Cognitive Paradigms: Which One is the Best?

TitleCognitive Paradigms: Which One is the Best?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsGershenson, C
JournalCognitive Systems Research
Date PublishedJune

I discuss the suitability of different paradigms for studying cognition. I use a virtual laboratory that implements five different representative 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. Using the results as an empirical philosophical aid, I note that there is no "best" approach for studying cognition, since different paradigms have all advantages and disadvantages, since 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.