Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Clark & Thornton: Trading spaces

Old ideas, new mistakes: All learning is relational

Stellan Ohlsson a1
a1 Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, (M/C 285), Chicago, IL 60607-7137


Learning is the acquisition of knowledge, not of input/output mappings. The distinction between statistical and relational learning, as Clark & Thornton define those terms, is not useful because all human learning is relational. However, prior knowledge does influence later learning and the sequence in which learning tasks are encountered is indeed crucial. Simulations of sequence effects would be interesting.