1. The nature and scope of computational models

Reading Sec. 1.2 of Marr’s classic book Vision. Marr points out that when we ask a question about the mind (e.g., “How does language work?”), there are at least three different interrelated levels we can answer that question. Marr’s three levels of analysis have become one of the key insights in the meta-science of the mind (that is, the science of conducting cognitive science), and we will be returning to them throughout the course.

Reading questions:

a) Many neuroscientists argue that learning involves changing the structure of the synapses of neurons. Randy Gallistel has argued that other mechanisms may be involved as well. At which of Marr’s levels is this discussion happening?

b) Psychologists and artificial intelligence researchers both study the nature of intelligence. At which of Marr’s levels are their interests most likely to interact?

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