Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
van Gelder: The dynamical hypothesis

Theories of structure versus theories of change

Melanie Mitchell a1
a1 Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM 87501


The dynamics/computation debate recalls a similar debate in the evolutionary biology community concerning the relative primacy of theories of structure versus theories of change. A full account of cognition will require a rapprochement between such theories and will include both computational and dynamical notions. The key to making computation relevant to cognition is not making it analog, but rather understanding how functional information-processing structures can emerge in complex dynamical systems.