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Grounding relations and analogy-making in action : A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Ph.D. in Cognitive Science

Vankov, Ivan (2010) Grounding relations and analogy-making in action : A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Ph.D. in Cognitive Science. PhD thesis, New Bulgarian University.

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Abstract

This thesis presents an attempt to ground relational concepts and relational reasoning in actually executed or mentally simulated interactions with the environment. It is suggested that relations are encoded by executing or mentally simulating actions which are constrained by the environment and the specifics of the human body. The embodiment view of relations is discussed in light of contemporary theoretical, computational and empirical research of relations and relational reasoning. Two computer simulations based on the AMBR (Associative Memory Based Reasoning) model of analogy-making are reported. The first simulation describes how spatial relations are grounded in actually executed actions. The second simulation shows how other classes of relations, such as functional relations, are encoded and compared by simulated perceptual-motor interactions. A series of experiments which test the predictions of the embodiment approach to relations are described. The results of the experiments indicate that people simulate actions when comparing relations and that the process of relational comparison is constrained by the characteristics of the human body. Finally, the results of the computation and the empirical studies are put together and it is discussed to what extent the predictions of the model are supported by the experimental results. The shortcomings and limitations of the proposed approach are outlined and directions for future studies are given.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:embodiment, relations, analogy
Subjects:Psychology > Cognitive psychology (science)
ID Code:1371
Deposited By: Ivan Vankov
Deposited On:27 Aug 2012 10:52
Last Modified:30 Sep 2012 20:55

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