Formalisation of cognitive resources as information gain.
A pervasive concept in the psychology and neuroscience literature is that of cognitive resources. It is used in many different fields as a way to discuss about the difficulty of cognitive tasks, the level of engagement of individuals in a task or the phenomenon of fatigue. And yet, to this day we don’t know what cognitive resources are. Here, I will detail a framework based on information theory that I think could help us tackling this question by providing us with a way to quantify the minimal amount of resources demanded by a task. I assume that the brain is designed to navigate optimally to make rational decisions, bounded by its metabolic context. This assumption leads me to propose to confront behaviour and brain physiology to information theoretic predictions on how metabolic cost and the rate of information processing should be traded off.