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Trends Cogn Sci. 2017 Jun;21(6):425-433. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2017.03.011. Epub 2017 May 2.

The Importance of Falsification in Computational Cognitive Modeling.

Author information

1
Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Paris, France; Institut d'Étude de la Cognition, Departement d'Études Cognitives, École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France. Electronic address: stefano.palminteri@ens.fr.
2
Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Paris, France; Institut d'Étude de la Cognition, Departement d'Études Cognitives, École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France. Electronic address: valentin.wyart@ens.fr.
3
Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Paris, France; Institut d'Étude de la Cognition, Departement d'Études Cognitives, École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France. Electronic address: etienne.koechlin@ens.fr.

Abstract

In the past decade the field of cognitive sciences has seen an exponential growth in the number of computational modeling studies. Previous work has indicated why and how candidate models of cognition should be compared by trading off their ability to predict the observed data as a function of their complexity. However, the importance of falsifying candidate models in light of the observed data has been largely underestimated, leading to important drawbacks and unjustified conclusions. We argue here that the simulation of candidate models is necessary to falsify models and therefore support the specific claims about cognitive function made by the vast majority of model-based studies. We propose practical guidelines for future research that combine model comparison and falsification.

PMID:
28476348
DOI:
10.1016/j.tics.2017.03.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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