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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01702

Inductive reasoning differs between taxonomic and thematic contexts: Electrophysiological evidence

 Fuhong Li1*, Fangfang Liu2, 3, Jiahui Han2 and Lingcong Zhang3
  • 1Jiangxi Normal University, China
  • 2School of Psychology, Jiangxi Normal University, China
  • 3Minnan Normal University, China

Inductive reasoning can be performed in different contexts, but it is unclear whether the neural mechanism of reasoning performed in a thematic context (e.g., bee has x, so honey has x) is the same as that performed in a taxonomic context (e.g., bee has x, so butterfly has x). In the present study, participants were required to judge whether a conclusion was acceptable or not based on its premise, for which the taxonomic or thematic distances between premise and conclusion objects were either far or near. The Event related potential (ERP) results indicated that the effect of context (taxonomic vs. thematic) was initially observed in the P2 component; while the distance effect (far vs. near) was observed in N400 and late components. Moreover, the distance effect on thematic-based inductive reasoning was found in the anterior regions, while the distance effect on taxonomic-based inductive reasoning conditions was found in the posterior regions. These results support the view that inductive reasoning is performed differently under different semantic contexts.

Keywords: Inductive reasoning, distance effect, Thematic contexts, Taxonomic contexts, event-related potential (ERP )

Received: 20 Mar 2019; Accepted: 08 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Yiping Zhong, Hunan Normal University, China

Reviewed by:

David Copeland, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, United States
Nikolay Novitskiy, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China  

Copyright: © 2019 Li, Liu, Han and Zhang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Fuhong Li, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang, China,