Processing capacity defined by relational complexity: Implications for comparative, developmental, and cognitive psychology
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):803-831 (1998)
Working memory limits are best defined in terms of the complexity of the relations that can be processed in parallel. Complexity is defined as the number of related dimensions or sources of variation. A unary relation has one argument and one source of variation; its argument can be instantiated in only one way at a time. A binary relation has two arguments, two sources of variation, and two instantiations, and so on. Dimensionality is related to the number of chunks, because both attributes on dimensions and chunks are independent units of information of arbitrary size. Studies of working memory limits suggest that there is a soft limit corresponding to the parallel processing of one quaternary relation. More complex concepts are processed by or In segmentation, tasks are broken into components that do not exceed processing capacity and can be processed serially. In conceptual chunking, representations are to reduce their dimensionality and hence their processing load, but at the cost of making some relational information inaccessible. Neural net models of relational representations show that relations with more arguments have a higher computational cost that coincides with experimental findings on higher processing loads in humans. Relational complexity is related to processing load in reasoning and sentence comprehension and can distinguish between the capacities of higher species. The complexity of relations processed by children increases with age. Implications for neural net models and theories of cognition and cognitive development are discussed
|Keywords||capacity limits chunking cognitive development comparative psychology complexity neural nets relations representations resources working memory|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Derek C. Penn, Keith J. Holyoak & Daniel J. Povinelli (2008). Darwin's Mistake: Explaining the Discontinuity Between Human and Nonhuman Minds. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (2):109-130.
Derek C. Penn, Keith J. Holyoak & Daniel J. Povinelli (2008). Darwin's Triumph: Explaining the Uniqueness of the Human Mind Without a Deus Ex Machina. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (2):153-178.
Thomas Suddendorf (2008). Explaining Human Cognitive Autapomorphies. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (2):147-148.
Robert Leech, Denis Mareschal & Richard P. Cooper (2008). Analogy as Relational Priming: A Developmental and Computational Perspective on the Origins of a Complex Cognitive Skill. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (4):357-378.
Fabien Mathy & Jacob Feldman (2012). What's Magic About Magic Numbers? Chunking and Data Compression in Short-Term Memory. Cognition 122 (3):346-362.
Similar books and articles
Graeme S. Halford, Steven Phillips & William H. Wilson (2001). Processing Capacity Limits Are Not Explained by Storage Limits. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):123-124.
Danko Nikolic (1998). Chaotic Dimensionality of Hand Movements Define Processing Capacity by Relational Complexity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):842-843.
Daniel B. Berch & Elizabeth J. Foley (1998). Processing Demands Associated with Relational Complexity: Testing Predictions with Dual-Task Methodologies. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):832-833.
Nelson Cowan (1998). What is More Explanatory, Processing Capacity or Processing Speed? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):835-836.
Donna Coch & Kurt W. Fischer (1998). Discontinuity and Variability in Relational Complexity: Cognitive and Brain Development. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):834-835.
Damian P. Birney & Graeme S. Halford (2002). Cognitive Complexity of Suppositional Reasoning: An Application of the Relational Complexity Metric to the Knight-Knave Task. Thinking and Reasoning 8 (2):109 – 134.
Juan Pascual-Leone (1998). To Appraise Developmental Difficulty or Mental Demand, Relational Complexity is Not Enough. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):843-844.
Richard A. Heath & Brett K. Hayes (1998). Why is Capacity Limited? Missing Dynamics and Developmental Controversies. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):839-840.
Usha Goswami (1998). Is Relational Complexity a Useful Metric for Cognitive Development? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):838-839.
Graeme S. Halford, William H. Wilson & Steven Phillips (1998). Relational Complexity Metric is Effective When Assessments Are Based on Actual Cognitive Processes. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):848-860.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads23 ( #78,660 of 1,099,914 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #190,037 of 1,099,914 )
How can I increase my downloads?