I've been looking for a computational model in cognitive science, and perused Anderson's "How can the human mind occur in the physical universe?".

I've also seen this question comparing ACT-R with a empirical model called Spaun.

Are Anderson's ACT-R model and Spaun the state of the art in Cognitive Science, or are there other competing models currently being researched?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ For the most part, every researcher seems to work within their own framework. There's a lot of overlap between models, though. Since models are often used to predict and guide experimentation, I wouldn't characterize them as "competing" so much as "useful for different things." source, sort of: I work in a computational cognitive neuroscience lab. $\endgroup$
    – gabiwab
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ @gabiwab is there a model that's considered state of the art? $\endgroup$
    – yters
    Commented May 16, 2017 at 1:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'd say that different models are "state of the art" for different purposes! But really, it seems like the field is more oriented toward the iterative process of building better models rather than a canonical "best model." $\endgroup$
    – gabiwab
    Commented May 16, 2017 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ @gabiwab, so is it fair to say that to some degree whatever model is currently being iterated upon is better than those no longer under development? Or is there just no way to rank models against each other? $\endgroup$
    – yters
    Commented May 16, 2017 at 19:36

1 Answer 1


There are TONS of other Cognitive Models being researched. Specifically, see this giant comprehensive list of Cognitive Models [1]. Given such a wide array of models, it might be more helpful to focus on which framework are still under active use, in addition to Spaun and ACT-R. In "How to Build a Brain" by Chris Eliasmith, he compares Spaun with some other architectures in active use, including:

  • LISA
  • Neural Blackboard Architecture (NBA)
  • ICS
  • Dynamic Field Theory (DFT)
  • Leabra
  • Soar

However, in my personal experience as a researcher, the only one in that list that I've still seen active publications from is Leabra.

In conclusion, the cognitive modelling community is still very heterogenous. You never know when an old framework is going to be revived or a new one started, but hopefully the references I gave you are a good starting point.

  • [1] "40 Years of Cognitive Architectures: Focus on Perception, Attention, Learning and Applications" Iuliia Kotseruba, Oscar J. Avella Gonzalez, John K. Tsotsos

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.