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Important new Behav. Brain Sci. changes

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  • Important new Behav. Brain Sci. changes

    Five important new changes in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS)
    addresses, policies and procedures (1-5) plus

    Three announcements about positions and activities at my new
    institution (Southampton University) (6-8).

    Summaries first, then the details:

    (1) New address for submitting BBS target articles
    (2) New address for submitting BBS commentaries
    (3) All commentaries now require asbtracts
    (4) All articles.commentaries now require email version and/or disk
    (5) Target articles now electronically retrievable in multiple ways

    (6) Applications invited for Psychology Professorship at U. Southampton.
    (7) Applications invited for grad students and postdocs to work with me
    (8) Come and give a talk at our new Cognitive Sciences Centre

    (1) NEW BBS ADDRESS (Editorial): Effective immediately, ALL SUBMITTED TARGET
    should henceforth be addressed to BBS's new Editorial Office:

    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
    Department of Psychology
    University of Southampton
    Highfield, Southampton
    phone: 44 703 594-583
    fax: 44 703 593-281

    All BBS email should go to the email address above; only messages intended
    for Stevan Harnad personally should be sent to --
    I now get over 80 emails a day so please, whatever can be answered by
    the Managing Editor, send to bbs rather than harnad!

    (2) SECOND NEW BBS ADDRESS: Effective immediately, ALL SUBMITTED
    COMMENTARIES (double-spaced, in triplicate, with email version and/or
    should henceforth be addressed to:

    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
    Cambridge University Press
    Journals Department
    40 West 20th Street
    New York, NY 10011-4211
    phone: 800-431-1580 (ext. 369, Ed Miller)
    212-924-3900 (ext. 369, Ed Miller)
    fax: 212-645-5960
    email: (or

    To expedite mailing, all commentaries will be received and logged in New
    York and then forwarded to the Editor in Southampton for review.

    (3) Effective immediately, every BBS commentary and author's response
    must have have an ABSTRACT (~60 words).

    (4) Effective immediately, IN ADDITION to the requisite number of hard
    copies, all BBS contributions (articles, commentaries, and responses) will
    also have to be submitted in electronic form -- by email (preferably) to or on a computer disk accompanying the hard copies.
    BBS is moving toward more and more electronic processing at all stages.
    The result will be much faster, more efficient and fairer procedures.

    (5) Electronic versions of the preprints of all BBS target articles can
    be retrieved by ftp, archie, gopher or World-Wide-Web from:

    This way prospective commentators can let us know that they would like
    to be invited to comment on target articles about to circulated for
    commentary, and can search the archive for past articles on which they
    may wish to contribute Continuing Commentary.

    (6) Applications are invited for a full Professorship in Psychology at
    the University of Southampton. I am especially interested to hear from
    Experimental/Clinical Neuropsychologists with active research
    programmes: Please contact me to discuss it informally:

    (7) Expressions of interest are also invited from prospective graduate
    students and postdoctoral fellows interested in coming to work with me
    in the Cognitive Psychology Laboratory and the Cognitive Sciences
    Centre at Southampton University. Our research focus is decribed below.
    Please write to:

    (8) Let me know if you will be in the London area and would like to
    give a talk about your work at our new Cognitive Sciences Centre (CSC),
    of which I am Director, with the collaboration of Professor Michael
    Sedgewick (Clinical Neurological Sciences), Professors Tony Hey and
    Chris Harris (Electronics and Computer Science), Dr. John Bradshaw
    (Anthro-Zoology Institute), Professor Wendy Hall (Multimedia Centre)
    and Professor Bob Remington (ex officio, Head of the Psychology


    Research Focus of the Laboratory

    CATEGORISATION AND COGNITION: Our capacity to categorise is at the
    heart of all of our cognitive capacity. People can sort and label the
    objects and events they see and hear with a proficiency that still far
    exceeds that of our most powerful machines. How do we manage to do it?
    The answer will not only tell us more about ourselves but it will allow
    us to apply our findings to enhancing our proficiency, both in the
    learning of categories and in our use of machines to extend our

    CATEGORY LEARNING is the most general form of cognition. Animals learn
    categories when they learn what is and is not safe to eat, where it is
    safe to forage, who is friend and who is foe. Children learn the same
    kinds of categories, but they eventually go on to the much more powerful
    and uniquely human strategy of learning categories by name, rather then
    by performing some instrumental response on them, such as eating or
    fleeing. Whether they categorise by instrumental response or by name,
    however, children must still have direct experience with the objects
    they are categorising, and some sort of corrective feedback from the
    consequences of MIScategorising them. Eventually, however, categories
    can be learned from strings of symbols alone, with most of those
    symbols being themselves the names of categories. This is the most
    remarkable of our cognitive capacities, language, but language and
    cognition cannot be understood unless we analyse how they are grounded
    in categorisation capacity (Harnad 1990). This is theme of our
    research programme.

    empirical ways to investigate the functional basis of our
    categorisation capacity. The first way is to (i) analyse our
    categorisation performance itself experimentally, particularly how we
    LEARN to categorise. The second way is to (ii) model our categorisation
    capacity with computers that must learn the same categories that we do,
    on the basis of the same input and corrective feedback that we get. The
    third way is to (iii) monitor brain function while we are learning
    categories, to determine what neural properties change during the
    course of learning, and to relate them to the performance changes
    during learning, as well as to the internal functioning of the machine
    models performing the same task. These three converging lines of
    investigation are the ones to be pursued in the Cognitive Psychology

    Details and papers are available from the URLs below:
    Stevan Harnad
    Professor of Psychology
    Director, Cognitive Sciences Centre

    Department of Psychology
    University of Southampton
    Highfield, Southampton
    phone: +44 703 592582
    fax: +44 703 594597