This book is a condensation of a large body of work concerning human learning carried out over a period of more than five years by Dr. Sun and his collaborators. In a nutshell, this work is concerned with a broad framework for studying human cognition based on a new approach that is characterized by its focus on the dichotomy of, and the interaction between, explicit and implicit cognition and a computational model that implements this framework.
In this work, a broad, generic computational model was developed that instantiates Dr. Sun's framework and enables the testing of his theoretical approach in a variety of ways. With this model, simulation results were matched with data of human cognition in a variety of different domains. Formal (mathematical and computational) analyses were also carried out to further explore the model and its numerous implementational details. Furthermore, this book addresses some of the most significant theoretical issues, such as symbol grounding, intentionality, social cognition, consciousness, and other theoretical issues in relation to the framework. The general framework and the model developed generate interesting insights into these theoretical issues.
"…I find Sun's CLARION to be a strong and interesting exploration of the power of hybrid models to capture properties of human learning and problem solving. It is among the best and is to be highly recommended to anyone for whom computer models in this domain are in the least relevant. I find the attention to broader foundational concerns-representation, consciousness, sociality-to be refreshing and stimulating in a book with a focus on a computational model. Again, Sun is to be strongly applauded for recognizing that such issues must be addressed and cannot simply be postponed."
—Contemporary Psychology APA REVIEW OF BOOKS
"For decades, Cognitive Science has been grappling with the issue of how to best understand the interactions between symbolic and subsymbolic cognition. In this ambitious and wide-ranging book, [Ron] Sun boldly takes it as a starting point that our minds are dual and implements his hypothesis as a hybirid computational model that he then compares the behavior with that of human subjects exposed to implicit learning tasks. The result is a sometimes exhilarating romp through many issues central to contemporary cognitive science, including consciousness, the role of culture and embodiment in cognition, or the interactions between bottom-up and top-down processing. Whether or not one agrees with Sun's perspective, this book will challenge anyone with an interest in understanding how the mind works."
Universit‚ Libre de Bruxelles
"In the past decade Ron Sun has been the foremost proponent of the new wave of hybrid architectures of cognition. By combining the insights of symbolic and connectionist approaches, hybrid cognitive systems hold the promise to break the old dogmatic stalemates and provide a full understanding of the workings of the human mind….This book is essential reading for anyone trying to keep up with the exploding and exciting new field of hybrid architectures of cognition."
Carnegie Mellon University
"This is cognitive science at its best: innovative, eclectic, synergistic, and, above all, liberated from the fixed dogmatic paradigms into which much of the field has settled."
University of Iowa
Contents: Preface. The Essentials of Human Activities. A Theoretical Model. Current Implementations. Accounting for Human Data Qualitatively. Accounting for Human Data Quantitatively. Symbol Grounding and Situated Cognition. The Issue of Consciousness. Sociocultural Factors in Cognition. Comparisons. Conclusions.