COGENT is a graphical tool for building computational models and managing
research programmes in cognitive modelling. It supports the development of a
series of executable cognitive models, within an environment that interfaces a
box and arrow style specification language with a symbolic modelling
The graphical interface allows the user to specify a model by drawing boxes
and connecting them with arrows. By then specifying further details of the
boxes, the user can execute or "animate" the theory. Figure 1 shows a
typical COGENT box and arrow diagram.
Figure 1: A COGENT Box and Arrow Diagram
The different shapes of boxes in the diagram in Figure 1 reflect boxes with
different properties or behaviours. For example, rectangular boxes with
rounded corners correspond to buffers or boxes whose primary function is
information storage. COGENT provides a range of configurable box types, as
shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: COGENT's Hierarchy of Box Classes
COGENT has been used to develop cognitive models in a range of domains,
- child memory (Barreau, 1997; Miller, 1996);
- judgement and decision making (Fox & Cooper, 1997; Cooper & Fox, 1997; Yule, Cooper
& Fox, 1998);
- multicolumn addition (Cooper, 1996);
- lexical concept combination (Cooper & Franks, 1996);
- kinaesthetic acuity training (Sims & Morton, 1998);
- reasoning (Cooper, Yule, Fox & Sutton, 1998);
- problem solving (Cooper, 2002);
- sentence processing (Cooper, 2002); and
- executive control (Glasspool & Cooper, 2002).
Several other projects are in progress.