how do we think?


We have a very narrow view of what is going on.
Daniel Kahneman

 
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I am a third year doctoral student at the Institut für Neuroinformatik, a free institute at the Ruhr-University Bochum. I am involved in two closely related groups at the institute, the Embodied Cognition group and the Autonomous Robotics group, both lead by Prof. Dr. Gregor Schöner. In both groups, we are trying to understand how cognitive processes are realized in the human brain. We develop mathematical models of cognitive processes that explain, for instance, how populations of neurons in the brain can stand for something in the world (for example, when we see a duck in a pond and know that this thing we are seeing is in fact a duck). To demonstrate the autonomy of our cognitive models and show how our they can be linked to sensory-motor systems, we often implement the models on robotic platforms.

My personal area of study is higher cognition, were I am interested in problems like the representation of concepts (e.g., the concept 'duck' or the concept 'red'), how these concepts can be combined to imagine complex scenes (like a red duck), or how we can do operations on these concepts. Within this broad field, I am particularly interested in the mechanisms that flexibly organize these different operations in time.

In my research, I am working with Dynamic Field Theory, an abstract mathematical model of activation distributions in the human brain.