This paper considers an orectic penetration hypothesis which says that desires and desire-like states may influence perceptual experience in a non-externally mediated way. This hypothesis is clarified with a definition, which serves further to distinguish the interesting target phenomenon from trivial and non-genuine instances of desire-influenced perception. Orectic penetration is an interesting possible case of the cognitivepenetrability of perceptual experience. The orectic penetration hypothesis is thus incompatible with the more common thesis that perception is cognitively impenetrable. It (...) is of importance to issues in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, epistemology, and general philosophy of science. The plausibility of orectic perception can be motivated by some classic experimental studies, and some new experimental research inspired by those same studies. The general suggestion is that orectic penetration thus defined, and evidenced by the relevant studies, cannot be deflected by the standard strategies of the cognitive impenetrability theorist. (shrink)
Several psychological experiments have suggested that concepts can influence perceived color (e.g., Delk and Fillenbaum in Am J Psychol 78(2):290–293, 1965, Hansen et al. in Nat Neurosci 9(11):1367–1368, 2006, Olkkonen et al. in J Vis 8(5):1–16, 2008). Observers tend to assign typical colors to objects even when the objects do not have those colors. Recently, these findings were used to argue that perceptual experience is cognitively penetrable (Macpherson 2012). This interpretation of the experiments has far-reaching consequences: it implies that the (...) way we think of objects determines how we see them, thus threatening the role of perception in justifying beliefs. In this paper, I show that the psychological findings can be accounted for without admitting cognitivepenetrability. An underestimated but key feature of the experiments is that observers had to judge colors in borderline cases, in conditions of reduced acuity, or on the basis of color-concepts instead of matching. Such judgments are sensitive to the form of bias that Tversky and Kahneman (Science 185:1124–1131, 1974) have termed ‘anchoring’. Adopting a suggestion from Raffman (Philos Rev 103(1):41–74, 1994), I argue that the way subjects in the experiments think of the objects could affect their color judgments without altering their color experiences. (shrink)
This paper discusses a counterexample to the thesis that visual experience is cognitively impenetrable. My central claim is that sometimes visual experience is influenced by the perceiver’s beliefs, rendering her experience’s representational content indeterminate. After discussing other examples of cognitivepenetrability, I focus on a certain kind of visual experience— that is, an experience that occurs under radically nonstandard conditions—and show that it may have indeterminate content, particularly with respect to low-level properties such as colors and shapes. I (...) then explain how this indeterminacy depends on the perceiver’s beliefs or thoughts. Finally, I attempt to generalize the case and show how other sorts of visual experiences can also be penetrated by beliefs and, hence, be indeterminate. (shrink)
Experiences—visual, emotional, or otherwise—play a role in providing us with justification to believe claims about the world. Some accounts of how experiences provide justification emphasize the role of the experiences’ distinctive phenomenology, i.e. ‘what it is like’ to have the experience. Other accounts emphasize the justificatory role to the experiences’ etiology. A number of authors have used cases of cognitively penetrated visual experience to raise an epistemic challenge for theories of perceptual justification that emphasize the justificatory role of phenomenology rather (...) than etiology. Proponents of the challenge argue that cognitively penetrated visual experiences can fail to provide the usual justification because they have improper etiologies. However, extant arguments for the challenge’s key claims are subject to formidable objections. In this paper, I present the challenge’s key claims, raise objections to previous attempts to establish them, and then offer a novel argument in support of the challenge. My argument relies on an analogy between cognitively penetrated visual and emotional experiences. I argue that some emotional experiences fail to provide the relevant justification because of their improper etiologies and conclude that analogous cognitively penetrated visual experiences fail to provide the relevant justification because of their etiologies, as well. (shrink)
Is perception cognitively penetrable, and what are the epistemological consequences if it is? I address the latter of these two questions, partly by reference to recent work by Athanassios Raftopoulos and Susanna Seigel. Against the usual, circularity, readings of cognitivepenetrability, I argue that cognitive penetration can be epistemically virtuous, when---and only when---it increases the reliability of perception.
