Research Topic

Common and Distinctive Mechanisms in Memory, Reasoning, and Categorization

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Traditionally, memory, reasoning and categorization have been treated as separate components of human cognition. Each has been studied with distinct paradigms that have led to the development of very different theoretical models. Several current lines of research however are eroding these traditional ...

Traditionally, memory, reasoning and categorization have been treated as separate components of human cognition. Each has been studied with distinct paradigms that have led to the development of very different theoretical models. Several current lines of research however are eroding these traditional distinctions. At an empirical level, many key phenomena that have long been known to impact on memory such as the spacing or level of exposure to studied items have been shown to have profound effects on categorization decisions and property induction judgments. Another line of work has shown that responses on inductive reasoning tasks can be predicted from responses on a recognition memory task for the same stimuli. Individual differences in working memory have been linked to the use of different categorization strategies. Moreover, intuitive predictions about the future have been shown to be closely linked to memories of previously experienced episodes.

At a theoretical level, models based on comparisons of the total similarity between novel items and a sample of familiar exemplars have successfully accounted for both recognition memory and categorization decisions about a common stimulus set. Likewise memory and reasoning responses have been successfully modeled using a single cognitive architecture.

This work shows that progress in the fields of memory, reasoning, and categorization depends on a clearer specification of the common processes involved in each task as well as task-specific processes. In this Research Topic we aim to summarize and review what has been achieved so far in pursuit of this goal. We also encourage submission of works that focus on novel questions such as how the relationship between memory, categorization and reasoning develops, and what are the overlaps between the neural substrates that drive performance in each task. In general, we aim to highlight research focusing on relations between memory, reasoning, and categorization.


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