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Keywords:

  • Threaded cognition;
  • Cognitive architectures;
  • ACT-R;
  • Cognitive control

Abstract

Allen Newell (1973) once observed that psychology researchers were playing “twenty questions with nature,” carving up human cognition into hundreds of individual phenomena but shying away from the difficult task of integrating these phenomena with unifying theories. We argue that research on cognitive control has followed a similar path, and that the best approach toward unifying theories of cognitive control is that proposed by Newell, namely developing theories in computational cognitive architectures. Threaded cognition, a recent theory developed within the ACT-R cognitive architecture, offers promise as a unifying theory of cognitive control that addresses multitasking phenomena for both laboratory and applied task domains.