Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Continuing Commentary
Commentary on Zenon W. Pylyshyn (2002). Mental imagery? In search of a theory. BBS 25(2):157–182.

Spatial inference: No difference between mental images and mental models

Markus Knauff a1 and Christoph Schlieder a2
a1 Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany; Center for Cognitive Science, University of Freiburg, D-79098 Freiburg, Germany
a2 Faculty of Information Systems and Applied Computer Sciences, University of Bamberg, D-96045 Bamberg, Germany


In contrast to Pylyshyn's view, there is no such thing as “reasoning in general.” Different types of reasoning tasks are solved with different reasoning strategies. A more specific null hypothesis is that spatial inference with mental images involves the same representational formalism as that of spatial inference with mental models. There is no evidence that this hypothesis must be rejected.