Definitions of cognitive functions - Any pointers?

From: Konstantinos Natsakis (
Date: Mon Feb 12 2007 - 14:04:35 MST

Hello all,
I've been reading this list for the last couple of months, and I enjoyed
reading about novel (and new to me) ideas in fields that I consider as the
frontiers of the human intellect.

For some time now, I've been considering the idea of defining many
-typically hard to define- cognitive functions (such as though, memory
recollection, consiousness, pain, desire) using a rationally concrete
mathematical model. That is, defining the above functions as states,
transformations or relations within this mathematical model.

For example defining thought as a state of a neural state machine with
particular properties. Memory recollection as a state change and a slight
transformation of the underlying state machine structure. Concious thoughts
as a subset of thoughts with certain properties etc

I find it a bit hard to believe that noone has ever thought this way before,
but I have found nothing similar at any of the resources I've read so far
(which is not much).
Do you know of any work that has been done in this field? Or any arguments
supporting that this is just as useless way of thinking? :-)

Any pointers will be greatly appreciated.

I'm currently doing the first year of a "Computer Science" BSc at the
University of Sheffield, UK.


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