BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Rules versus similarity in concept learning

    Close, J. and Hahn, Ulrike and Hodgetts, C. and Pothos, E.M. (2010) Rules versus similarity in concept learning. In: Mareschal, Denis and Quinn, P.C. and Lea, S. (eds.) The making of human concepts. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp. 29-52. ISBN 9780199549221.

    Full text not available from this repository.

    Abstract

    Book synopsis: A highly original new book that tackles one of the most mysterious and puzzling qualities of human nature - our ability to conceptualize, presenting views from a range of authorities in the area Considers the evolutionary origins of conceptual thinking, how and when it might develop in childhood, and whether animals have some kind of ability to conceptualise Brings together a range of views from some of the most respected authorities in cognitive science, neuroscience, developmental psychology, animal cognition Presents multi-disciplinary perspectives, enabling the reader to see the commonalities and differences that existing in the study of concepts across different disciplines Human adults appear different from other animals in their ability to form abstract mental representations that go beyond perceptual similarity. In short, they can conceptualize the world. This apparent uniqueness leads to an immediate puzzle: WHEN and HOW does this abstract system come into being? To answer this question we need to explore the origins of adult concepts, both developmentally and phylogenetically; When does the developing child acquire the ability to use abstract concepts? Does the transition occur around 2 years, with the onset of symbolic representation and language? Or, is it independent of the emergence of language? When in evolutionary history did an abstract representational system emerge? Is there something unique about the human brain? How would a computational system operating on the basis of perceptual associations develop into a system operating on the basis of abstract relations? Is this ability present in other species, but masked by their inability to verbalise abstractions? Perhaps the very notion of concepts is empty and should be done away with altogether. This book tackles the age-old puzzle of what might be unique about human concepts. Intuitively, we have a sense that our thoughts are somehow different from those of animals and young children such as infants. Yet, if true, this raises the question of where and how this uniqueness arises. What are the factors that have played out during the life course of the individual and over the evolution of humans that have contributed to the emergence of this apparently unique ability? This volume brings together a collection of world specialists who have grappled with these questions from different perspectives to try to resolve the issue. It includes contributions from leading psychologists, neuroscientists, child and infant specialists, and animal cognition specialists. Taken together, this story leads to the idea that there is no unique ingredient in the emergence of human concepts, but rather a powerful and potentially unique mix of biological abilities and personal and social history that has led to where the human mind now stands.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centre: Birkbeck Knowledge Lab
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2015 10:08
    Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 13:39
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/12304

    Statistics

    Downloads
    Activity Overview
    0Downloads
    119Hits

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item