Stellan Ohlsson, University of Illinois at Chicago


Stellan Ohlsson, University of Illinois at Chicago

Sage 4101

September 23, 2009 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


Like other types of skills, cognitive skills require practice before they can be fully mastered. Systematic attempts to describe the cognitive mechanisms behind learning by practicing began a century ago. Since 1979, theories of skill learning postulate one or more computational learning mechanisms, implement those mechanisms as running computer simulation models, run the models to derive their behavioral implications and match the latter against data from human learners. After briefly summarizing a particular learning mechanism known as constraint-based specialization, I'll raise the question of how the many alternative theoretical proposals in this area should be compared and the correct theory selected. Three meta-theoretical principles will be proposed that in conjunction imply that the latter is the wrong question, that the bewildering variety of learning mechanisms can be reduced to nine distinct modes of learning and that all nine modes are psychologically real. The implications of this multi-mechanism perspective for cognitive modeling, AI/robotics and for the design of intelligent tutoring systems will be discussed.


Learning from Performance Errors

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