Séminaire DIC-ISC-CRIA – 27 avril 2023 par Ron SUN

Ron SUN – 27 avril 2023

Titre : Cognitive architectures and the crucial role of motivation: Linking intrinsic needs, goals, effort, and performance

Résumé :

Motivation is a crucially important aspect of human psychology. But “motivation” can denote a number of different things. Effects of motivation on cognition and performance have been found empirically in different fields, and the relationship between them seems complex and multi-faceted. There are many seemingly inconsistent studies as well as many different theories from different disciplines. I will show many of these can actually be synthesized within the unifying framework of a computational cognitive architecture. The framework can account for empirical phenomena across a wide range of domains, based on intrinsic needs/motives, utility calculation, and their effects on cognitive processes. What enables it to address this fundamental aspect of human psychology includes some of the most important characteristics that distinguish it from other popular models.

Bio :

Ron SUN, Professor of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, studies, models, and simulates human cognitive agents, including their abilities to learn, reason, and act in the real world. His research can be roughly categorized into the following main strands: (1) cognitive architectures, (2) hybrid connectionist (“neurosymbolic”) models, as well as (3) cognitive social simulation and cognitive social sciences. See his personal Webpage as well as the The Clarion project.


Sun, R., Bugrov, S., & Dai, D. (2022). A unified framework for interpreting a range of motivation-performance phenomenaCognitive Systems Research71, 24-40.

Bretz, S. & Sun, R. (2018). Two models of moral judgment. Cognitive Science, 42(S1), 4-37.  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/cogs.12517