Agent zero : toward neurocognitive foundations for by Joshua M. Epstein

By Joshua M. Epstein

The ultimate quantity of the Groundbreaking Trilogy on Agent-Based Modeling

In this pioneering synthesis, Joshua Epstein introduces a brand new theoretical entity: Agent_Zero. This software program person, or "agent," is endowed with certain emotional/affective, cognitive/deliberative, and social modules. Grounded in modern neuroscience, those inner elements engage to generate saw, usually far-from-rational, person habit. while a number of brokers of this new style movement and engage spatially, they jointly generate an spectacular diversity of dynamics spanning the fields of social clash, psychology, public well-being, legislation, community technology, and economics.

Epstein weaves a computational tapestry with threads from Plato, Hume, Darwin, Pavlov, Smith, Tolstoy, Marx, James, and Dostoevsky, between others. This transformative synthesis of social philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, and agent-based modeling will fascinate students and scholars of each stripe. Epstein's laptop courses are supplied within the e-book or on its Princeton collage Press web site, besides video clips of his "computational parables."

Agent_Zero is a sign departure in what it comprises (e.g., a brand new synthesis of neurally grounded inner modules), what it eschews (e.g., regular behavioral imitation), the phenomena it generates (from genocide to monetary panic), and the modeling arsenal it deals the medical community.

For generative social technological know-how, Agent_Zero offers a groundbreaking imaginative and prescient and the instruments to achieve it.

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They even speak of “the possibility of a hard-­wired disposition to develop xenophobic responses” (p. 736). This is not to say that xenophobia itself is inevitable. Indeed, they also note that out-­group dating experiences can nullify the effect. Why this in-­group bias might have evolved is modeled This example comes from a talk John Cacioppo delivered at the Social and Behavioral Workshop, sponsored by the National Insitute for General Medical Sciences in Washington, DC, in November 2008. 64 Mathematical Model _39 in Hammond and Axelrod (2006a, b).

56 In other conditioning contexts, this may not be the relevant conditioning metric, as Rescorla (1988) very clearly argues. 32_ Part I a R L Figure 5. Postconditioning Amygdala fMRI. Source: Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Nature Neuroscience (Olsson and Phelps 2007, p. 289), copyright 2007 One exemplary experiment (Olsson and Phelps, 2007) uses color as the CS, electric shock as the US, and repeated color-­shock conditioning trials. After a number of these color-­shock pairings, the associative strength (V) of color and shock is sufficiently great that the color (the CS) alone elicits the anticipatory shock fear, measured by conductive skin response (CSR) and by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

I offer Agent_Zero as a step in the direction of a unified neurocognitively grounded foundation for generative social science. Explanation Is Not Justification Finally, it is worth stating explicitly that the model does not defend or justify any of the behaviors generated: violence, financial panic, or unhealthy eating. Indeed, the entire point is to offer a deeper explanation38 for such dynamics, precisely in order to control them, and to better know and control ourselves. Simply scroll down from the Applet Interface to find it.

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