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Working memory limits are best defined in terms of the complexity of the relations that can be processed in parallel. Complexity is defined as the number of related dimensions or sources of variation. A binary relation has one argument and one source of variation; its argument can be instantiated in only one way at a time. A binary relation has two(More)
Gentner (1988) has proposed a relational shift whereby children interpret analogy and metaphor first in terms of object similarity and then in terms of relational similarity. Goswami (1996) argues against the relational shift hypothesis, citing as evidence a study performed by Goswami and Brown (1989) in which 3-, 4-, and 6-year-old children were able to(More)
Two experiments tested predictions from a theory in which processing load depends on relational complexity (RC), the number of variables related in a single decision. Tasks from six domains (transitivity, hierarchical classification, class inclusion, cardinality, relative-clause sentence comprehension, and hypothesis testing) were administered to children(More)
Five experiments were performed to test whether participants induced a coherent representation of the structure of a task, called a relational schema, from specific instances. Properties of a relational schema include: An explicit symbol for a relation, a binding that preserves the truth of a relation, potential for higher-order relations, omnidirectional(More)
The conceptual complexity of problems was manipulated to probe the limits of human information processing capacity. Participants were asked to interpret graphically displayed statistical interactions. In such problems, all independent variables need to be considered together, so that decomposition into smaller subtasks is constrained, and thus the order of(More)
Cognitive complexity and control theory and relational complexity theory attribute developmental changes in theory of mind (TOM) to complexity. In 3 studies, 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds performed TOM tasks (false belief, appearance-reality), less complex connections (Level 1 perspective-taking) tasks, and transformations tasks (understanding the effects of(More)
Accumulating evidence on the nature, function and acquisition of relational knowledge indicates a crucial role of such knowledge in higher cognitive processes. In this review, we specify the essential properties of relational knowledge, together with the role it plays in reasoning, categorisation, planning, quantification and language. Furthermore, we(More)
The ability to link variables is critical to many high-order cognitive functions, including reasoning. It has been proposed that limits in relating variables depend critically on relational complexity, defined formally as the number of variables to be related in solving a problem. In humans, the prefrontal cortex is known to be important for reasoning, but(More)
Participants learned about a structure without explicit explanation, either by using relational schema induction (G. S. Halford, J. D. Bain, M. T. Maybery, & G. Andrews, 1998), which requires completion of instances of the structure, or by memorizing instances. Emergence of structured knowledge over trials was assessed by ability to map the structure to an(More)