Skip to main content

Growing cognition from recycled parts

  • Robert Leech (a1), Denis Mareschal (a1) and Richard P. Cooper (a1)

In this response, we reiterate the importance of development (both ontogenetic and phylogenetic) in the understanding of a complex cognitive skill – analogical reasoning. Four key questions structure the response: Does relational priming exist, and is it sufficient for analogy? What do we mean by relations as transformations? Could all or any relations be represented as transformations? And what about the challenge of more complex analogies? In addressing these questions we bring together a number of supportive commentaries, strengthening our emergentist case for analogy (in particular with insights from comparative psychology), and review new supportive evidence. We also rebut those commentaries that ignore development at their peril. Along the way, we revisit the main assumptions underlying the analogy as relational priming (ARP) account of analogy, clarifying and elaborating as necessary.

Hide All
Bates E. & Goodman J. C. (1997) On the inseparability of grammar and the lexicon: Evidence from acquisition, aphasia and real-time processing. Language and Cognitive Processes 12:507–84.
Chapman L. J., Chapman J. P., Curran T. E. & Miller M. B. (1994) Do children and the elderly show heightened semantic priming? Developmental Review 14:159–85.
Cheshire A., Ball L. J. & Lewis C. N. (2005) Self-explanation, feedback and the development of analogical reasoning skills: Microgenetic evidence for a metacognitive processing account. In: Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, ed. Bara B. G., Barsalou L. & Bucciarelli M., pp. 435–41. Erlbaum.
Cheshire A., Muldoon K., Francis B., Lewis C. N. & Ball L. J. (2007) Modelling change: New opportunities in the analysis of microgenetic data. Infant and Child Development 16:119–34.
Dehaene S., Naccache L., Cohen L., LeBihan D., Mangin J. F., Poline J. B. & Rivière D. (2001) Cerebral mechanisms of word masking and unconscious repetition priming. Nature Neuroscience 4:752–58.
Doumas L. A. A., Hummel J. E. & Sandhofer C. M. (2008) A theory of the discovery and prediction of relational concepts. Psychological Review 115:143.
Duscherer K., Mounoud P., Moy G. & Perraudin S., (in press) The influence of action perception on object recognition: A developmental study. Developmental Science.
Elman J., Bates E., Johnson M. H., Karmiloff-Smith A., Parisi D & Plunkett K. (1996) Rethinking innateness: A connectionist perspective on development. MIT Press.
Estes Z. & Jones L. L. (2006) Priming via relational similarity: A copper horse is faster when seen through a glass eye. Journal of Memory and Language 55(1):89101.
French R. M. (2002) The computational modeling of analogy-making. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6:200205.
Gentner D., Rattermann M. J., Markman A. B. & Kotovsky L. (1995) Two forces in the development of relational similarity. In: Developing cognitive competence: New approaches to process modeling, ed. Simon T. J. & Halford G. S., pp. 263313. LEA.
Goswami U. & Brown A. L. (1989) Melting chocolate and melting snowmen: Analogical reasoning and causal relations. Cognition 35:6995.
Goswami U. & Brown A. L. (1990) Higher-order structure and relational reasoning: Contrasting analogical and thematic relations. Cognition 36:207–26.
Gould S. J. (1992) Bully for brontosaurus. Penguin.
Gust H., Krumnack U., Kühnberger K.-U. & Schwering A. (2007) Integrating analogical and inductive learning at different levels of generalization. In: LNVD 2007: Learning from Non-Vectorial Data. Proceedings of the KI-2007 Workshop Held in Osnabrück, Germany, September 10th, 2007; Publications of the Institute of Cognitive Science, vol. 6, ed. Geibel P. & Jain B. J., pp. 4657. Institute of Cognitive Science.
Hahn U., Chater N. & Richardson L. B. C. (2003) Similarity as transformation. Cognition 87:132.
Hosenfeld B., van der Maas H. L. J. & van den Boom D. C. (1997) Indicators of discontinuous change in the development of analogical reasoning. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 64:367–95.
Larkey L. B. & Love B. C., (2007) Relations as transformations: Implications for analogical reasoning. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 60:897908.
Leech R., Mareschal D. & Cooper R. (2007) Relations as transformations: Implications for analogical reasoning. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 60:897–890.
Marcus G. F. (2004) The birth of the mind: How a tiny number of genes creates the complexities of human thought. Basic Books.
Mareschal D., Johnson M. H., Sirois S., Spratling M., Thomas M. & Westermann G. (2007) Neuroconstructivism, vol. I: How the brain constructs cognition. Oxford University Press.
Mareschal D. & Thomas M. S. C. (2007) Computational modeling in developmental psychology. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation (Special Issue on Autonomous Mental Development) 11(2):137–50.
Marr D. (1982) Vision: A computational investigation into the human representation and processing of visual information. W. H. Freeman.
Nietzsche F. (1891) Thus spake Zarathustra.
Oden D., Thompson K. R. & Premack D. (2001) Can an ape reason analogically? Comprehension and production of analogical problems by Sarah, a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). In: The analogical mind: Perspectives from cognitive science, ed. Gentner D., Holyoak K. & Kokinov B., pp. 471–97. MIT Press.
Opfer J. & Bulloch M. (in press) What makes relational reasoning smart? Revisiting the perceptual-to-relational shift in the development of generalization. Developmental Science.
O'Reilly R. C. (1996) Biologically plausible error-driven learning using local activation differences. Neural Computation 8:895938.
Piaget J., Montangero J. & Billeter J. (1977) La formation des correlats. In: Recherces sur l'abstraction reflechissante I, ed. Piaget J., pp. 115–29. Presses Unversitaires de France.
Rattermann M. J. & Gentner D. (1998a) More evidence for a relational shift in the development of analogy: Children's performance on a causal-mapping task. Cognitive Development 13:453–78.
Richland L. E., Morrison R. G. & Holyoak K. J. (2006) Children's development of analogical reasoning: Insights from scene analogy problems. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 94:249–73.
Shultz T. R. (2003) Computational developmental psychology. MIT Press.
Smith L. B. (2000) Avoiding associations when it's behaviorism you really hate. In: Becoming a word learner: A debate on lexical acquisition, ed. Golinkoff R. M., Hirsh-Pasek K., Bloom L., Smith L. B., Woodward A. L., Akhtar N., Tomasello M. & Hollich G.. Oxford University Press.
Spellman B. A., Holyoak K. J. & Morrison R. G. (2001) Analogical priming via semantic relations. Memory and Cognition 29:383–93.
Sternberg R. J. (1977a) Component processes in analogical reasoning. Psychological Review 84:353–78.
Thomas M. S. C. & Mareschal D. (1997) Connectionism and psychological notions of similarity. In: Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, ed. Shafto M. G. & Langley P., pp. 757–62. Erlbaum.
Thomas M. S. C. & Mareschal D. (2001) Metaphor as categorisation: A connectionist implementation. Metaphor and Symbol 16:527.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 11 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 94 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 20th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.