Dear FIS Colleagues,

The Plato’s allegory about prisoners in the cave (maybe!) is one of the first 
attempts to pay attention to consciousness models [Plato, 2002, Book VII, p. 
373]. Let remember that the best candidate for such kind of prisoner is the 
brain, including ones of all kinds of Infoses. (To avoid misunderstandings with 
concepts Subject, agent, animal, human, society, humanity, living creatures, 
etc., we use the abstract concept “INFOS” to denote every of them as well as 
all of artificial creatures which has features similar to the former ones 
[Markov et al, 2007]).

There are at least two types of models created by and in the Infos’ 
consciousness - isomorphic (correspond) to the structure of input from the 
sensors (called in cognitive science “mental models” [Johnson-Laird, 1983]) and 
not isomorphic (textual in any language) (called “deductive, analytic, or 
logical models” [Wittgenstein, 1922]). 

Both models are very important but the second type (deductive) exists only at 
the high level and very complex organized Infoses (humans, societies, 
humanity). For deductive modeling one needs a language as a tool for modeling. 
Maybe some animals have some language possibilities but they are not enough for 
deductive modeling.

Now I shall continue with a short survey on the “mental models”. 

In the next post I shall discuss the deductive models. 

For humans, the mental models are psychological representations of real, 
hypothetical, or imaginary situations. 

The mental model theory was established by Philip Johnson-Laird in 
[Johnson-Laird, 1983] and has proven extremely powerful in predicting and 
explaining higher-level cognition in humans [MMRW, 2018]. 

For other types of Infoses, the mental models correspond to the level of 
consciousness organization, for instance art is a kind of “social mental model”.

In 1896, the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce had postulated that 
reasoning is a process by which a human: “examines the state of things asserted 
in the premises, forms a diagram of that state of things, perceives in the 
parts of the diagram relations not explicitly mentioned in the premises, 
satisfies itself by mental experiments upon the diagram that these relations 
would always subsist, or at least would do so in a certain proportion of cases, 
and concludes their necessary, or probable, truth.” [Peirce, 1896]. 

In Wittgenstein’s “picture” theory of the meaning of language, mental models 
have a structure that corresponds to the structure of what they represent 
[Wittgenstein, 1922]. They are accordingly akin to architects’ models of 
buildings, to molecular biologists’ models of complex molecules, and to 
physicists’ diagrams of particle interactions. 

In 1943, the Scottish psychologist Kenneth Craik had proposed a similar idea:

“... human thought has a definite function; it provides a convenient 
small-scale model of a process so that we can, for instance, design a bridge in 
our minds and know that it will bear a train passing over it instead of having 
to conduct a number of full-scale experiments; and the thinking of animals 
represents on a more restricted scale the ability to represent, say, danger 
before it comes and leads to avoidance instead of repeated bitter experience” 
[Craik, 1943, page 59].

“If the organism carries a 'small-scale model' of external reality and of its 
own possible actions within its head, it is able to try out various 
alternatives, conclude which is the best of them, react to future situations 
before they arise, utilize the knowledge of past events in dealing with the 
present and future, and in every way to react in a much fuller, safer, and more 
competent manner to the emergencies which face it” [Craik, 1943, page 61].

Since Craik’s insight, cognitive scientists have argued that the mind 
constructs mental models as a result of perception, imagination and knowledge, 
and the comprehension of discourse. They study how children develop such 
models, how to design artifacts and computer systems for which it is easy to 
acquire a model, how a model of one domain may serve as analogy for another 
domain, and how models engender thoughts, inferences, and feelings [MMRW, 2018].

To be continued...

Friendly greetings



[Craik, 1943] Kenneth James Williams Craik . The Nature of Explanation. 
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1943) . Reprinted: October 1967, ISBN: 
9780521094450. 136 pages.

[Johnson-Laird, 1983]  Mental Models. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983. Italian translation by 
Alberto Mazzocco, Il Mulino, 1988. Japanese translation, Japan UNI Agency,1989.

[Johnson-Laird, 1995] Philip N. Johnson-Laird. Mental models, deductive 
reasoning, and the brain. (1995) In Gazzaniga, M.S. (Ed.) The Cognitive 
Neurosciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 999-1008.

[Markov et al, 2007] Kr. Markov, Kr. Ivanova, I. Mitov. Basic Structure of the 
General Information Theory. IJ ITA, Vol.14, No.: 1, 2007. pp. 5-19.

[MMRW, 2018]  Mental Models and Reasoning website (MMRW).  

[Peirce, 1896], Charles Sanders. Principles of Philosophy, 10. Kinds of 
reasoning, 66. Deduction. page 28 in Collected Papers of Charles Sanders 
Peirce, Volume 1. Harvard University Press, 1931. 1932, 1959, 1960, 1974 - 535 
pages. ISBN 0-674-13800-7.
  ; see also:

[Plato, 2002] Plato. The Republic. IDPH. 

[Wittgenstein, 1922] Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 
translated C. K. Ogden, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & CO., New York: 
Harcourt, Brace & Company,1922 (in English).

From: Krassimir Markov 
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2018 12:34 AM
Infos has possibility to reflect the reality via receptors and to operate with 
received reflections in its memory. The opposite is possible - via effectors 
Infos has possibility to realize in reality some of its (self-) reflections 
from its consciousness.


The commutative diagram on Figure 1 represents modeling relations. In the frame 
of diagram:

- in reality: real models: s is a model of r, 

- in consciousness: mental models: si is a mental model of ri;

- between reality and consciousness: perceiving data and creating mental 
models:  triple (si, ei, ri) is a mental model of triple (s, e, r).


It is easy to imagine the case when the Infos realizes its reflections using 
its effectors, i.e. relation between consciousness and reality: realizing 
mental models and creating data. In this case the receptors’ arrows should be 
replaces by opposite effectors’ arrows. In this case triple (s, e, r) is a 
realization of the mental model (si, ei, ri).



Figure 1



After creating the mental model it may be reflected by other levels of 
consciousness. In literature several such levels are described. For instance, 
in [2], six levels are separated for humans (Figure 2). The complexity of Infos 
determines the levels. For instance, for societies the levels are much more, 
for animals with no neo-cortex the levels a less.



Figure 2.   [2]


This means that the mental models are on different consciousness levels and 
different types (for instance - touch, audition, vision).


In [2], Jeff Hawkins had remarked: “The transformation— from fast changing to 
slow changing and from spatially specific to spatially invariant— is well 
documented for vision. And although there is a smaller body of evidence to 
prove it, many neuroscientists believe you'd find the same thing happening in 
all the sensory areas of your cortex, not just in vision” [2].


As it is shown on Figure 2 mental models are in very large range from spatially 
specific to spatially invariant; from fast changing to slow changing; from 
“features” and “details” to objects”.

To be continued...



Friendly greetings




[1] Kr. Markov, Kr. Ivanova, I. Mitov. Basic Structure of the General 
Information Theory. IJ ITA, Vol.14, No.: 1, 2007. pp. 5-19.

[2] Hawkins, Jeff (2004). On Intelligence (1st ed.). Times Books. p. 272. ISBN 


<<attachment: clip_image002[1].gif>>

Attachment: image[1].png
Description: Binary data

Fis mailing list

Reply via email to