Perception is typically distinguished from cognition. For example, seeing is importantly different from believing. And while what one sees clearly influences what one thinks, it is debatable whether what one believes and otherwise thinks can influence, in some direct and non-trivial way, what one sees. The latter possible relation is the cognitive penetration of perception. Cognitive penetration, if it occurs, has implications for philosophy of science, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science. This paper offers an analysis (...) of the phenomenon, its theoretical consequences, and a variety of experimental results and possible interpretations of them. The paper concludes by proposing some constraints for analyses and definitions of cognitivepenetrability. (shrink)
Philosophers of mind and cognitive scientists have recently taken renewed interest in cognitive penetration, in particular, in the cognitive penetration of perceptual experience. The question is whether cognitive states like belief influence perceptual experience in some important way. Since the possible phenomenon is an empirical one, the strategy for analysis has, predictably, proceeded as follows: define the phenomenon and then, definition in hand, interpret various psychological data. However, different theorists offer different and apparently inconsistent definitions. And (...) so in addition to the usual problems (e.g., definitions being challenged by counterexample), an important result is that different theorists apply their definitions and accordingly get conflicting answers to the question “Is this a genuine case of cognitive penetration?”. This hurdle to philosophical and scientific progress can be remedied, I argue, by returning attention to the alleged consequences of the possible phenomenon. There are three: theory-ladenness of perception in contexts of scientific theory choice, a threat to the general epistemic role of perception, and implications for mental architecture. Any attempt to characterize or define, and then empirically test for, cognitive penetration should be constrained by these consequences. This is a method for interpreting and acquiring experimental data in a way that is agreeable to both sides of the cognitive penetration debate. Put crudely, the question shifts to “Is this a cognitive-perceptual relation that results in (or constitutes) one or more of the relevant consequences?” In answering this question, relative to various data, it may turn out that there is no single unified phenomenon of cognitive penetration. But this should be no matter, since it is the consequences that are of central importance to philosophers and scientists alike. (shrink)
Pylyshyn acknowledges that cognition intervenes in determining the nature of perception when attention is allocated to locations or properties prior to the operation of early vision. I present evidence that scale perception (one function of early vision) is cognitively penetrable and argue that Pylyshyn's criterion covers not a few, but many situations of recognition. Cognitivepenetrability could be their modus operandi.
We offer an ecological (Gibsonian) alternative to cognitive (im)penetrability. Whereas Pylyshyn explains cognitive (im)penetrability by focusing solely on computations carried out by the nervous system, according to the ecological approach the perceiver as a knowing agent influences the entire animal-environmental system: in the determination of what constitutes the environment (affordances), what constitutes information, what information is detected and, thus, what is perceived.
In a series of recent papers, Jane Heal (1994, 1995a, 1995b, 1996a, 1996b) has developed her own quite distinctive version of simulation theory and offered a detailed critique of the arguments against simulation theory that we and our collaborators presented in earlier papers. Heal's theory is clearly set out and carefully defended, and her critique of our arguments is constructive and well informed. Unlike a fair amount of what has been written in this area in recent years, her work is (...) refreshingly free of obscurity; it generates more light than heat. While we have many disagreements with Heal, we also find much that we can agree with and learn from. In this paper we hope to advance the discussion by saying where we agree and how we think we can build on that agreement. We'll also explain where we disagree and why. (shrink)
Amongst philosophers and cognitive scientists, modularity remains a popular choice for an architecture of the human mind, primarily because of the supposed explanatory value of this approach. Modular architectures can vary both with respect to the strength of the notion of modularity and the scope of the modularity of mind. We propose a dilemma for modular architectures, no matter how these architectures vary along these two dimensions. First, if a modular architecture commits to the informational encapsulation of modules, as (...) it is the case for modularity theories of perception, then modules are on this account impenetrable. However, we argue that there are genuine cases of the cognitivepenetrability of perception and that these cases challenge any strong, encapsulated modular architecture of perception. Second, many recent massive modularity theories weaken the strength of the notion of module, while broadening the scope of modularity. These theories do not require any robust informational encapsulation, and thus avoid the incompatibility with cognitivepenetrability. However, the weakened commitment to informational encapsulation significantly weakens the explanatory force of the theory and, ultimately, is conceptually at odds with the core of modularity. We then propose a non-modular notion of functionally independent system that, we argue, achieves the explanatory force sought by modularity theorists. (shrink)
There are good, even if inconclusive reasons to think that cognitive penetration of perception occurs: that cognitive states like belief causally affect, in a relatively direct way, the contents of perceptual experience. The supposed importance of—indeed as it is suggested here, what is definitive of—this possible phenomenon is that it would result in important epistemic and scientific consequences. One interesting and intuitive consequence entirely unremarked in the extant literature concerns the perception of art. Intuition has it that knowledge (...) about art changes how one aesthetically evaluates artworks. A profound explanation of this intuitive fact is that perceptual experiences vary with artistic expertise. Cognitive penetration provides an explanatory mechanism for this latter effect. What one knows or otherwise thinks about art may affect, in one of two ways sketched below, how one perceives art. Differences in aesthetic evaluation may follow, either because high-level aesthetic properties can be perceptually represented or because they supervene on low-level perceptible properties. All of this lends credence to the hypothesis that the expert better judges art because she better perceives art. And she better perceives art because she better knows art. (shrink)
This is an excerpt from a report that highlights and explores five questions which arose from the workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of Toronto, Mississauga on May 10th and 11th, 2012. This excerpt explores the question: What counts as cognitive penetration?
