Modelling Shared Extended Mind and Collective Representational Content
Some types of animals exploit the external environment to support their cognitive processes, in the sense of patterns created in the environment that function as external mental states and serve as an extension to their mind. In the case of social animals the creation and exploitation of such patterns can be shared, thus obtaining a form of shared mind or collective intelligence. This paper explores this shared extended mind principle for social animals in more detail. The focus is on the notion of representational content in such cases. Proposals are put forward and formalised to define collective representational content for such shared external mental states. A case study in social ant behaviour in which shared extended mind plays an important role is used as illustration. For this case simulations are described, representation relations are specified and are verified against the simulated traces.
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