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Inside CSULB
Vol 58 No. 2 : February, 2006
Vol 58 No. 2 : February, 2006
Conference Returns to Anatol Center

CSULB’s Psychology and Philosophy departments, in cooperation with the university’s Center for Cognitive Science, host the return to the Karl Anatol Center of its annual cognitive science conference from Thursday, Feb. 23, to Saturday, Feb. 25. The conference’s topic will be “The Epistemology of Natural and Artificial Systems.”

The interdisciplinary conference was organized to take advantage of the research strengths of several new faculty members as well as to be of general interest to the cognitive science community, said Philosophy’s Charles Wallis, organizer of the event.

Wallis will address the conference on Feb. 23, at 1 p.m. on “Gavagi Redoux” and will discuss the relationship between science and epistemology (the theory of knowledge) from both a programmatic and historical perspective.

Psychology’s Kevin MacDonald will speak at 1 p.m. on Feb. 24 on “Evolutionary Psychology and Rationality.” He will discuss conflicts between older evolutionary mechanisms and conscious, rational processing, as well as the issue of the adaptiveness of rationality.

Psychology’s Kim Vu will share her expertise in the area of human performance inside and outside of the laboratory. She will speak in the center at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 25 on “The Role of Action in Human Information Processing,” in which she will discuss how action goals need to be taken into consideration when designing interfaces and systems for which people must interact.

Philosophy’s Wayne Wright will speak at 1 p.m. the same day on the topic “Active - not enactive-vision” and will discuss current controversies regarding the nature and extent of representation in vision as well as the role of action in visual processing. Wright also has begun a project that explores the interaction of private information and reputation with non-ideal rationality in negotiation. 

A series of dinner talks will take place each evening of the conference at 6:30 p.m. in the Long Beach Guest House featuring speakers Keith Holyoak, Robert Richardson and Elizabeth Loftus. Other speakers include JD Trout, Franz-Peter Friesmaier, Michael Bishop, Michael Stevens, Jonathan Weinberg, John Pollock, George Pappas and Matthias Scheutz. CSULB students are encouraged to attend to hear at least one graduate paper presentation.

“Presentations at the conference will help participants in developing their ideas for publication,” said Wallis. “For instance, work presented by Dr. Trout and Dr. Bishop at the first conference we organized eventually lead to their publishing the book, Epistemology and the Psychology of Human Judgement. They are returning this year to discuss further developments in their thoughts on that subject.”

Conferences organized by the center provide students and faculty with exposure to cutting-edge thinking by researchers at all stages of their careers. “Conferences like these enhance the profile of CSULB in the national and local cognitive science community,” said Wallis. “Moreover, it allows us to showcase some of the excellent research being done by our own faculty.”

Wallis hopes conference participants come away with new insights into their own work and an awareness of the issues that engage other researchers in the field. “I also hope that participants will leave with a positive opinion of CSULB and the researchers and students here,” he said.

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