Can the phenomenal character of perceptual experience be altered by the states of one's cognitive system, for example, one's thoughts or beliefs? If one thinks that this can happen (at least in certain ways that are identified in the paper) then one thinks that there can be cognitive penetration of perceptual experience; otherwise, one thinks that perceptual experience is cognitively impenetrable. I claim that there is one alleged case of cognitive penetration that cannot be explained away by (...) the standard strategies one can typically use to explain away alleged cases. The case is one in which it seems subjects' beliefs about the typical colour of objects affects their colour experience. I propose a two-step mechanism of indirect cognitive penetration that explains how cognitive penetration may occur. I show that there is independent evidence that each step in this process can occur. I suspect that people who are opposed to the idea that perceptual experience is cognitively penetrable will be less opposed to the idea when they come to consider this indirect mechanism and that those who are generally sympathetic to the idea of cognitivepenetrability will welcome the elucidation of this plausible mechanism. (shrink)
'Epistemological constructivism' holds that vision is mediated by background preconceptions and is theory-laden. Hence, two persons with differing theoretical commitments see the world differently and they could agree on what they see only if they both espoused the same conceptual framework. This, in its turn, undermines the possibility of theory testing and choice on a common theory-neutral empirical basis. In this paper, I claim that the cognitive sciences suggest that a part of vision may be only indirectly penetrated by (...) cognition in a way that does not threaten retrieval of information from a visual scene in a bottom-up way. That blocks the constructivist epistemological thesis. However, since spatial attention, which can be cognitively driven, seems to permeate all stages of visual processes, one is led to conclude that there is no part of vision immune to direct cognitive interference. Against this, I elaborate on the role of spatial attention and argue that it does influence vision in a top-down manner, but it does so only in an indirect way. I then argue that the existence of visual processes that are only indirectly penetrated by cognition undermines the epistemological conclusions of constructivism. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to defend the view that the processes underlying early vision are informationally encapsulated. Following Marr (1982) and Pylyshyn (1999) I take early vision to be a cognitive process that takes sensory information as its input and produces the so-called primal sketches or shallow visual outputs: informational states that represent visual objects in terms of their shape, location, size, colour and luminosity. Recently, some researchers (Schirillo 1999, Macpherson 2012) have attempted to undermine the idea (...) of the informational encapsulation of early vision by referring to experiments that seem to show that colour recognition is affected by the subject's beliefs about the typical colour of objects. In my view, however, one can reconcile the results of these experiments with the position that early vision is informationally encapsulated. Namely, I put fort a hypothesis according to which the early vision system has access to a local database that I call the mental palette and define as a network of associative links whose nodes stands for shapes and colours. The function of the palette is to facilitate colour recognition without employing central processes. I also describe two experiments by which the mental palette hypothesis can be tested. (shrink)
This paper makes the case that when wishful thinking ill-founds belief, the belief depends on the desire in ways can be recapitulated at the level of perceptual experience. The relevant kinds of desires include motivations, hopes, preferences, and goals. I distinguish between two modes of dependence of belief on desire in wishful thinking: selective or inquiry-related, and responsive or evidence-related. I offers a theory of basing on which beliefs are badly-based on desires, due to patterns of dependence that can found (...) in the relationship between experiences and desires as well. This conclusion brings us a large part of the way to the conclusion that like beliefs, experiences can be ill-founded by depending on a desire. (shrink)
Michael Devitt ([2006a], [2006b]) argues that, insofar as linguists possess better theories about language than non-linguists, their linguistic intuitions are more reliable. (Culbertson and Gross ) presented empirical evidence contrary to this claim. Devitt () replies that, in part because we overemphasize the distinction between acceptability and grammaticality, we misunderstand linguists' claims, fall into inconsistency, and fail to see how our empirical results can be squared with his position. We reply in this note. Inter alia we argue that Devitt's focus (...) on grammaticality intuitions, rather than acceptability intuitions, distances his discussion from actual linguistic practice. We close by questioning a demand that drives his discussion—viz., that, for linguistic intuitions to supply evidence for linguistic theorizing, a better account of why they are evidence is required. (shrink)
In this paper I will claim that the different phenomenology of seeing-as experiences of ambiguous figures matches a difference in their intentional content. Such a content is non-conceptual when the relevant seeing-as experience is just an experience of organizational seeing-as. It is partially conceptual when the relevant seeing-as experience is an overall experience of seeing something as a picture that is identical with Wollheim’s seeing-in experience and is constituted by an experience of organizational seeing-as (its configurational fold) and by an (...) experience of knowingly illusory seeing-as (its recognitional fold). To my mind, Wittgenstein’s reflections on seeing-as have anticipated these claims. (shrink)
Short-term memory, nonattentional task effects and nonspatial extraretinal representations in the visual system are signs of cognitive penetration. All of these have been found physiologically, arguing against the cognitive impenetrability of vision as a whole. Instead, parallel subcircuits in the brain, each subserving a different competency including sensory and cognitive (and in some cases motor) aspects, may have cognitively impenetrable components.
