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Nicolas Porot
Mohammed VI Polytechnic University
  1. The best game in town: The reemergence of the language-of-thought hypothesis across the cognitive sciences.Jake Quilty-Dunn, Nicolas Porot & Eric Mandelbaum - 2023 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 46:e261.
    Mental representations remain the central posits of psychology after many decades of scrutiny. However, there is no consensus about the representational format(s) of biological cognition. This paper provides a survey of evidence from computational cognitive psychology, perceptual psychology, developmental psychology, comparative psychology, and social psychology, and concludes that one type of format that routinely crops up is the language-of-thought (LoT). We outline six core properties of LoTs: (i) discrete constituents; (ii) role-filler independence; (iii) predicate–argument structure; (iv) logical operators; (v) inferential (...)
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  2. Problems and mysteries of the many languages of thought.Eric Mandelbaum, Yarrow Dunham, Roman Feiman, Chaz Firestone, E. J. Green, Daniel Harris, Melissa M. Kibbe, Benedek Kurdi, Myrto Mylopoulos, Joshua Shepherd, Alexis Wellwood, Nicolas Porot & Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2022 - Cognitive Science 46 (12): e13225.
    “What is the structure of thought?” is as central a question as any in cognitive science. A classic answer to this question has appealed to a Language of Thought (LoT). We point to emerging research from disparate branches of the field that supports the LoT hypothesis, but also uncovers diversity in LoTs across cognitive systems, stages of development, and species. Our letter formulates open research questions for cognitive science concerning the varieties of rules and representations that underwrite various LoT-based systems (...)
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  3. The science of belief: A progress report.Nicolas Porot & Eric Mandelbaum - forthcoming - WIREs Cognitive Science 1.
    The empirical study of belief is emerging at a rapid clip, uniting work from all corners of cognitive science. Reliance on belief in understanding and predicting behavior is widespread. Examples can be found, inter alia, in the placebo, attribution theory, theory of mind, and comparative psychological literatures. Research on belief also provides evidence for robust generalizations, including about how we fix, store, and change our beliefs. Evidence supports the existence of a Spinozan system of belief fixation: one that is automatic (...)
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  4. The language-of-thought hypothesis as a working hypothesis in cognitive science.Jake Quilty-Dunn, Nicolas Porot & Eric Mandelbaum - 2023 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 46:e292.
    The target article attempted to draw connections between broad swaths of evidence by noticing a common thread: Abstract, symbolic, compositional codes, that is, language-of-thoughts (LoTs). Commentators raised concerns about the evidence and offered fascinating extensions to areas we overlooked. Here we respond and highlight the many specific empirical questions to be answered in the next decade and beyond.
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  5. Disfluency attenuates the reception of pseudoprofound and postmodernist bullshit.Ryan E. Tracy, Nicolas Porot, Eric Mandelbaum & Steven G. Young - 2023 - Thinking and Reasoning 1.
    Four studies explore the role of perceptual fluency in attenuating bullshit receptivity, or the tendency for individuals to rate otherwise meaningless statements as “profound”. Across four studies, we presented participants with a sample of pseudoprofound bullshit statements in either a fluent or disfluent font and found that overall, disfluency attenuated bullshit receptivity while also finding little evidence that this effect was moderated by cognitive thinking style. In all studies, we measured participants’ cognitive reflection, need for cognition, faith in intuition, and (...)
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  6. How the Cognitive Science of Belief Can Transform the Study of Mental Health.Eric Mandelbaum & Nicolas Porot - forthcoming - JAMA Psychiatry.
    The cognitive science of belief is a burgeoning field, with insights ranging from detailing the fundamental structure of the mind, to explaining the spread of fake news. Here we highlight how new insights into belief acquisition, storage, and change can transform our understanding of psychiatric disorders. Although we focus on monothematic delusions, the conclusions apply more broadly. -/- .
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  7. The Science of Belief: A Progress Report (Expanded Reprint).Eric Mandelbaum & Nicolas Porot - forthcoming - In Joseph Summer Julien Musolino (ed.), The Science of Beliefs: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, UK:
    Expanded reprint of the WIREs Science of Belief paper for Julien Musolino, Joseph Sommer, and Pernille Hemmer's The Science of Beliefs: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Cambridge University Press.
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