Topics in Cognitive Modelling

Final essay: how to choose your paper(s)

Below are three strategies for helping you find appropriate papers to write about in your essay: by topic, by author/approach, or by browsing journals.

By topic

The easy way to do this is to take a look at the topics on the Readings page, find one that seems interesting (or is similar to a topic you are interested in), and then read the review article for that topic (if there is one) or the introductory and discussion sections of the papers. All of these places are likely to mention other modeling papers related to the topic, which you can then consider as your chosen papers. You can also look at papers that cite papers on the reading list, e.g., using google scholar.

Another option is to choose a subject you're interested in, even if it is not addressed in class, and even if you're not sure whether there is modeling work in the area. Remember the topic needs to be cognitive, i.e., related to perception, attention, memory, learning, language, decision making, etc., or perhaps a more general paper related to one of the themes of representation, innateness, etc. And there needs to be modelling content as well. If you are unsure whether your topic is appropriate, please ask.

Once you've identified a possible topic, you will then need to do some work to find out if there are appropriate papers. Try using the web or ask someone who might know, e.g., someone who is familiar with the experimental side of that domain. You may find that there are very few (or no) models of the topic, or that they are not satisfactory, in which case you may need to think about changing the topic slightly.

By author or approach

Rather than starting with a specific topic, you may have a general approach or area you are interested in. If so it's probably easiest to take a look at the publications of someone in that area, and see if you can find one or two that suit.

Below are some well-known researchers in various areas.

Connectionist models:

Bayesian/probabilistic models:

By browsing

A third possible strategy is to simply browse through recent articles in journals that typically publish papers on cognitive modelling. You may find an article or topic that simply catches your eye.

The most useful journals to check are probably Cognitive Science or Cognition; both have many modelling articles. Other psychology journals such as Psychological Review, Psychological Science, Journal of Memory and Language, Behavioural and Brain Sciences, etc. also carry some modelling articles but are mostly behavioural so you will have to browse through more articles to find appropriate ones.

All of these journals can be found through the Library's e-journal services .

It is not always obvious from the title that a paper uses modelling. For example, the following 3 papers from March 2012 Cognition are modelling papers, but only the last is obviously so:

You can usually get a better idea from the 'highlights' or abstract of the article.

We have also begun collecting a list of papers that seem appropriate. In some cases this just based on titles or abstracts, so if you wish to choose a paper from the list, you should confirm that it is actually suitable.

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