cognitive integration

MAS S63: Integrative Theories of Mind and Cognition

Research on the question of the nature of minds entered a new era in the 1950ies, when Marvin Minsky, John McCarthy and others started the field of Artificial Intelligence. The new perspective of information processing allowed to look at aspects of minds that were excluded from research in psychology (which at the time studied mostly behavior). In AI, mental representation, reasoning, perception, and agency became accessible through a constructionist paradigm. Instead of developing models by measuring aspects of intelligent behavior, the new paradigm aimed at understanding minds by constructing a working equivalent.

In the 1970ies, Artificial Intelligence put a stronger emphasis on its engineering side, and the new field of Cognitive Science emerged. After decades of separation, it is time to re-integrate the sciences of cognition into a cohesive understanding. Cognitive Architectures, autonomous learning, types and modes of representation and constraints from neuroscience offer new ways of looking at mind and intelligence.

This seminar is a continuation of the course Future Destinations in Artificial Intelligence in the fall term.
We would like to encourage discussion and reflection, and welcome new insights through the interaction of participants. We will attempt to keep the schedule flexible to accommodate their suggestions and interests. The course will consist of a theoretical part, focused on concepts and discussion, and practical hands-on sessions, with the goal of implementing AI models in an agent based paradigm.

Time and Place

Mondays 6-8 in E15-341: Presentations and Discussions
Fridays 2-4 in E15-359: Practical implementations, hands-on assignments

First session: February 8th, 2016


Participants are expected to have solid background knowledge in standard methods of Artificial Intelligence (programming skills, knowledge representation, machine learning).


There will be no exams, and grading is based on participation, a presentation and a short paper, or alternatively, a programming project. 
Students wishing to deliver a presentation and a paper (or project) should contact the organizers early on.


Joscha Bach (
Adam Marblestone (
Manushaqe Muco (

Faculty Supervision

Kevin Slavin