Computational Cognitive Modeling - Reading Assignment
The Unconscious Juggling of Mental Objects

  1. The main topical theme of Preface 2 is titled The Unconscious Juggling of Mental Objects and it is of significance because it involves the interpretation of everyday thoughts that go on in our minds. Our minds repeatedly feeds inputs to our brains and our output may sometimes be an exterior reaction or an interior thought.

  2. A glom is a jumble of letters that are able to be pronounced and be close enough to a real word.

  3. The two well-define phases of glomming involve firstly, being provided a set of letters and randomizing it. Afterwards you look if you are able to create a glom, if not, repeat the process again.

  4. The analogy that Hofstader likes to use in when discussing "virtual objects" is his ball in videogame idea. Although a ball may exist in pixel form on a screen, it is not completely in real life, but because of the alignment and order of pixels our minds are able to conceptualize it and identify it as a ball.

  5. When Hofstader asks "Why work so hard to model such a frivolous and atypical cognitive activity" he answers by simply saying mental juggling is a very important, pervasive kind of mental activity that has nothing intrinsic to do with anagrams. In better words, it is important to map out our head's cognitive abilities because it can help recognize and compare the minds of everyone.

  6. I think the most significant idea presents in the short section of Jumbo versus Brute Force, is that although a program may be very simply and outdated, it can still hold a significance compared to its predecessors.

  7. The Hearsay II project is about the development of a parallel architecture in which bottom-up and top-down processing could both exist and influence each other. Hofstader was impressed by it because some of its specific types of actions were only set into motion through appropriate conditions.

  8. Hofstader found it to be an impressive idea and enjoyed its whole hierarchy of conditions. Although it used preconditions many times it was not an infinite regress but stopped after a finite number of times. It would be a great way for finding out exactly when to invoke a very precisely and subtly targeted type of action. He uses the words specificity and expensiveness for the computational part of this topic.

  9. A parallel terraced scan involves an action that has many small objects or agents performing their functions in order to meet a certain goal.

  10. Hofstader uses the example of an Indiana University sorority rush in order to describe a parallel terraced scan. Many girls would apply to many sororities and figure out which was best suited for their needs. They may attend dozens of parties but in the end only one club was chosen.

  11. A real life example of a parallel terraced scan would be a person's dieting options. When you want to increase your weight or decrease it, you choose to eat only certain kinds of foods beneficial for your bodily needs.