Review Questions: Language & Cognition (Cited and Stated Directly from Dr. Pearl’s Class
Notes Review Finals Session)
~Navigation: combining core knowledge system information geometric + landmark or color
~Toddlers are unable to combine navigational cues.
Verbally shadowed adults behave like toddlers-cannot combine navigational cues like geometry
Nonverbally shadowed adults/ rhythmic shadowing adults can combine navigational cues (repeat
a rhythm by clapping) [ lecture 15]
~Neo-Whorfianism believes that language augments thought, so we can think more complex
Young children/ toddlers are unable to combine cues like “to the left of the black wall” b/c
language use seems integral in solving this task that requires representing information from
different domains (geometry + color). Children can be prompted through language to pay
attention to it, but without language, it seems difficult for humans to solve these kinds of tasks.
Rats who don’t have spatial language can be trained to combine cues in the navigation task,
though only after hundreds of trials. Language is useful (speeds things up), but is not necessary
Rhesus monkeys who don’t have spatial language: 3 monkeys were tested on location (i.e. “left
of the wall opposite the blue wall” for 50 trials each. Two monkeys got 85% correct and one
monkey ~70% corrected. Pretty good for no spatial language.
Language does play a role in the ability to combine information from different core knowledge
systems. It’s very helpful like motherese for language development but not absolutely necessary.
Verbal shadowing uses language as a meddler = repeating as fast as they could a passage
recorded on tape and this interfers with their linguistic combination abilities). They searched
equally the correct corner and rotationally equivalent one like toddlers, but unable to combine
the information from geometry and color like toddlers
Rhythm shadowing/non-verbal shadowing requires repeating a rhythm by clapping.As
cognitively taxing as verbal shadowing but was able to combine cues.
1) System for representing approximate numerical magnitudes (large, approximate numbers)
2) System for representing persistent, numerically distinct individuals (small, exact number)
Can subsidize up to 4 numbers for very small numbers to tell
what set looks like at a glance Prelinguistic infants have a system for approximating numerical magnitudes but so do pigeons,
rats, fish, and other primates.
Infants are surprised by the impossible outcome, which means they can do addition and
subtraction on very small numerosities precisely. Tested infant knowledge using a preferential
• Rhesus monkeys can spontaneously represent numbers 1-3 (small numbers). Monkeys tested
by using a procedure predicated on monkeys going to where they think food is.
• 10 to 12 month old infants have difficulty doing comparisons across systems (i.e 2 vs. 8).
They cannot tell the difference (equal responses for 2 and equal responses for 8). [Lecture 15
• fMRI study showed that the exact number task recruited neural networks typically associated
with language processing.
• The numerical cognition of people whose languages don’t have an exact number system can
be compared with those that do.
• language for large exact numbers = no representation for large exact numbers; group together
using imprecise words for numbers like few, many, handful, etc.
• language is not present for the numbering system so language cannot augment thought and
• Cardinal principle knower: sophisticated nu