About Cognitive Modeling
The Cognitive Modeling Group studies human cognition by creating cognitive models of complex behavior. Cognitive models are, essentially, theories of how people think, implemented in computer simulations. To test these models, their predictions are compared to human data from behavioral and neuroimaging studies. In particular, we are interested in model-based analyses of neural data, in which a model is used to guide the interpretation of the data.
Cognitive models can be applied in many domains: they can be used as the basis for designing education and training, or they can be used to implement intelligent agents in various applications. Many of the models we build are developed with the ACT-R language/modeling formalism or the PRIMs architecture which was originally developed by our group.
An overarching theme in our group is skill acquisition. We look at it in a variety of contexts, ranging from medical decision-making, to multitasking, and the transfer of skills across domains. We also investigate how people can reduce distraction and improve their mental abilities through meditation and how they acquire and interpret natural language. We also study cognition and learning in low-level spiking neural networks in the context of the Cognigron Center for Cognitive Systems and Materials.
Our group has a number of labs in which to conduct experimental research: One for parallel behavior testing, one for eye-tracking, and one for EEG combined with eye-tracking. We also collect fMRI data in collaboration with the NeuroImaging Center at the University of Groningen and we collaborate closely with John Anderson from the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, where we collect fMRI and MEG data.
An overview of our research projects can be found here.
Our research is part of the department of Artificial Intelligence within the Bernoulli Institute and the research school BCN. We collaborate in a number of projects with Hedderik van Rijn at the Dept. of Psychology, University of Groningen.
We organize a yearly Spring School on Cognitive Modeling. The spring school covers different modeling paradigms (ACT-R, Nengo, PRIMs, and error-driven learning) and thereby offers a unique opportunity to learn the relative strengths and weaknesses of these approaches.
We organized the International Conference of Cognitive Modeling (ICCM) in 2000 and in 2015 . In 2009, we organized the Cognitive Science Conference. In June 2016 we organized a symposium on multitasking.
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