Monday May 23, 12-1
Silvia A. Bunge, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology &
Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute
University of California at Berkeley
Reasoning Ability: Neural Mechanisms, Development, and Plasticity
Abstract The capacity to reason with complex information and to solve novel problems, often referred to as fluid reasoning, is a central characteristic of human cognition. During childhood, the emerging capacity to reason supports learning across multiple domains. I will argue, based on a series of neuroscientific studies in adults, that a key component of fluid reasoning is the ability to jointly consider multiple relations between mental representations, or relational integration. I will then discuss the changes in brain structure and function that support reasoning development over childhood and adolescence. Finally, I will present evidence for improved reasoning ability after intensive training, both in children and in college students.
UCSD Cognitive Science Distinguished Speaker Lecture Series