Explicit and Implicit Aspects of Human Cognition and Behavior

Professor Dr. Katsumi Watanabe
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Waseda University
Tokyo, Japan


In this talk, I would like to illustrate how human minds and brains may be approached scientifically, with a particular focus on human visual system and its cognitive characteristics. Understanding human cognition and behavior is essential for any information system, in particular in emerging fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Robotics, etc. Cognitive sciences involve studies on information systems, which obviously include humans, by examining what we can do (i.e., performances), what we cannot do (i.e., limits), what we are good or bad at (i.e., species-specific characteristics), and the extent to which we can change (plasticity). As cognitive science is interdisciplinary by its nature and the ranges of interests and issues vary, setting several must-follow principles would be vital; here I would list just several ones for handling human cognition and action: experimental attitude, complexity appreciation, appropriate reductionism, evolutional perspective, and understanding dynamically changing systems. Then, I shall discuss some important aspects of human cognition and action by showing visual demonstrations and discuss four issues in cognitive sciences. Bottom-up process versus Top-down process: Human cognition and actions are based on various automatic, stimulus-driven processes as well as deliberative, internally-driven processes. Although it is often difficult to disentangle these two processes, it is a good strategy to examine to what extent a phenomenon at hand is based on bottom-up processes and top-down processes. Interaction between Perception & Action: What we perceive is not necessarily identical to what we act on. Sometimes, perception and action are dissociable and sometimes they interact. Due to these dissociable and interacting bottom-up and top-down processes and the relationship between perceptual and action, we experience the complex mixture of conscious and unconscious effects.

Keynote Speaker Biography

Watanabe.jpg Katsumi Watanabe is Professor at Waseda University and Visiting Associate Professor at University of Tokyo. He received B.A in experimental psychology and M.A. in life sciences from the University of Tokyo and his PhD in Computation and Neural Systems from California Institute of Technology, for his work in crossmodal interaction in humans. He was a research fellow at National Institute of Health (USA) and a researcher at the National Institute of Advanced Science and Technology (Japan). His research interests include: scientific investigations of explicit and implicit processes, interdisciplinary approaches to cognitive science, and real-life applications of cognitive science.


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IEEE Catalog Number : 39384
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