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Is symmetry inference an essential component of language?

Authors
  • Chartier, Thomas F.1
  • Rey, Arnaud1
  • 1 CNRS & Aix-Marseille Université, UMR 7290, Bâtiment 9 Case D, 3, place Victor Hugo, Marseille Cedex 3, 13331, France , Marseille Cedex 3 (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Learning & Behavior
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Jan 15, 2020
Volume
48
Issue
3
Pages
279–280
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3758/s13420-019-00405-5
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

Symmetry inference—that is, spontaneously deriving the stimulus association B-A from A-B—was recently reported in preverbal infants (Kabdebon & Dehaene-Lambertz, 2019, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116[12], 5805–5810) and regarded as a “building block for human cognition.” Here, we argue that empirical evidence supporting this claim is insufficient, and that absence of symmetry inference in nonhuman animals should be reassessed.

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