Foundations Of Cognitive Science


Anderson’s adaptive control of thought (ACT) architecture (Anderson, 1983) represents an evolution of the production system architecture invented by Newell and Simon.  Two of its major innovations are the introduction of a declarative memory to serve as a store of knowledge that was independent of productions, and the introduction of learning mechanisms that permitted new productions to be added.  Of course, ACT included other innovations, such as new formats for the elements that were represented in the “thinking” part of the system.  However, the early ACT architectures remained true to their antecedents by acknowledging the existence of sensing and acting, but by also failing to elaborate the nature of these components.  The ACT architecture “historically was focused on higher level cognition and not perception or action” (Anderson et al., 2004, p.1038).  Thus, ACT still exemplifies the classical sandwich (Dawson, Dupuis & Wilson, 2010; Hurley, 2001).


  1. Anderson, J. R. (1983). The Architecture Of Cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  2. Anderson, J. R., Bothell, D., Byrne, M. D., Douglass, S., Lebiere, C., & Qin, Y. L. (2004). An integrated theory of the mind. Psychological Review, 111(4), 1036-1060.
  3. Dawson, M.R.W., Dupuis, B., & Wilson, M. (2010).  From Bricks To Brains: The Embodied Cognitive Science of LEGO Robots. Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press
  4. Hurley, S. (2001). Perception and action: Alternative views. Synthese, 129(1), 3-40.

(Added October 2010)