Representations in Mental Models
Final technical rept.
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE DEPT OF BRAIN AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES
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On March 12-13 an interdisciplinary group of thirty-five, composed of computer scientists, experimental psychologists, linguists, philosophers and connectionists met to share views on representations and their role in mental models. Although at least two books and several papers directly address these issues, the nature of mental models is far from clear. The meeting shed some light on why understanding mental models is difficult. Simply, put, the reason is that mental processes are described in many different ways and a quite different levels of abstraction, depending upon the researcher. For example, some emphasize the cognitive properties of mental models, whereas others are more concerned with the internal data structures. Still others may stress the logical form and content of the mental process, as constrasted with the actual computational machinery. The diversity of these viewpoints is clear upon reading the abstracts prepared by the participants. Further study is needed to examine how these diverse viewpoints fit together into a useful, integrated framework. KR