The Nature and Function of Content in Computational Models

In Mark Sprevak & Matteo Colombo (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Computational Mind. Routledge (2018)
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Much of computational cognitive science construes human cognitive capacities as representational capacities, or as involving representation in some way. Computational theories of vision, for example, typically posit structures that represent edges in the distal scene. Neurons are often said to represent elements of their receptive fields. Despite the ubiquity of representational talk in computational theorizing there is surprisingly little consensus about how such claims are to be understood. The point of this chapter is to sketch an account of the nature and function of representation in computational cognitive models.

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Frances Egan
Rutgers University - New Brunswick


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