Mental models in spatial
of Freiburg, Center
for Cognitive Science
1996 - 2000
The MeMoSpace project studies the cognitive
processes involved in spatial relational reasoning. The mental model account
of deductive reasoning is used as a general framework for describing these
inferences. It distinguishes three stages in the reasoning process:
Our primary research goal is to elaborate
on this scheme for inferences involving qualitative spatial relations.
model conctruction, i.e. the integration of
the premises into the mental model,
model inspection, i.e. the search through
the model for the conclusion,
model variation, i.e. the optional construction
of alternative models.
To that end, classical experimental paradigms
from the psychology of reasoning (e.g. three-term series) are applied to
material from AI research on qualitative spatial reasoning (e.g. interval
relations). Knowledge about the logical and algorithmical properties of
the relations occurring in the reasoning task is helpful in two respects.
Firstly, it allows the testing of general hypotheses on the nature of model-based
reasoning, such as the claim that the difficulty of a task is related to
the number of possible mental models. Secondly, some of the formal properties
(e.g. symmetries relating different tasks) can be employed to analyze the
model construction process.
empirical investigation; modeling
Areas of Research:
intelligence; cognitive science
models; spatial reasoning
- Aspect Maps