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Computation vs. information processing: why their difference matters to cognitive science

Authors
Journal
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
0039-3681
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
41
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.07.012
Keywords
  • Computation
  • Information Processing
  • Computationalism
  • Computational Theory Of Mind
  • Cognitivism

Abstract

Abstract Since the cognitive revolution, it has become commonplace that cognition involves both computation and information processing. Is this one claim or two? Is computation the same as information processing? The two terms are often used interchangeably, but this usage masks important differences. In this paper, we distinguish information processing from computation and examine some of their mutual relations, shedding light on the role each can play in a theory of cognition. We recommend that theorists of cognition be explicit and careful in choosing notions of computation and information and connecting them together.

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