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Brain Res. 2012 Jan 5;1428:13-23. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.11.080. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

The cognition and neuroscience of relational reasoning.

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Center for BrainHealth®, The University of Texas at Dallas, 2200 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75235, USA.


There has been a growing interest in understanding the complex cognitive processes that give rise to human reasoning. This review focuses on the cognitive and neural characteristics of relational reasoning and analogy performance. Initially relational reasoning studies that have investigated the neural basis of abstract reasoning with an emphasis on the prefrontal cortex are described. Next studies of analogical reasoning are reviewed with insights from neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies. Additionally, studies of cognitive components in analogical reasoning are described. This review draws together insights from numerous studies and concludes that prefrontal areas exhibit domain independence in relational reasoning, while posterior areas within the temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes show evidence of domain dependence in reasoning. Lastly, future directions in the study of relational reasoning are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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