Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

So, are we the massively lucky species?

  • Derek C. Penn (a1), Keith J. Holyoak (a1) and Daniel J. Povinelli (a2)

We are in vehement agreement with most of Vaesen's key claims. But Vaesen fails to consider or rebut the possibility that there are deep causal dependencies among the various cognitive traits he identifies as uniquely human. We argue that “higher-order relational reasoning” is one such linchpin trait in the evolution of human tool use, social intelligence, language, and culture.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

W. Ahn , C. Kalish , D. Medin & S. Gelman (1995) The role of covariation versus mechanism information in causal attribution. Cognition 54:299352.

G. Andrews , G. S. Halford , K. M. Bunch , D. Bowden & T. Jones (2003) Theory of mind and relational complexity. Child Development 74(5):1476–99.

P. W. Cheng (1993) Separating causal laws from casual facts: Pressing the limits of statistical relevance. In: The psychology of learning and motivationvol. 30, ed. D. L. Medin , pp. 215–64. Academic Press.

P. W. Cheng (1997) From covariation to causation: A causal power theory. Psychological Review 104:367405.

S. Cho , T. D. Moody , L. Fernandino , J. A. Mumford , R. A. Poldrack , T. D. Cannon , B. J. Knowlton & K. J. Holyoak (2010) Common and dissociable prefrontal loci associated with component mechanisms of analogical reasoning. Cerebral Cortex 20:524–33.

R. L. Gomez & L. Gerken (2000) Infant artificial language learning and language acquisition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4(5):178–86.

A. Gopnik & L. Schulz eds. (2007) Causal learning: Psychology, philosophy, and computation. Oxford University Press.

G. S. Halford , W. H. Wilson & S. Phillips (1998) Processing capacity defined by relational complexity: Implications for comparative, developmental, and cognitive psychology. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21(6):803–31; discussion 831–64.

K. J. Holyoak & P. W. Cheng (2011) Causal learning and inference as a rational process: The new synthesis. Annual Review of Psychology 62:135–63.

D. A. Lagnado , M. R. Waldmann , Y. Hagmayer & S. A. Sloman (2007) Beyond covariation: Cues to causal structure. In: Causal learning: Psychology, philosophy, and computation. ed. A. Gopnik & L. Schulz , pp. 154–72. Oxford University Press.

D. C. Penn & D. J. Povinelli (2007a) Causal cognition in human and nonhuman animals: A comparative, critical review. Annual Review of Psychology. 58:97118.

D. C. Penn , K. Holyoak & D. J. Povinelli (2008) Darwin's mistake: Explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31(2):109–78.

S. Pinker & R. Jackendoff (2005) The faculty of language: What's special about it? Cognition 95:201–36.

J. B. Tenenbaum , T. L. Griffiths & C. Kemp (2006) Theory-based Bayesian models of inductive learning and reasoning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10(7):309–18.

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: 2
Total number of PDF views: 16 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 109 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.