Reading Course on Representations and Reasoning (Only for second year students)


Out line of the Course:

This course will focus on understanding what cognitive structures are and how they function in reasoning, one of the cognitive processes central to learning. This is a reading course. So participants will read selected articles, chapters and present them in the form of written summaries and oral presentations. There will be regular discussion meetings at which the readings will be discussed. Participants are expected to read the article/summary before attending the discussions. Assessment for credit purposes will be based on presentations and summaries and a final review paper at the end of the course. It is suggested that term papers focus on an application area related to learning/ education.

Students wanting to credit this course will need to have completed a basic course in cognitive science/ cognitive development, which is a pre-requisite.

The set of readings given below may be modified as the course progresses. (Sequence of presentation and discussion will be different from the sequence given below.) All the readings are available in the library, except Sl. No. 1, which is available with KS (thanks to Abhijeet).



From the book 'Mental Models' by Johnson-Laird

1. Chapters 1 to 7, 15

From the Handbook of Child Psychology, Volume 2, Cognition, Perception, and Language, 5th Edition (1998)

2. Representation (J. Mandler)

3. The Development of Conceptual Structures (R. Case).

4. Cognitive Development Beyond Childhood (D. Moshman).

From the Handbook of Child Psychology, Volume 2, Cognition, Perception, and Language, 6th Edition (2006)

5. Infant Cognition (Leslie B. Cohen and Cara H. Cashon).

6. Nonverbal Communication: The Hand's Role in Talking and Thinking

  (Susan Goldin-Meadow).

7. Reasoning and Problem Solving (Graeme S. Halford and Glenda Andrews).

8. Conceptual Development (Susan A. Gelman and Charles W. Kalish).

9. Development of Spatial Cognition (Nora S. Newcombe and Janellen


10. The Second Decade: What Develops (and how) (Deanna Kuhn and Sam


From the Handbook of Child Psychology, Volume 4, Child Psychology in

Practice, 6th Edition (2006)

11. Assessment of Early Reading (Paris and Paris)

12. Education for Spatial Thinking from the Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning (2005)

13. Concepts and Categories: Memory, Meaning, and Metaphysic, by

   Douglas L. Medin and Lance J. Rips

14. Mental Models and Thought, by  P. N. Johnson-Laird

15. Visuospatial Reasoning, by Barbara Tversky

16. Mathematical Cognition, by Gallistel and Gelman

17. Scientific Thinking and Reasoning, Dunbar and Fugelsong

18. Language and Thought by Lila Gleitman . Although this is not part of the readings for discussion, participants may want to refer to these to strengthen their understanding of the

neuroscientific aspects of cognition

From The New Cognitive Neurosciences, ed. by Gazzaniga: Part VII: The Higher Cognitive Functions, Chapters 66-73

From the Handbook of Child Psychology, Volume 2, Cognition, Perception, and Language, 6th Edition: Neural Bases of Cognitive Development (Charles A. Nelson, Kathleen M. Thomas and Michelle de Haan).
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