The view that moral cognition is subserved by a two-tieredarchitecture is defended: Moral reasoning is the result both ofspecialized, informationally encapsulated modules which automaticallyand effortlessly generate intuitions; and of general-purpose,cognitively penetrable mechanisms which enable moral judgment in thelight of the agent's general fund of knowledge. This view is contrastedwith rival architectures of social/moral cognition, such as Cosmidesand Tooby's view that the mind is wholly modular, and it is argued thata two-tiered architecture is more plausible.
I elaborate on Pylyshyn's definition of the cognitive impenetrability (CI) of early vision, and draw on the role of concepts in perceptual processing, which links the problem of the CI or cognitivepenetrability (CP) of early vision with the problem of the nonconceptual content (NCC) of perception. I explain, first, the sense in which the content of early vision is CI and I argue that if some content is CI, it is conceptually encapsulated, that is, it is (...) NCC. Then, I examine the definitions of NCC and argue that they lead to the view that the NCC of perception is retrieved in a stage of visual processing that is CI. Thus, the CI of a state and content is a sufficient and necessary condition for the state and its content to be purely NCC, the CI?≡?NCC thesis. Since early vision is CI, the purely NCC of perception is formed in early vision. I defend the CI?≡?NCC thesis by arguing against objections raised against both the sufficient and the necessary part of the thesis. (shrink)
Pylyshyn could have strengthened his case by avoiding side issues and by taking a sterner, firmer line on the unresolved (and perhaps unresolvable) problems plaguing the sensitivity (d') measure of top-down, cognitive effects, as well as the general (nearly utter!) lack of convincing evidence provided by proponents of the cognitivepenetrability of visual perception.
Since the seventies, it has been customary to assume that intentionality is independent of consciousness. Recently, a number of philosophers have rejected this assumption, claiming intentionality is closely tied to consciousness, inasmuch as non- conscious intentionality in some sense depends upon conscious intentionality. Within this alternative framework, the question arises of how to account for unconscious intentionality, and different authors have offered different accounts. In this paper, I compare and contrast four possible accounts of unconscious intentionality, which I call potentialism, (...) inferentialism, eliminativism, and interpretivism. The first three are the leading accounts in the existing literature, while the fourth is my own proposal, which I argue to be superior. I then argue that an upshot of interpretivism is that all unconscious intentionality is ultimately grounded is a specific kind of cognitive phenomenology. (shrink)
This article clarifies three principles that should guide the development of any cognitive ontology. First, that an adequate cognitive ontology depends essentially on an adequate task ontology; second, that the goal of developing a cognitive ontology is independent of the goal of finding neural implementations of the processes referred to in the ontology; and third, that cognitive ontologies are neutral regarding the metaphysical relationship between cognitive and neural processes.
