Show Reference: "Extending the classical view of representation"

Extending the classical view of representation Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Vol. 4, No. 12. (December 2000), pp. 470-475, doi:10.1016/s1364-6613(00)01559-x by Arthur B. Markman, Eric Dietrich
    author = {Markman, Arthur B. and Dietrich, Eric},
    citeulike-article-id = {13346737},
    citeulike-linkout-0 = {},
    doi = {10.1016/s1364-6613(00)01559-x},
    issn = {13646613},
    journal = {Trends in Cognitive Sciences},
    keywords = {action, modelling, representations},
    month = dec,
    number = {12},
    pages = {470--475},
    posted-at = {2014-09-04 12:53:15},
    priority = {2},
    title = {Extending the classical view of representation},
    url = {},
    volume = {4},
    year = {2000}

See the CiteULike entry for more info, PDF links, BibTex etc.

According to Markman and Dietrich, conventional views of neural representations agree on the following five principles:

  1. Representations are state of the system which carry information about the world,
  2. some information about the world must be stored in a cognitive system and accessible without the percepts from which it was originally derived,
  3. representations use symbols,
  4. some information is represented amodally ie. independent of perception or action, and
  5. some representations are not related to the cognitive agent's embodiment (do not require embodiment).

According to Markman and Dietrich, symbolic systems are too rigid to cope well with the variability and ambiguity of situations.

According to Markman and Dietrich, some of the problems of symbolic systems are handled by models which use modal instead of amodal representations.

The theory around situated cognition holds that cognitive processes cannot be separated from context:

  • What needs to be represented internally depends on what is readily available in the environment and
  • some things are easier to check in the environment (by gathering information, trying things out) than inferred or simulated in the cognitive agent itself.

The theory of embodied cognition states that, to model natural cognition, it is necessary to build embodied cognitive agents because cognition cannot be understood out of context.

According to Markman and Dietrich, the traditional view on cognitive representations suffers from being too static in a dynamic world: There are no discrete state transitions in the world of biological cognitive agents so any model that operates on representations requiring discrete state transitions are inaccurate.

Dynamical systems have been used to model actual dynamics in cognitive systems.

There are alternative views to the traditional view of cognitive representations.

It is hard to explain higher-level cognition solely in terms of correspondence to perception or action.

The traditional view of cognitive representation needs to be extended rather than replaced by aspects and mechanisms of correspondence to perception and action.

Markmann and Dietrich argue against the replacement hypothesis, saying that all of the alternative approaches still assume that brain states do reflect world properties.