Behavioral and Brain Sciences

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2009), 32:218-219 Cambridge University Press
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Open Peer Commentary

Undermining the foundations: Questioning the basic notions of associationism and mental representation

Ezequiel Morsellaa1a2, Travis A. Riddlea1 and John A. Bargha3

a1 Department of Psychology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA 94132-4168
a2 Department of Neurology; University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143
a3 Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8205.
Article author query
morsella e [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
riddle ta [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
bargh ja [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


Perhaps the time has come to re-examine the basic notions of cognitive science. Together with previous challenges against associationism, the target article should be viewed as a call to arms to re-evaluate the empirical basis for contemporary conceptualizations of human learning and the notion of “mental representation,” a concept that has become too imprecise for describing the elements of cognition.

The propositional nature of human associative learning Chris J. Mitchell, Jan De Houwer and Peter F. Lovibond School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Kensington 2052, Australia; Department of Psychology, Ghent University, Henri Dunantlaan 2, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium">; School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Kensington 2052, Australia">