Self-Organization Takes Time Too
Article first published online: 17 JAN 2012
Copyright © 2012, Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Topics in Cognitive Science
Volume 4, Issue 1, pages 63–71, January 2012
How to Cite
van Rooij, I. (2012), Self-Organization Takes Time Too. Topics in Cognitive Science, 4: 63–71. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2011.01173.x
- Issue published online: 17 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 17 JAN 2012
- Received 4 February 2011; received in revised form 8 November 2011; accepted 8 November 2011
- Dynamical systems;
- Constraint satisfaction;
Four articles in this issue of topiCS (volume 4, issue 1) argue against a computational approach in cognitive science in favor of a dynamical approach. I concur that the computational approach faces some considerable explanatory challenges. Yet the dynamicists’ proposal that cognition is self-organized seems to only go so far in addressing these challenges. Take, for instance, the hypothesis that cognitive behavior emerges when brain and body (re-)configure to satisfy task and environmental constraints. It is known that for certain systems of constraints, no procedure can exist (whether modular, local, centralized, or self-organized) that reliably finds the right configuration in a realistic amount of time. Hence, the dynamical approach still faces the challenge of explaining how self-organized constraint satisfaction can be achieved by human brains and bodies in real time. In this commentary, I propose a methodology that dynamicists can use to try to address this challenge.