Research Topic

Causal discovery and generalization

  • Submission closed.

About this Research Topic

The fundamental problem of how causal relationships can be induced from noncausal observations has been pondered by philosophers for centuries, is at the heart of scientific inquiry, and is an intense focus of research in statistics, artificial intelligence and psychology. In particular, the past couple of ...

The fundamental problem of how causal relationships can be induced from noncausal observations has been pondered by philosophers for centuries, is at the heart of scientific inquiry, and is an intense focus of research in statistics, artificial intelligence and psychology. In particular, the past couple of decades have yielded a surge of psychological research on this subject – primarily by animal learning theorists and cognitive scientists, but also in developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Central topics include the assumptions underlying definitions of causal invariance, reasoning from intervention versus observation, structure discovery and strength estimation, the distinction between causal perception and causal inference, and the relationship between probabilistic and connectionist accounts of causal learning. The objective of this forum is to integrate empirical and theoretical findings across areas of psychology, with an emphasis on how proximal input (i.e., energies impinging on sensory systems) can be translated into reliable and accurate mental models of distal causal connections. Our main focus will be on three broad questions of (i) how humans, and other animals, discover the causal structure of their environment, (ii) how such inference is generalized across spatial and temporal contexts, and (iii) how it shapes cognition, perception and action. Although this dialogue is mainly devoted to the psychological study of how humans acquire and generalize causal knowledge, a deeply related question, and one that has profoundly impacted developments in cognitive science, is how such processes can or should be computed by intelligent systems. Consequently, we strongly encourage contributions, while maintaining a primary focus on psychology, to draw heavily on statistics, philosophy, computer science, and any other discipline grappling with the constraints and opportunities afforded by a furthered understanding of causal representation.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Recent Articles

Loading..

About Frontiers Research Topics

With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

Submission closed.

Participating Journals

Loading..

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

Submission closed.

Participating Journals

Loading..
Loading..

total views article views article downloads topic views

}
 
Top countries
Top referring sites
Loading..

Comments

Loading..

Add a comment

Add comment
Back to top