Criteria for the Design and Evaluation of Cognitive Architectures

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    14 Scopus citations


    Cognitive architectures are unified theories of cognition that take the form of computational formalisms. They support computational models that collectively account for large numbers of empirical regularities using small numbers of computational mechanisms. Empirical coverage and parsimony are the most prominent criteria by which architectures are designed and evaluated, but they are not the only ones. This paper considers three additional criteria that have been comparatively undertheorized. (a) Successful architectures possess subjective and intersubjective meaning, making cognition comprehensible to individual cognitive scientists and organizing groups of like-minded cognitive scientists into genuine communities. (b) Successful architectures provide idioms that structure the design and interpretation of computational models. (c) Successful architectures are strange: They make provocative, often disturbing, and ultimately compelling claims about human information processing that demand evaluation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1329-1351
    Number of pages23
    JournalCognitive Science
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - Sep 2011


    • Artificial intelligence
    • Cognitive architecture
    • Computer simulation
    • Neural networks
    • Philosophy of computation
    • Philosophy of science
    • Psychology
    • Symbolic computational modeling


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