same thing encountered in a previous perceptual episode are well understood in terms of both cognitive-behavioral phenomenology and neurofunctional implementation. Human beings do not, however, rely solely on features and context to re-identify individuals; in the presence of featural change and similarly-featured distractors, people routinely employ causal constraints to establish object identities. Based on available cognitive and neurofunctional data, the standard object-token based model of individual re-identification is extended to incorporate the construction of unobserved and hence fictive causal histories (FCHs) of observed objects by the pre-motor action planning system. Cognitive-behavioral and implementation-level predictions of this extended model and methods for testing them are outlined. It is suggested that functional deficits in the construction of FCHs are associated with clinical outcomes in both Autism Spectrum Disorders and later-stage stage Alzheimer's disease.\u

Topics: Cognitive Psychology, Neuropsychology
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:cogprints.org:7298
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