Quantum-like non-separability of concept combinations, emergent associates and abduction

Bruza, P. D., Kitto, K., Ramm, R., Sitbon, L., Song, D. and Blomberg, S. (2012) Quantum-like non-separability of concept combinations, emergent associates and abduction. Logic Journal of IGPL, 20 2: 445-457. doi:10.1093/jigpal/jzq049

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Author Bruza, P. D.
Kitto, K.
Ramm, R.
Sitbon, L.
Song, D.
Blomberg, S.
Title Quantum-like non-separability of concept combinations, emergent associates and abduction
Journal name Logic Journal of IGPL   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1367-0751
1368-9894
Publication date 2012-04-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/jigpal/jzq049
Volume 20
Issue 2
Start page 445
End page 457
Total pages 13
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract Consider the concept combination ‘pet human’. In word association experiments, human subjects produce the associate ‘slave’ in relation to this combination. The striking aspect of this associate is that it is not produced as an associate of ‘pet’, or ‘human’ in isolation. In other words, the associate ‘slave’ seems to be emergent. Such emergent associations sometimes have a creative character and cognitive science is largely silent about how we produce them. Departing from a dimensional model of human conceptual space, this article will explore concept combinations, and will argue that emergent associations are a result of abductive reasoning within conceptual space, that is, below the symbolic level of cognition. A tensor-based approach is used to model concept combinations allowing such combinations to be formalized as interacting quantum systems. Free association norm data is used to motivate the underlying basis of the conceptual space. It is shown by analogy how some concept combinations may behave like quantum-entangled (non-separable) particles. Two methods of analysis were presented for empirically validating the presence of non-separable concept combinations in human cognition. One method is based on quantum theory and another based on comparing a joint (true theoretic) probability distribution with another distribution based on a separability assumption using a chi-square goodness-of-fit test. Although these methods were inconclusive in relation to an empirical study of bi-ambiguous concept combinations, avenues for further refinement of these methods are identified.
Keyword Conceptual combination
Emergence
Quantum theory
Abductive reasoning
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A quantum logic of down below. In Handbook of Quantum Logic and Quantum Structures. vol. 2. K. Engesser, D. Gabbay, and D. Lehmann, eds. pp. 625–660, 2009. arXiv:quant-ph/0612051. This article draws a speculative connection between the non-separability of concept combinations, emergent associates and human abductive reasoning. Concept combinations are modelled as inter- acting quantum systems of superposed ‘particles’ which may become non-separable. The interaction is formalized by the tensor product of the interacting systems. The basis states of the tensor product correspond to possible hypotheses as to how the concept combination may be interpreted, and these interpretations are assumed to be superposed in human cognition. It is possible that human abductive reasoning selects the most likely in order to furnish an ultimate interpretive scenario for the concept combination in question. Two methods of analysis were presented for empirically validating the presence of non-separable concept combinations. One method was based on quantum theory and another based on comparing a joint (true theoretic) probability distribution with another distribution based on a separability assumption using a chi-square goodness-of-fit test. Although these methods were inconclusive in relation to an empirical study of bi-ambiguous concept combinations, avenues of further refinement of these methods are identified. The door is definitely still open with respect to determining whether concept combinations are non-separable in human cognition. If convincing evidence were found that concept combinations are non-separable in human cog- nition, then this would undermine reductive models which understand concept combinations solely in terms of the constituent words in the combination. Such reductive models explicitly or tacitly adhere to Frege’s principle of compositionality. 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Additional Notes Published online 12 January 2011

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 19 Mar 2012, 21:54:37 EST by Simon Blomberg on behalf of School of Biological Sciences