Mental Models & the Mind

Current developments in Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience and Philosophy of Mind

Edited by

  • Carsten Held, Universitaet Erfurt, Germany
  • Gottfried Vosgerau, Eberhard Karls Universitaet, Germany
  • Markus Knauff, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernectics, Germany

"Cognitive psychology," "cognitive neuroscience," and "philosophy of mind" are names for three very different scientific fields, but they label aspects of the same scientific goal: to understand the nature of mental phenomena. Today, the three disciplines strongly overlap under the roof of the cognitive sciences. The book's purpose is to present views from the different disciplines on one of the central theories in cognitive science: the theory of mental models. Cognitive psychologists report their research on the representation and processing of mental models in human memory. Cognitive neuroscientists demonstrate how the brain processes visual and spatial mental models and which neural processes underlie visual and spatial thinking. Philosophers report their ideas about the role of mental models in relation to perception, emotion, representation, and intentionality. The single articles have different and mutually complementing goals: to introduce new empirical methods and approaches, to report new experimental results, and to locate competing approaches for their interpretation in the cross-disciplinary debate. The book is strongly interdisciplinary in character. It is especially addressed to researchers in any field related to mental models theory as both a reference book and an overview of present research on the topic in other disciplines. However, it is also an ideal reader for a specialized graduate course.
View full description


Cognitive psychologists, researchers and undergraduate and graduate students


Book information

  • Published: January 2006
  • Imprint: NORTH-HOLLAND
  • ISBN: 978-0-444-52079-1

Table of Contents

Part I: Cognitive Psychology. Introduction. Mental Models, Sentential Reasoning, and Illusory Inferences. (P.N. Johnson-Laird). Interaction of Knowledge and Working Memory in Reasoning about Relations. (A. Vandierendonck, V. Dierckx, H. Van der Beken). Mental Models in Learning Situations. (N.M. Seel). Part II: Cognitive Neuroscience.Introduction. Resolving Valid Multiple Model Inferences Activates a Left Hemisphere Network. (R.L. Waechter, V. Goel). A Neuro-Cognitive Theory of Relational Reasoning with Mental Models and Visual Images. (M. Knauff). Part III: Perception, Emotion, and Language. Introduction. Pictures, Perception, and Mental Models. (K. Rehkamper). Emotion, Decision, and Mental Models. (M. Pauen). Language Processing: Construction of Mental Models or More? (B. Hemforth, L. Konieczny). Part IV: Philosophy of Mind. Introduction. Visual Imagery, Mental Models, and Reasoning. (V. Gottschling). Mental Models as Objectual Representations. (C. Held). The Perceptual Nature of Mental Models. (G. Vosgerau). Index.