HEIDi meeting

HEIDi, the Human-Environment Interaction Dynamics initiative, is a cross-disciplinary forum for research on the function and development of the human mind. The group meets monthly.

May’s presenter is Jim Zhu, with “Dynamic Psychological Systems — An Engineering View”

May 6th, 2005, 12:00 to 1:00 pm
Porter 106

This talk will present the (commonly practiced) engineering approach to dynamic processes and control systems, and suggest possible applications to psychological processes and systems. First, engineering concepts and terminology about dynamic processes and control systems will be introduced. Dynamic processes are characterized by having memory. As a consequence, changes and causal effects in a dynamic process take time, so they are (mathematically) described by evolutionary equations (i.e. differential or difference equations). Psychological and cognitive processes are also characterized by having memory, thus are naturally dynamic processes. A model of Abraham and Shaw (1982-88) for the left-right-center cognitive process will be used as an example of applications of the engineering approach to psychological processes, and extension of this example will also be suggested.

It is hoped that this talk will help to bridge a language barrier between members of HEIDi, and to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations. [A Pledge: I will make an effort to not indulge in math equations and engineering jargons, and to make it accessible and interesting to a broad audience.]

Reference Books:

  • Ralph L. Levine and Hiram E. Fitzgerald (Ed.) Analysis of Dynamic Psychological Systems, Lenum Press, 1992
  • Hassan K. Khalil, Nonlinear Systems, 3rd ed. Prentice Hall, 2002.
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