Skip to main content

Humans - the analogy-making species

Objective

The ability to make analogies lies at the heart of human cognition and is a fundamental mechanism that enables humans to engage in complex mental processes such as thinking, categorization, and learning, and, in general, understanding the world and acting effectively on it based on her/his past experience. This project focuses on understanding these uniquely human mechanisms of analogy-making, and exploring their evolution and development. A highly experienced, interdisciplinary, and international team will study and compare the performance of primates, infants, young children, healthy adults, as well as children and adults with abnormal brain functioning. An interdisciplinary methodology will be used to pursue this goal, one that includes computational modeling, psychological experimentation, comparative studies, developmental studies, and brain imaging.

The ability to see a novel experience, object, situation or action as being the same as an old one, and then to act in an approximately appropriate manner (and then fine-tuned to fit the novel experience), is, almost unquestionably, one of the capacities that sets humans apart from all other animals. What are the underlying mechanisms that allow us to do this? How did they evolve in the population? How do they develop in an individual? How do they differ from similar mechanisms in primates? The results from this project will contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms of analogy-making, their origin, evolution and development and will lead to advances, not only in our basic knowledge of human cognition, but also in the development of educational strategies to help children and young people to be more efficient learners and to achieve a better and deeper understanding of the world in which they live.

Call for proposal

FP6-2004-NEST-PATH
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

STREP - Specific Targeted Research Project

Coordinator

NEW BULGARIAN UNIVERSITY
Address
Montevideo 21
Sofia
Bulgaria

Participants (8)

BIRKBECK COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
United Kingdom
Address
Malet St.
London
NATIONAL AND KAPODISTRIAN UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS
Greece
Address
Chr. Lada 6
Athens
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF ITALY, INSTITUTE OF COGNITIVE SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGIES
Italy
Address
Via S. Martino Della Battaglia 44
Rome
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, DUBLIN
Ireland
Address
Belfield, Dublin 4,
Dublin
RUPRECHT-KARLS-UNIVERSITAT HEIDELBERG
Germany
Address
Seminarstraße 2
Heidelberg
THE CHANCELLORS, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
United Kingdom
Address
Trinity Lane
Cambridge
UNIVERSITE DE BOURGOGNE - DIJON
France
Address
Maison De L'universite, Esplanade Erasme
Dijon
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Canada
Address
2136 West Mall
Vancouver