Cognition as a sequence of searches


Some very, very random thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head.

Hypothesis: A cognitive moment consists of

Thinking consisting of a series of these searches. Sometimes a less than optimal solution might be chosen, as in simulated annealing, to avoid local minima.

By likeness to what we know of computerized searching (eg best-fit texture synthesis) we would expect:

By likeness to best-fit's ability to copy areas of image:

I therefore speculate that:

I'm also wondering what the different ways people put together jigsaws (like the one I described in earlier posts) would tell us about how they think. Jigsaws involve lots of searching, so we could observe people's search strategy as they construct one.

Clarification, 9 August 2004: By fat-tails I mean the L1 norm, two-tailed exponential distribution. L1 is harder to optimize for than L2 (corresponding to a Gaussian distribution) but, for many types of data, produces better results once the optimum is found. L2 has curved gradients, you can do the Newton's-method thing and find the minima pretty easily. L1 has flat gradients, you can't pick the minima from local curvature. ... Point being i'm not just hand waving, i have *specific* probability distributions in mind. This is something that could be used to make quantitative predictions about behaviour of normal people vs people with AD/HD and Autism specturm disorders.