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 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The development of analogical reasoning has traditionally been understood in terms of theories of adult competence. This approach emphasizes structured representations and structure mapping. In contrast, we argue that by taking a developmental perspective, analogical reasoning can be viewed as the product of a substantially different cognitive ability – relational priming. To illustrate this, we present a computational (here connectionist) account where analogy arises gradually as a by-product of pattern completion in a recurrent network. Initial exposure to a situation primes a relation that can then be applied to a novel situation to make an analogy. Relations are represented as transformations between states. The network exhibits behaviors consistent with a broad range of key phenomena from the developmental literature, lending support to the appropriateness of this approach (using low-level cognitive mechanisms) for investigating a domain that has normally been the preserve of high-level models. Furthermore, we present an additional simulation that integrates the relational priming mechanism with deliberative controlled use of inhibition to demonstrate how the framework can be extended to complex analogical reasoning, such as the data from explicit mapping studies in the literature on adults. This account highlights how taking a developmental perspective constrains the theory construction and cognitive modeling processes in a way that differs substantially from that based purely on adult studies, and illustrates how a putative complex cognitive skill can emerge out of a simple mechanism

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,088

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Is relational complexity a useful metric for cognitive development?Usha Goswami - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):838-839.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
478 (#36,937)

6 months
3 (#550,572)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Genetic epistemology.Jean Piaget - 1970 - New York,: Columbia University Press.
The logical form of action sentences.Donald Davidson - 1967 - In Nicholas Rescher (ed.), The Logic of Decision and Action. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 81--95.
A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action.David Morris, E. Thelen & L. B. Smith - 1997 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (2).

View all 27 references / Add more references