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Quantum-like dynamics applied to cognition: a consideration of available options

Broekaert, J., Basieva, I., Blasiak, P. & Pothos, E. M. (2017). Quantum-like dynamics applied to cognition: a consideration of available options. Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 375(2106), doi: 10.1098/rsta.2016.0387


Quantum probability theory (QPT) has provided a novel, rich mathematical framework for cognitive modelling, especially for situations which appear paradoxical from classical perspectives. This work concerns the dynamical aspects of QPT, as relevant to cognitive modelling. We aspire to shed light on how the mind's driving potentials (encoded in Hamiltonian and Lindbladian operators) impact the evolution of a mental state. Some existing QPT cognitive models do employ dynamical aspects when considering how a mental state changes with time, but it is often the case that several simplifying assumptions are introduced. What kind of modelling flexibility does QPT dynamics offer without any simplifying assumptions and is it likely that such flexibility will be relevant in cognitive modelling? We consider a series of nested QPT dynamical models, constructed with a view to accommodate results from a simple, hypothetical experimental paradigm on decision-making. We consider Hamiltonians more complex than the ones which have traditionally been employed with a view to explore the putative explanatory value of this additional complexity. We then proceed to compare simple models with extensions regarding both the initial state (e.g. a mixed state with a specific orthogonal decomposition; a general mixed state) and the dynamics (by introducing Hamiltonians which destroy the separability of the initial structure and by considering an open-system extension). We illustrate the relations between these models mathematically and numerically.

This article is part of the themed issue 'Second quantum revolution: foundational questions'.

Publication Type: Article
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Accepted Version
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