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Deep Learning
How the Mind Overrides Experience

$56.99 (C)

  • Date Published: November 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107661363

$ 56.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Although the ability to retain, process, and project prior experience onto future situations is indispensable, the human mind also possesses the ability to override experience and adapt to changing circumstances. Cognitive scientist Stellan Ohlsson analyzes three types of deep, non-monotonic cognitive change: creative insight, adaptation of cognitive skills by learning from errors, and conversion from one belief to another, incompatible belief. For each topic, Ohlsson summarizes past research, re-formulates the relevant research questions, and proposes information-processing mechanisms that answer those questions. The three theories are based on the principles of redistribution of activation, specialization of practical knowledge, and re-subsumption of declarative information. Ohlsson develops the implications of those mechanisms by scaling their effects with respect to time, complexity, and social interaction. The book ends with a unified theory of non-monotonic cognitive change that captures the abstract properties that the three types of change share.

    • Focused on situations where people have to override prior experience in order to be successful, and is currently the only book to do so
    • Proposes three novel scientific theories of creative insight, error correction, and belief revision
    • Situates each theoretical contribution within a real-world context as well as within past academic research; e.g., there are discussions of art, technological invention, errors in large organizations, scientific discovery, and the laws of history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “The mind's ability to change is at the centre of everything distinctively human. Ohlsson deals with three central kinds of cognitive change: creativity, acquiring new skills, and revising beliefs in the light of new information. He offers new, highly original theories of each, built on three cognitive mechanisms: redistribution of activation, specialization of practical knowledge, and re-subsumption of factual information. This would already be enough to make the book important but Ohlsson does one more thing: he welds the three theories together. The result is a single, unified theory of all three kinds of conceptual change. Thus he takes us a significant step closer to the dream of a single, unified theory of cognition as a whole. Essential reading for anyone interested in how minds change.”
    – Andrew Brook, Carleton University

    “This book describes a more sophisticated theory of the mental processes that support and cause cognitive change. These aspects of cognition (creativity, strategy change, and belief revision) will become important areas for cognitive science to explore and explain. Ohlsson's theories encourage us to examine the next metalevel of how cognition changes, and the proposed mechanisms will provide many challenges for cognitive models and architectures.”
    – Frank Ritter, The Pennsylvania State University

    “Deep Learning inspired me to do some deep thinking about cognitive change, indeed, about the very nature of change itself. Ohlsson's description of cognitive change and the ability to override experience defines an essential aspect of what makes us human.”
    – Gale M. Sinatra, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

    "...This volume is must reading for cognitive psychologists interested in fundamental questions about the mind. It is the best and most important work in cognitive psychology I have read in a long time.... a field that sometimes focuses extensively on detailed models of minor phenomena, Ohlsson addresses some of the big questions that cognitive psychology promised to answer but hasn’t gotten around to. It should serve as an excellent starting point for discussions about cognitive change for years to come."
    –Dr. David W. Carroll, University of Wisconsin-Superior, PsycCRITIQUES

    "Deep Learning: How the Mind Overrides Experience is not only breathtaking in scope and intellectual in range, but also beautifully written and completely engaging.... Ohlsson's masterful book on Deep Learning should help put non-monotonic learning on the radar screen of cognitive psychologists as a central topic for further investigation and theory building.... Deep Learning is a book organized around one central hypothesis, but it is not a one-note book. The wealth of detail, the specific examples, and the precision in formulating his many ideas make this book an incredibly rich read."
    –Carol L. Smith, Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts at Boston, International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group Newsletter

    "...This landmark book present theories of creativity, adaptation and conversion of belief culminating in elements of a unified theory, showing that we must override experience to understand how the mind works.... The book addresses continuous learning at multiple levels, from the micro-level of individual cognitive processing to the societal level of continuous learning and adaptation to change.... the book is seminal reading for doctoral students and researchers in cognitive psychology and for advance readers in disciplines such as education, decision science, artificial intelligence, and group dynamics....Deep Learning is a significant academic work explaining discontinuous processes that puzzle and challenge all of us.... The book is an erudite yet elegant and deep exposition of a new generation of cognitive learning theory and research.... This is a work of brilliant scholarship...."
    –Manuel London, State University of New York at Stony Brook, American Journal of Psychology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107661363
    • length: 540 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.71kg
    • contains: 44 b/w illus. 15 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction:
    1. The need to override experience
    2. The nature of the enterprise
    Part II. Creativity:
    3. The production of novelty
    4. Creative insight: the redistribution theory
    5. Creative insight writ large
    Part III. Adaptation:
    6. The growth of competence
    7. Error correction: the specialization theory
    8. Error correction in context
    Part IV. Conversion:
    9. The formation of belief
    10. Belief revision: the resubsumption theory
    Part V. Conclusion:
    11. Elements of a unified theory
    12. The recursion curse.

  • Author

    Stellan Ohlsson, University of Illinois, Chicago
    Stellan Ohlsson is Professor of Psychology and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Stockholm in 1980. He has held positions as Research Associate in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University and as Senior Scientist in the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) at the University of Pittsburgh, before joining UIC in 1996. His work has been supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other organizations. Dr Ohlsson has published extensively on computational models of cognition, creative insight, skill acquisition, and the design of instructional software, as well as other topics in higher cognition.

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