Emergence in Cognitive Science
Article first published online: 14 SEP 2010
Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Topics in Cognitive Science
Volume 2, Issue 4, pages 751–770, October 2010
How to Cite
McClelland, J. L. (2010), Emergence in Cognitive Science. Topics in Cognitive Science, 2: 751–770. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2010.01116.x
- Issue published online: 7 OCT 2010
- Article first published online: 14 SEP 2010
- Received 9 February 2010; received in revised form 21 June 2010; accepted 3 July 2010
- Neural networks
The study of human intelligence was once dominated by symbolic approaches, but over the last 30 years an alternative approach has arisen. Symbols and processes that operate on them are often seen today as approximate characterizations of the emergent consequences of sub- or nonsymbolic processes, and a wide range of constructs in cognitive science can be understood as emergents. These include representational constructs (units, structures, rules), architectural constructs (central executive, declarative memory), and developmental processes and outcomes (stages, sensitive periods, neurocognitive modules, developmental disorders). The greatest achievements of human cognition may be largely emergent phenomena. It remains a challenge for the future to learn more about how these greatest achievements arise and to emulate them in artificial systems.