Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Authors' Response

Growing cognition from recycled parts

Robert Leecha1, Denis Mareschala1 and Richard P. Coopera1

a1 School of Psychology, Birkbeck, University of London, London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom.


In this response, we reiterate the importance of development (both ontogenetic and phylogenetic) in the understanding of a complex cognitive skill – analogical reasoning. Four key questions structure the response: Does relational priming exist, and is it sufficient for analogy? What do we mean by relations as transformations? Could all or any relations be represented as transformations? And what about the challenge of more complex analogies? In addressing these questions we bring together a number of supportive commentaries, strengthening our emergentist case for analogy (in particular with insights from comparative psychology), and review new supportive evidence. We also rebut those commentaries that ignore development at their peril. Along the way, we revisit the main assumptions underlying the analogy as relational priming (ARP) account of analogy, clarifying and elaborating as necessary.