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Lines of Generation and/or Application of Knowledge

Since the DCC is a continuity postgraduate course, the LGAC of the Doctoral Study Plan, like the LGAC of the Master's in Cognitive Sciences (MCC), has been called Natural and Artificial Cognitive Systems, not only because it allows grouping the areas disciplines that have shaped the curricula of the MCC and that also shape that of the DCC (epistemology and philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence and cognitive robotics, cognitive linguistics, cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, cognitive anthropology and cognitive and behavioral ecology), but also because one of the main objectives of Cognitive Sciences is to develop a general theory of cognitive systems, whether natural or artificial.

According to Bunge (2012), all sciences study systems of some kind, whether natural (physical, chemical, biological or social) or artificial (technical). However, for some decades, specialists from various scientific disciplines have come together, initiating inter/transdisciplinary collectives with the aim of generating unified approaches to solve problems relevant to different fields of research, since many concepts, principles and models can be valid for different types of systems. That has been the spirit of the Postgraduate in Cognitive Sciences with its MCC and it is also now for its DCC. Despite the fact that all sciences study some type of natural or artificial system, for Cognitive Sciences in general and for DCC students in particular, the focus on both types of systems becomes essential and necessary to understand and propose fundamental principles for a general theory of cognitive systems.

Natural cognitive systems are those that have originated by self-assembly. All cognitive activities in natural systems, including those mechanisms of development and some kind of lifelong learning, are biological functions, as well as social ones in the case of social animals, and therefore all are product aspects. of evolution and adaptation by natural selection of animals to their environments, therefore, all their behavior is cognitive in the sense that all cognitive processes are part of behavioral systems whose main logic is survival and reproduction in an environment particular ecological. Natural cognitive systems “make important decisions” in response to the environmental context (external information) and according to their internal states (internal information). Cognitive systems perform functions that have been called knowing, understanding, planning, deciding, solving problems, analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating and judging, all of them integrated with the processes of perception and behavioral action. In this sense, although natural cognitive systems respond differently to the environment, in a simple or sophisticated way, in their natural environment these responses tend to favor the survival and reproduction of individuals (Davies et al., 2012). Although all behavior depends on the private processing of information, that is, on cognitive mechanisms, processing is a necessary part of a behavioral output. However, the result of the activation of these private cognitive processes is a public behavioral output susceptible to being under the action of natural selection. This will occur if the cognitive mechanisms have a variable heritable genetic substrate that affects individual aptitude when they are put into action producing the behavior. There is a great variety of cognitive systems at different levels (Sun et al., 1999) ranging from socio-cultural cognition, to individual cognitive agents or to the cognitive subsystems of individuals (cognitive components and their functions), which they can also be called cognitive systems.

For their part, artificial cognitive systems do not self-assemble in nature, they have been assembled by a human being (a natural cognitive system) with the intention of duplicating or imitating (modeling or simulating) the behavior of a given system (a natural cognitive system). natural cognitive) by another system of a different class (an automaton) that performs a particular cognitive function (pattern recognition) in order to solve practical problems or apply a model on the functioning of a natural cognitive system (Bunge, 2012). In this case, the artificial systems researcher does not incorporate specific laws (biological or chemical, for example) into his model. Rather, it builds a black box, gray box, or kinematic model without the details related to the material composition of the system to be modeled. This model must be general enough to include the most fundamental aspects of the organization and behavior of the system. This requires an inter/transdisciplinary approach and not a specialized or disciplinary approach.

Both systems, natural or artificial, are adaptive in their behavior and in the processing of information. Its capacities and processes are not preordained only by the internal structure of the system, but also necessarily require interaction with its environment. Therefore, cognitive systems, both natural and artificial, can feel, act, communicate, learn and evolve (Taylor, 2006). High-level cognitive systems can present varying degrees of what is known as intelligence.

The last 20 years have seen great progress in the study of cognitive systems. The development of Cognitive Sciences will have an important impact in different areas of human societies. Two motivations are fundamental in the development of cognitive sciences, one cognitive and the other practical. In the first case, cognitive motivation lies in the natural human desire to know and understand the fundamental aspects of natural and artificial cognitive systems. On the other hand, the practical motivation is the need to deal with the vast and multifaceted systems characteristic of industrial societies, such as communication networks, factories, hospitals, and armies. This complexity, especially the variety of the components of these systems, transgresses the traditional boundaries between disciplines and demands a transdisciplinary approach (Bunge, 2012).

Therefore, although Cognitive Sciences constitute a complex of disciplines rather than as an independent science, it maintains the spirit and the unified approach in the company that tries to understand the fundamental principles of cognitive systems from different methodological approaches coming from different disciplines. with the aim of studying and understanding the cognition and behavior of animals and machines. From this point of view, the LGAC of the DCC involves the LGAC of the researchers of the various disciplines that make up CINCCO and the professors of other centers, all of whom are part of the NAB of the DCC. Although DCC students will work directly with their thesis director, they will be involved and in inter/transdisciplinary contact with researchers dedicated to the study of behavior, artificial intelligence and cognition, to discuss common problems when studying and defining theoretically and empirically. This transdisciplinary enterprise of the LGAC of the DCC aims to identify universal principles and apply them to all cognitive systems.

In this sense, the LGAC of the DCC is more than relevant in the inter/transdisciplinary training of students, since they will have the opportunity to train as high-level cognitologists, specialized in one disciplinary area, but well aware of the existence of the others. Perspectives in the study of cognitive phenomena. This will affect not only their research work during the doctorate, but also their professional life when they establish their own lines of research.

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