Introduction to Volume 4, Issue 1 of topiCS


With this issue, topiCS begins its fourth year of on-time publication of innovative collections of advanced research and commentaries. This issue of topiCS contains two topics. The first topic is a debate on the Complex Systems Approach to Cognitive Science. I will defer other remarks on this topic to the Introduction below.

The second topic continues our annual tradition of publishing the Best Of papers that have appeared in recent cognitive science conferences. All Best Ofs have been triply reviewed: once to get into a conference, once as a prize winner for that conference, and once for topiCS. All four of this year’s crop of Best Ofs are from the 2011 Cognitive Science Conference. Although there were other Best Ofs that met our criteria, those authors declined our invitation as they were already in the process of including their conference work as part of a longer journal publication.

As always, topiCS encourages commentaries and new topics. Send your commentaries directly to me at along with a short note. If you are proposing a topic, please open communications with a short first note (about 300–650 words or fewer) and be sure to consult the topiCS FAQ page,, for Preparing a Proposal for topiCS.