Cognitive systems research has predominantly been guided by the historical distinction between emotion and cognition, and has focused its efforts on modelling the “cognitive” aspects of behaviour. While this initially meant modelling only the control system of cognitive creatures, with the advent of “embodied” cognitive science this expanded to also modelling the interactions between the control system and the external environment. What did not seem to change with this embodiment revolution, however, was the attitude towards affect (...) and emotion in cognitive science. This paper argues that cognitive systems research is now beginning to integrate these aspects of natural cognitive systems into cognitive science proper, not in virtue of traditional “embodied cognitive science”, which focuses predominantly on the body’s gross morphology, but rather in virtue of research into the interoceptive, organismic basis of natural cognitive systems. (shrink)
This article tries to create a bridge of understanding between cognitive scientists and phenomenologists who work on attention. In light of a phenomenology of attention and current psychological and neuropsychological literature on attention, I translate and interpret into phenomenological terms 20 key cognitive science concepts as examined in the laboratory and used in leading journals. As a preface to the lexicon, I outline a phenomenology of attention, especially as a dynamic three-part structure, which I have freely amended from (...) the work of phenomenologist and Gestalt philosopher Aron Gurwitsch (1901â1973). As a conclusion, I discuss the nature of subjectivity in attention and attention research, and whether attention might be the same as consciousness. (shrink)
In Book I, Part I, Section VII of the Treatise, Hume sets out to settle, once and for all, the early modern controversy over abstract ideas. In order to do so, he tries to accomplish two tasks: (1) he attempts to defend an exemplar-based theory of general language and thought, and (2) he sets out to refute the rival abstraction-based account. This paper examines the successes and failures of these two projects. I argue that Hume manages to articulate a plausible (...) theory of general ideas; indeed, a version of his account has defenders in contemporary cognitive science. But Hume fails to refute the abstraction-based account, and as a result, the early modern controversy ends in a stalemate, with both sides able to explain how we manage to speak and think in general terms. Although Hume fails to settle the controversy, he nevertheless advances it to a point from which we have yet to progress: the contemporary debate over abstract ideas in cognitive science has stalled on precisely this point. (shrink)
The past 25 years have witnessed an increasing awareness of the importance of cognitive control in the regulation of complex behavior. It now sits alongside attention, memory, language, and thinking as a distinct domain within cognitive psychology. At the same time it permeates each of these sibling domains. This introduction reviews recent work on cognitive control in an attempt to provide a context for the fundamental question addressed within this topic: Is cognitive control to be understood (...) as resulting from the interaction of multiple distinct control processes, or are the phenomena of cognitive control emergent? (shrink)
We discuss the development of cognitive neuroscience in terms of the tension between the greater sophistication in cognitive concepts and methods of the cognitive sciences and the increasing power of more standard biological approaches to understanding brain structure and function. There have been major technological developments in brain imaging and advances in simulation, but there have also been shifts in emphasis, with topics such as thinking, consciousness, and social cognition becoming fashionable within the brain sciences. The discipline (...) has great promise in terms of applications to mental health and education, provided it does not abandon the cognitive perspective and succumb to reductionism. (shrink)
Recent theories in cognitive science have begun to focus on the active role of organisms in shaping their own environment, and the role of these environmental resources for cognition. Approaches such as situated, embedded, ecological, distributed and particularly extended cognition look beyond ‘what is inside your head’ to the old Gibsonian question of ‘what your head is inside of’ and with which it forms a wider whole—its internal and external cognitive niche. Since these views have been treated as (...) a radical departure from the received view of cognition, their proponents have looked for support to similar extended views within (the philosophy of) biology, most notably the theory of niche construction. This paper argues that there is an even closer and more fruitful parallel with developmental systems theory and developmental niche construction. These ask not ‘what is inside the genes you inherited’, but ‘what the inherited genes are inside of’ and with which they form a wider whole—their internal and external ontogenetic niche, understood as the set of epigenetic, social, ecological, epistemic and symbolic legacies inherited by the organism as necessary developmental resources. To the cognizing agent, the epistemic niche presents itself not just as a partially self-engineered selective niche, as the niche construction paradigm will have it, but even more so as a partially self-engineered ontogenetic niche, a problem-solving resource and scaffold for individual development and learning. This move should be beneficial for coming to grips with our own (including cognitive) nature: what is most distinctive about humans is their developmentally plastic brains immersed into a well-engineered, cumulatively constructed cognitive–developmental niche. (shrink)
There is much good work for philosophers to do in cognitive science if they adopt the constructive attitude that prevails in science, work toward testable hypotheses, and take on the task of clarifying the relationship between the scientiﬁc concepts and the everyday concepts with which we conduct our moral lives.
