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SAL: an explicitly pluralistic cognitive architecture

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The SAL cognitive architecture is a synthesis of two well-established constituents: ACT-R, a hybrid symbolic-subsymbolic cognitive architecture, and Leabra, a neural architecture. These component architectures have vastly different origins yet suggest a surprisingly convergent view of the brain, the mind and behaviour. Furthermore, both of these architectures are internally pluralistic, recognising that models at a single level of abstraction cannot capture the required richness of behaviour. In this article, we offer a brief principled defence of epistemological pluralism in cognitive science and artificial intelligence, and elaborate on the SAL architecture as an example of how pluralism can be highly effective as an approach to research in cognitive science.

Keywords: cognitive architecture; cognitive models; cognitive neuroscience; computational models; pluralism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: eCortex, Inc., Boulder, Colorado, USA 2: Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA 3: Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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