Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-4hcbs Total loading time: 0.313 Render date: 2021-11-29T22:18:53.993Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

13 - The Evolution of Reasoning

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2011

Denise Dellarosa Cummins
Affiliation:
University of California–Davis
Jacqueline P. Leighton
Affiliation:
University of Alberta
Robert J. Sternberg
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
Get access

Summary

Cognition is a biological function, not a cultural invention. Our nervous systems detect, encode, and process information, not because someone invented these capacities in antiquity, but because evolutionary forces shaped the organs that instantiate these biological functions. Cognition is the function that ensures a nonarbitrary relation between perception and action. Historically, psychologists have tended to overlook or downplay the role of biology and evolution when developing theories of cognitive functions, with the inevitable result that our theories have often provided inadequate predictions and explanations of cognitive phenomena, from basic inductive processes to higher cognition.

EVOLUTION AND BASIC INDUCTIVE PROCESSES

Consider first investigations of spatial learning in the rat. In one standard paradigm, a rat is placed on a central platform with alleys radiating out from the platform like spokes in a wheel. A cache of food is placed at the end of one of the alleys. The maze is constructed such that the rat cannot see the ends of the alleys, and air flow is directed such that no olfactory cues are present to guide the rat to the food. The rat is allowed to explore the maze. After it has found and consumed the food, the rat is removed and placed again on the platform, and the same alley rebaited. What will the rat do now?

Type
Chapter
Information
The Nature of Reasoning , pp. 339 - 374
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2003

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
2
Cited by

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×