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Hardcover | $50.00 Short | £34.95 | ISBN: 9780262232173 | 371 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 100 illus.| December 2001

Dynamical Cognitive Science


Dynamical Cognitive Science makes available to the cognitive science community the analytical tools and techniques of dynamical systems science, adding the variables of change and time to the study of human cognition. The unifying theme is that human behavior is an "unfolding in time" whose study should be augmented by the application of time-sensitive tools from disciplines such as physics, mathematics, and economics, where change over time is of central importance.

The book provides a fast-paced, comprehensive introduction to the application of dynamical systems science to the cognitive sciences. Topics include linear and nonlinear time series analysis, chaos theory, complexity theory, relaxation oscillators, and metatheoretical issues of modeling and theory building. Tools and techniques are discussed in the context of their application to basic cognitive science problems, including perception, memory, psychophysics, judgment and decision making, and consciousness. The final chapter summarizes the contemporary study of consciousness and suggests how dynamical approaches to cognitive science can help to advance our understanding of this central concept.

About the Author

Lawrence M. Ward is Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia.


"Ward has given us a comprehensive personal perspective on the emerging relations between dynamical theory and cognitive psychology. The subject is evolving and changing so rapidly that it can slip through our fingers even as we look at it. His work can help the reader stop and draw breath, before joining the chase to gain a deeper understanding. He addresses many of the major issues, and indicates problems that others have addressed or are now addressing. Contrasts are made with traditional more static theoretical stances in psychology. His book should serve as a useful introductory text to the proliferating journal articles which now are taking methodology and results further, to resolve the problems he delineates."--Robert A. M. Gregson, Emeritus Professor, Australian National University