Scales of Cognition Evident in Action


When cognitive processes occur alongside observable actions, it is possible for characteristics of these processes to influence the ongoing performance of those actions. This satisfies everyday intuitions. For example, negotiators and poker players claim to be attuned to ‘tells,’ these early behavioral indicators of eventual decisions. Going beyond intuitions, however, several researchers have exploited this fine-grained source of behavior to highlight online cognitive processing. Using even a simple measure such as computer-mouse tracking can reveal a wide range of cognitive processing. Four participants in this symposium report on applications of the analysis of the action dynamics of cognition across multiple scales: (i) basic decisions, (ii) language processing, (iii) false responding, and (iv) social processes. The similarities and differences in expression of these processes in action highlight important continuities and discontinuities across cognitive and neural processes.

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