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Chapter 02 - answers

Further questions for chapter 02 - suggested answers

Q. Winograd's SHRDLU was based on the idea that language uses various algorithms. Explain why this idea was helpful in creating SHRDLU. Also explain why this idea is helpful for cognitive science more generally.

A. Winograd used a variety of different algorithms to produce complex behavior. Each algorithm could be responsible for a specific and discrete component of language, which, when combined, simulated something much more complex. This provided a way of studying and understanding linguistic behavior, as well as many other cognitive abilities. It suggested that understanding language just required more extensive understanding of various algorithms used by the brain. It also provided a way of breaking down linguistic ability into specific and discrete tasks.

Q. Winograd and Marr used similar strategies in studying their respective cognitive systems (language and vision). Explain what these strategies were.

A. Both focused on algorithms and both used a hierarchical approach.

Q. Explain the connection between Shepard and Metzler's mental imagery study and Kosslyn's (1973) experiment.

A. They both uncovered mental imagery processes. They also both caused problems for the idea of digital representation of information in the brain.

Q. Fill in this chart (from fig. 2.9)

The three levels at which any machine carrying out an information-processing task must be understood
1. Computational theory 2. Representation and algorithm 3. Hardware implementation

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