What's a mind without a body? New research adds physiology to computer models

phys.org | 1/16/2018 | Staff
blockstyle (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net/newman/gfx/news/2018/whatsamindwi.jpg

Though computers are becoming better programmed to process information like our brains do, the power of the human mind is unmatched. But what's the mind without a body?

A new research study being conducted by Frank Ritter, professor in Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), asserts that without a physiological complement, "[A computer program modeling the mind] would just be a brain in a vat."

Ritter - Reasoning - Approach - Body - Needs

Ritter's reasoning for exploring this approach is that a body's natural needs, state and inclinations inherently influence whatever the mind does.

He explained, "All the aspects of a human body—nausea, hunger, emotion—they all support and drive cognition and influence it."

Example - Brain - Decisions - Speed - Person

For example, while driving, the brain makes all the decisions about what speed to reach, where to turn. But what if the person driving had been awake for more than 24 hours? The fatigue on their body inevitably influences the ability to drive.

Now, thanks to a sub-contract, Ritter and Christopher Dancy, an assistant professor of computer science at Bucknell University and former Penn State IST doctoral student, are exploring that notion by programming a sense of bodily processes within a computer simulation.

Researchers - Majority - Efforts - Mind - Fatigue

The researchers are focusing the majority of their efforts on how the mind responds to physical fatigue. Specifically, they are exploring this topic through the framework of ACT-R/Phi, which combines a...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
Wake Up To Breaking News!
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to Long Room!

Where The World Finds Its News!