Information for cognitive agents

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Humans use information in everyday activities, including learning, planning, reasoning and decision-making. There is broad agreement that, in some sense, human cognition involves the processing of information, and, indeed, many psychological and neuroscientific theories explain cognitive phenomena in information-theoretic terms. However, it is not always clear which of the many concepts of 'information' is the one relevant to understanding the nature of human cognition. Here, I suggest that information should be understood pragmatically. Whatever the criteria for information are, what makes some x informational has to do with how an agent either processes or can process x. Information is defined as meaningful structured representations of perceptual data. Their meaningfulness is determined by their behavioural effect on the agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-155
Number of pages8
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Cognition, AIC 2014 - Torino, Italy
Duration: 26 Nov 201427 Nov 2014


  • Behavioural effect
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive science
  • Data
  • Information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (all)


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