Generous or parsimonious cognitive architecture? Cognitive neuroscience and Theory of Mind

Gerrans, Philip and Stone, Valerie E. (2008) Generous or parsimonious cognitive architecture? Cognitive neuroscience and Theory of Mind. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 59 2: 121-141. doi:10.1093/bjps/axm038


Author Gerrans, Philip
Stone, Valerie E.
Title Generous or parsimonious cognitive architecture? Cognitive neuroscience and Theory of Mind
Journal name British Journal for the Philosophy of Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0007-0882
1464-3537
Publication date 2008-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axm038
Volume 59
Issue 2
Start page 121
End page 141
Total pages 21
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Abstract Recent work in cognitive neuroscience on the child's Theory of Mind (ToM) has pursued the idea that the ability to metarepresent mental states depends on a domain-specific cognitive subystem implemented in specific neural circuitry: a Theory of Mind Module. We argue that the interaction of several domain-general mechanisms and lower-level domain-specific mechanisms accounts for the flexibility and sophistication of behavior, which has been taken to be evidence for a domain-specific ToM module. This finding is of more general interest since it suggests a parsimonious cognitive architecture can account for apparent domain specificity. We argue for such an architecture in two stages. First, on conceptual grounds, contrasting the case of language with ToM, and second, by showing that recent evidence in the form of fMRI and lesion studies supports the more parsimonious hypothesis.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Psychology Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 10:00:46 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Psychology