Core systems in human cognition


Abstract
Research on human infants, adult nonhuman primates, and children and adults in diverse cultures provides converging evidence for four systems at the foundations of human knowledge. These systems are domain specific and serve to represent both entities in the perceptible world (inanimate manipulable objects and animate agents) and entities that are more abstract (numbers and geometrical forms). Human cognition may be based, as well, on a fifth system for representing social partners and for categorizing the social world into groups. Research on infants and children may contribute both to understanding of these systems and to attempts to overcome misconceptions that they may foster.
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