Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Algorithmic Cognition and the Computational Nature of the Mind

  • Hector ZenilEmail author
  • Nicolas Gauvrit
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27737-5_707-2

Algorithmic Cognition

The idea that complexity or, its reverse, simplicity are essential concepts for cognitive psychology was already understood in the middle of the twentieth century (Mach 1914), and these concepts have remained salient ever since (Oizumi et al. 2014). As early as the 1990s, the algorithmic theory of information was referenced by some researchers in psychology, who recommended the use of algorithmic complexity as a universal normative measure of complexity. Nevertheless, the noncomputability of algorithmic complexity was deemed an insurmountable obstacle, and more often than not it merely served as a point of reference.

In recent years, we have been able to create and use more reliable estimates of algorithmic complexity using the coding theorem method (Gauvrit et al. 2014b, 2016). This has made it possible to deploy a precise and quantitative approximation of algorithmic complexity, with applications in many areas of psychology and the behavioral sciences –...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Algorithmic Dynamics Lab, Unit of Computational Medicine and SciLifeLab, Center for Molecular Medicine, Department of Medicine SolnaKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Human and Artificial Cognition LabEPHEParisFrance