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Computational Cognitive Modeling of Control in Spatial Cognition

Schultheis, H.
2009, 252 pages
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978-3-89967-593-1
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Spatial cognition, that is, the ability to mentally process spatial information, is crucial in various domains of human endeavor. Navigating the immediate surroundings, planning a trip to and in non-immediate environments, and executing directed movements are only some examples of activities requiring spatial cognition. As in all cognition, spatial cognition requires control, that is, means to ensure a coherent functioning of those components of the human mind which are involved in realizing spatial cognition abilities. Despite the importance of both spatial cognition and control, no systematic investigation of control in spatial cognition exists.
This book starts such a systematic investigation by computational cognitive modeling of the mechanisms underlying control in human spatial cognition. After expounding the theoretical basis for modeling, a model of control of reference conflict and selection is presented. The model is shown to be a cognitively plausible account of control mechanisms in spatial cognition abilities as diverse as spatial term use, imaginal perspective taking, mental image reinterpretation, and spatial reasoning. As such the model highlights unanticipated commonalities between these spatial cognition abilities and, thus, stresses the importance of investigating control in spatial cognition.

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