v1.5: The Tripartite Mind

Part Of: [Cognitive Architecture] sequence
Followup To: [Mental Architecture v1.4]

Let’s review our theoretical trajectory.

The Autonomic Mind: Belief, Motivation, and Decision Making

Our first architectures (1.0 → 1.2) explored the autonomic mind, which comprises our most fundamental mental capacities.

The Algorithmic Mind: Attention, Consciousness, and Intelligence

Subsequent architectures (1.3 → 1.4) complemented this understanding with the algorithmic mind, by weaving together three theories:

  • The Global Workspace theory of consciousness (inspired by Baars).
  • The Interpretive Sensory Access theory of introspection (inspired by Carruthers).
  • The Emergent Working Memory theory of attention (inspired by Postle).

There is a close link between intelligence and consciousness, as evidenced by working memory’s strong correlation with both. Generally fluid intelligence (IQ) is essentially a measure of the precision of your attentional streams.

The Reflective Mind: Metacognition, Control, and Culture

The novel innovation of this architecture (1.5) could be entitled Prefrontal Cortex: The Final Frontier. It integrates two theories into the base corpus:

  • The Reflective Modulation theory of cognitive override (inspired by Stanovitch).
  • The Somatic Frame theory of culture (inspired by Damasio).

These five theories together constitute the foundation stones of my mental architecture. Let me call this synthesis the Attention-Modulated Tripartite Mind theory.

Putting Clothes On My Theory

A theory is a house, and the above merely represents its foundation. On this base, I will add details: the following posts are planned:

  • Towards Architectural Phylogeny. Explaining mental evolution across species is an important requirement for any mental architecture.
  • Towards Brain Architecture. If the brain implements the mind, then we should be able to localize mental software packages to their respective neural locations.
  • Towards Body Architecture. The brain’s computational powers serve the needs of an organism. Mental and brain architectures must be rooted in the concerns of anatomy and ecology.

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