Self-Organisation of Conceptual Spaces from Quality Dimensions

  • Paul VogtEmail author
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 359)


This chapter presents a discussion on how conceptual spaces can evolve from a set of quality dimensions, and how these spaces can become shared among a population of cognitive agents. An agent-based simulation of Steels’ Talking Heads experiment is presented in which virtual agents construct novel concepts, as well as a shared, simplified language from scratch. Simulations demonstrate that the structure of a conceptual space (i.e. from what quality dimensions it is composed) can evolve in a population of communicating agents. It is argued that the underlying mechanisms involve the following factors: the environment of the agents, their embodiment and cognitive capacities, self-organisation, and cultural transmission.


Quality Dimension Cultural Evolution Conceptual Space Cultural Transmission Rule Type 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The writing of this chapter was funded through a Vidi grant awarded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO, grant no. 276-70-018). I wish to thank Frank Zenker, Peter Gärdenfors and all participants of the Conceptual Spaces at Work symposium for their valuable contributions in discussing this research. Also, many thanks to Emiel Krahmer and an anonymous reviewer for their valuable comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tilburg centre for Cognition and CommunicationTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

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