Indiana University Bloomington

The Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition (aka the Fluid Analogies Research Group, or simply FARG) is an interdisciplinary center for research in cognitive science, directed by Douglas Hofstadter. CRCC is affiliated with the Cognitive Science Program at IU, and has close ties with the Computer Science Department. CRCC research focuses mainly on emergent computational models of creative analogical thinking and its subcognitive substrate -- namely, fluid concepts. concepts Several computer programs modeling the interplay between concepts and perception in the course of analogy-making have been developed; these include the Copycat and Tabletop programs. The Letter Spirit project, modeling the perception and creation of style in the world of letterforms, has now resulted in a Letter Spirit program capable of designing and evaluating gridfonts.

creativityThe group also conducts research (mostly non-computational) in a number of other areas of cognitive science, including error-making, creative translation, scientific discovery, musical composition, the comprehension and invention of jokes, the nature of sexist language and default imagery, philosophy of mind, and foundations of artificial intelligence.

To get more of an idea of what it is that CRCC does, you can explore our research topic pages. When you want more detail, you can read our publications, explore the many links to the home pages of FARGonauts past and present, or buy the book.

Douglas Hofstadter's many interests are described at:

Recent Events

  • September, 2010: Douglas Hofstadter elected a Distinguished Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society.
  • May, 2010: Douglas Hofstadter elected a Foreign Member of The Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala in its Class for Physics and Mathematics ('fysisk-matematiska klassen'). The Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala was founded in 1710.
  • April, 2009: Douglas Hofstadter elected to the American Philosophical Society.
  • April, 2009: Douglas Hofstadter elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • April, 2008: Douglas Hofstadter wins the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for best science & technology book for his book I Am a Strange Loop.


2009 Fall Course Offering:

      Eugene Onegin, Pushkin's Paradoxical Gem

2010 Fall Course Offerings:

      Insight and Invention in Geometry

       Ambigrams and the Mechanisms of Creativity