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  1. Damage to the prefrontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgements.Michael Koenigs, Liane Young, Ralph Adolphs, Daniel Tranel, Fiery Cushman, Marc Hauser & Antonio Damasio - 2007 - Nature 446 (7138):908-911.
    The psychological and neurobiological processes underlying moral judgement have been the focus of many recent empirical studies1–11. Of central interest is whether emotions play a causal role in moral judgement, and, in parallel, how emotion-related areas of the brain contribute to moral judgement. Here we show that six patients with focal bilateral damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC), a brain region necessary for the normal generation of emotions and, in particular, social emotions12–14, produce an abnor- mally ‘utilitarian’ pattern of (...)
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  2. Knowledge before belief.Jonathan Phillips, Wesley Buckwalter, Fiery Cushman, Ori Friedman, Alia Martin, John Turri, Laurie Santos & Joshua Knobe - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44:e140.
    Research on the capacity to understand others' minds has tended to focus on representations ofbeliefs,which are widely taken to be among the most central and basic theory of mind representations. Representations ofknowledge, by contrast, have received comparatively little attention and have often been understood as depending on prior representations of belief. After all, how could one represent someone as knowing something if one does not even represent them as believing it? Drawing on a wide range of methods across cognitive science, (...)
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  3. The common effect of value on prioritized memory and category representation.Joshua Knobe & Fiery Cushman - forthcoming - Trends in Cognitive Sciences.
    The way we represent categories depends on both the frequency and value of the category’s members. Thus, for instance, prototype representations can be impacted both by information about what is statistically frequent and by judgments about what is valuable. Notably, recent research on memory suggests that prioritized memory is also influenced by both statistical frequency and value judgments. Although work on conceptual representation and work on prioritized memory have thus far proceeded almost entirely independently, the patterns of existing findings provide (...)
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  4. On the instrumental value of hypothetical and counterfactual thought.Thomas Icard, Fiery Cushman & Joshua Knobe - 2018 - Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.
    People often engage in “offline simulation”, considering what would happen if they performed certain actions in the future, or had performed different actions in the past. Prior research shows that these simulations are biased towards actions a person considers to be good—i.e., likely to pay off. We ask whether, and why, this bias might be adaptive. Through computational experiments we compare five agents who differ only in the way they engage in offline simulation, across a variety of different environment types. (...)
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