Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Quartz & Sejnowski: Cognitive development

From neural constructivism to children's cognitive development: Bridging the gap

Denis Mareschal a1 and Thomas R. Shultz a2
a1 Department of Psychology, Washington Singer Laboratories, Exeter University, Exeter, EX4 4QG, United Kingdom
a2 Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1B1 Canada


Missing from Quartz & Sejnowski's (Q&S's) unique and valuable effort to relate cognitive development to neural constructivism is an examination of the global emergent properties of adding new neural circuits. Such emergent properties can be studied with computational models. Modeling with generative connectionist networks shows that synaptogenic mechanisms can account for progressive increases in children's representational power.