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Reason without much language

Varley, R; (2014) Reason without much language. Language Sciences , 46 pp. 232-244. 10.1016/j.langsci.2014.06.012. Green open access

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Abstract

Language is more than a system used for interpersonal communication. Linguistic representations can also form a part of reasoning in other cognitive domains. However, it is unclear whether the role of language in non-verbal domains is a necessary one, or whether it represents an optional resource that is recruited under demanding or highly intentional processing conditions. The possible role of language in categorisation, belief reasoning, calculation and cross-domain integration is explored, together with the various sources of evidence that can inform debates on language–thought relationships. Evidence from comparative and developmental psychology, together with that from neuroscience and ‘virtual language impairment’ (verbal shadowing) suggests reduced or absent language resource can disrupt performance in non-verbal domains. Similarly results of some investigations of people with developmental or acquired language impairments suggest an association with broader cognitive impairment. However, there is a substantial and growing body of evidence from across experimental fields indicating autonomy between language and reasoning. Residual reasoning in the face of severe aphasia is described, together with possible objections to the evidence from aphasia informing language and thought debates.

Type: Article
Title: Reason without much language
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.langsci.2014.06.012
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2014.06.012
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright Elsevier 2014. This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licenses are available at http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: Aphasia, Language, Thought, Reasoning
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1457742
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