Cognitive network science is an emerging approach that uses the mathematical tools of network science to map the relationships among representations stored in memory to examine how that structure might influence processing. In the present study, we used computer simulations to compare the ability of a well-known model of spoken word recognition, TRACE, to the ability of a cognitive network model with a spreading activation-like process to account for the findings from several previously published behavioral studies of language processing. In all four simulations, the TRACE model failed to retrieve a sufficient number of words to assess if it could replicate the behavioral findings. The cognitive network model successfully replicated the behavioral findings in Simulations 1 and 2. However, in Simulation 3a, the cognitive network did not replicate the behavioral findings, perhaps because an additional mechanism was not implemented in the model. However, in Simulation 3b, when the decay parameter in spreadr was manipulated to model this mechanism the cognitive network model successfully replicated the behavioral findings. The results suggest that models of cognition need to take into account the multi-scale structure that exists among representations in memory, and how that structure can influence processing.
Vitevitch, M.S.; Mullin, G.J.D. What Do Cognitive Networks Do? Simulations of Spoken Word Recognition Using the Cognitive Network Science Approach. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 1628. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11121628