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
Publication date 2012-04-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/jigpal/jzq049
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 20
Issue 2
Start page 445
End page 457
Total pages 13
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Subject 1211 Philosophy
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
Quantum theory
Abductive reasoning
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
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
Scopus Citation Count Cited 15 times in Scopus 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