Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

The imaginary fundamentalists: The unshocking truth about Bayesian cognitive science

Nick Chatera1, Noah Goodmana2, Thomas L. Griffithsa3, Charles Kempa4, Mike Oaksforda5 and Joshua B. Tenenbauma6

a1 Behavioural Science Group, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom.

a2 Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305.

a3 Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1650.

a4 Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

a5 Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck College, University of London, London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom.

a6 Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139.


If Bayesian Fundamentalism existed, Jones & Love's (J&L's) arguments would provide a necessary corrective. But it does not. Bayesian cognitive science is deeply concerned with characterizing algorithms and representations, and, ultimately, implementations in neural circuits; it pays close attention to environmental structure and the constraints of behavioral data, when available; and it rigorously compares multiple models, both within and across papers. J&L's recommendation of Bayesian Enlightenment corresponds to past, present, and, we hope, future practice in Bayesian cognitive science.

(Online publication August 25 2011)

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