Allen Newell (1973) once observed that psychology researchers were playing “twenty questions with nature,” carving up human cognition into hundreds of individual phenomena but shying away from the difficult task of integrating these phenomena with unifying theories. We argue that research on cognitive control has followed a similar path, and that the best approach toward unifying theories of cognitive control is that proposed by Newell, namely developing theories in computational cognitive architectures. Threaded cognition, a recent theory developed (...) within the ACT-R cognitive architecture, offers promise as a unifying theory of cognitive control that addresses multitasking phenomena for both laboratory and applied task domains. (shrink)
Theories concerning the structure, or format, of mental representation should (1) be formulated in mechanistic, rather than metaphorical terms; (2) do justice to several philosophical intuitions about mental representation; and (3) explain the human capacity to predict the consequences of worldly alterations (i.e., to think before we act). The hypothesis that thinking involves the application of syntax-sensitive inference rules to syntactically structured mental representations has been said to satisfy all three conditions. An alternative hypothesis is that thinking requires the construction (...) and manipulation of the cognitive equivalent of scale models. A reading of this hypothesis is provided that satisfies condition (1) and which, even though it may not fully satisfy condition (2), turns out (in light of the frame problem) to be the only known way to satisfy condition (3). (shrink)
Cognitive architectures are unified theories of cognition that take the form of computational formalisms. They support computational models that collectively account for large numbers of empirical regularities using small numbers of computational mechanisms. Empirical coverage and parsimony are the most prominent criteria by which architectures are designed and evaluated, but they are not the only ones. This paper considers three additional criteria that have been comparatively undertheorized. (a) Successful architectures possess subjective and intersubjective meaning, making cognition comprehensible to individual (...)cognitive scientists and organizing groups of like-minded cognitive scientists into genuine communities. (b) Successful architectures provide idioms that structure the design and interpretation of computational models. (c) Successful architectures are strange: They make provocative, often disturbing, and ultimately compelling claims about human information processing that demand evaluation. (shrink)
Understanding the role of ‘‘representations’’ in cognitive science is a fundamental problem facing the emerging framework of embodied, situated, dynamical cognition. To make progress, I follow the approach proposed by an influential representational skeptic, Randall Beer: building artificial agents capable of minimally cognitive behaviors and assessing whether their internal states can be considered to involve representations. Hence, I operationalize the concept of representing as ‘‘standing in,’’ and I look for representations in embodied agents involved in simple categorization tasks. (...) In a first experiment, no representation can be found, but the relevance of the task is undermined by the fact that agents with no internal states can reach high performance. A simple modification makes the task more “representationally hungry,” and in this case, agents’ internal states are found to qualify as representations. I conclude by discussing the benefits of reconciling the embodied-dynamical approach with the notion of representation. (shrink)
One of the central issues in linguistics is whether or not language should be considered a self-contained, autonomous formal system, essentially reducible to the syntactic algorithms of meaning construction (as Chomskyan grammar would have it), or a holistic-functional system serving the means of expressing pre-organized intentional contents and thus accessible with respect to features and structures pertaining to other cognitive subsystems or to human experience as such (as Cognitive Linguistics would have it). The latter claim depends critically on (...) the existence of principles governing the composition of semantic contents. Husserl''s fourth Logical Investigation is well known as a genuine precursor for Chomskyan grammar. However, I will establish the heterogeneous character of the Investigation and show that the whole first part of it is devoted to the exposition of a semantic combinatorial system cognate to the one elaborated within Cognitive Linguistics. I will thus show how theoretical results in linguistics may serve to corroborate and shed light on those parts of Husserl''s Fourth Investigation that have traditionally been dismissed as vague or simply ignored. (shrink)
Within the Givenness Hierarchy framework of Gundel, Hedberg, and Zacharski (1993), lexical items included in referring forms are assumed to conventionally encode two kinds of information: conceptual information about the speaker’s intended referent and procedural information about the assumed cognitive status of that referent in the mind of the addressee, the latter encoded by various determiners and pronouns. This article focuses on effects of underspecification of cognitive status, establishing that, although salience and accessibility play an important role in (...) reference processing, the Givenness Hierarchy itself is not a hierarchy of degrees of salience/accessibility, contrary to what has often been assumed. We thus show that the framework is able to account for a number of experimental results in the literature without making additional assumptions about form-specific constraints associated with different referring forms. (shrink)
Cognitive control refers to the regulation of mental activity to support flexible cognition across different domains. Cragg and Nation (2010) propose that the development of cognitive control in children parallels the development of language abilities, particularly inner speech. We suggest that children’s late development of cognitive control also mirrors their limited ability to revise misinterpretations of sentence meaning. Moreover, we argue that for certain tasks, a tradeoff between bottom-up (data-driven) and top-down (rule-based) thinking may actually benefit performance (...) in both children and adults. Specifically, we propose that a lack of cognitive control may promote important aspects of cognitive development, like language acquisition and creativity. (shrink)