Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):492-493 (2005)
The general structure of Steels & Belpaeme's (S&B's) central premise is appealing. Theoretical stances that focus on one type of mechanism miss the fact that multiple mechanisms acting in concert can provide convergent constraints for a more robust capacity than any individual mechanism might achieve acting in isolation. However, highlighting the significance of complex constraint interactions raises the possibility that some of the relevant constraints may have been left out of S&B's own models. Although abstract modeling can help clarify issues, it also runs the risk of oversimplification and misframing. A more subtle implication of the significance of interacting constraints is that it calls for a close relationship between theoretical and empirical research.
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