From Perceptual Categories to Concepts: What Develops?

Cognitive Science 34 (7):1244-1286 (2010)
Abstract
People are remarkably smart: They use language, possess complex motor skills, make nontrivial inferences, develop and use scientific theories, make laws, and adapt to complex dynamic environments. Much of this knowledge requires concepts and this study focuses on how people acquire concepts. It is argued that conceptual development progresses from simple perceptual grouping to highly abstract scientific concepts. This proposal of conceptual development has four parts. First, it is argued that categories in the world have different structure. Second, there might be different learning systems that evolved to learn categories of differing structures. Third, these systems exhibit differential maturational course, which affects how categories of different structures are learned in the course of development. And finally, an interaction of these components may result in the developmental transition from perceptual groupings to more abstract concepts. This study reviews a large body of empirical evidence supporting this proposal
Keywords Conceptual development  Concepts  Cognitive neuroscience  Category learning  Cognitive development
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DOI 10.1111/j.1551-6709.2010.01129.x
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

The Big Concepts Paper: A Defence of Hybridism.Agustín Vicente & Fernando Martínez Manrique - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):59-88.
How Language Programs the Mind.Gary Lupyan & Benjamin Bergen - 2016 - Topics in Cognitive Science 8 (1).

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