july, 2017

25jul1:00 pm2:00 pmRelations in space: Does spatial representation underlie relational processing?Dr Olga F. Lazareva


Event Details



An ability to respond to the relations between objects or events is a fundamental component of complex cognition. It has been long argued that a mental spatial representation underlies at least some of the aspects of deductive reasoning (De Soto, London, & Handel, 1965; Eichenbaum, 1999; Goodwin & Johnson-Laird, 2008). However, there has been very little direct experimental evidence supporting this spatial representation hypothesis in human cognition; the involvement of spatial representation in relational learning in non-human animals is even less clear. I will review three lines of research suggesting that (1) spatial representation underlies the formation of an ordered series during transitive inference task in both humans and non-human
animals; (2) spatial representation is involved in learning a simple relational task, transposition, in both humans and non-human animals; and (3) non-human animals spatially organize numerosities even when the task does not require them to do so. Together, this evidence provides initial experimental support to the idea that the neural and cognitive mechanisms evolved for spatial cognition also provide the substrate for relational processing.

Olga is an associate professor of psychology at Drake University, USA. She focuses on early visual processes (e.g., perceptual grouping, figure-ground segregation), as well as mechanisms of relational learning.

If you like to meet with Olga please contact Lauren Guillette.

Olga’s Lab Website


(Tuesday) 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Dyer's Brae Seminar Room

Dyers Brae, School of Biology, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Greenside Place, Fife, KY16 9TH, UK


Carolin Kosiol