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A Comparison of Different Cognitive Paradigms Using Simple Animats in a Virtual Laboratory, with Implications to the Notion of Cognition

By Carlos Gershenson


In this thesis I present a virtual laboratory which implements five different models for controlling animats: a rule-based system, a behaviour-based system, a concept-based system, a neural network, and a Braitenberg architecture. Through different experiments, I compare the performance of the models and conclude that there is no best model, since different models are better for different things in different contexts. The models I chose, although quite simple, represent different approaches for studying cognition. Using the results as an empirical philosophical aid, I note that there is no best approach for studying cognition, since different approaches have all advantages and disadvantages, because they study different aspects of cognition from different contexts. This has implications for current debates on proper approaches for cognition: all approaches are a bit proper, but none will be proper enough. I draw remarks on the notion of cognition abstracting from all the approaches used to study it, and propose a simple classification for different types of cognition

Topics: Animal Cognition, Philosophy of Mind, Artificial Intelligence
Year: 2002
OAI identifier:

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