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Lisa Neal <[log in to unmask]>
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Lisa Neal <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 29 Feb 2004 16:55:47 -0500
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The Cognitive Science Society is hosting a 2003-2004 virtual colloquium
series presented live via the Internet with the third 1-hour talk given by
Dedre Gentner. Register now to attend for free.

Time: Friday March 5, 2004 at 1:00pm US Eastern Standard Time
Presenter: Dedre Gentner, Northwestern University

Topic:  Analogical Learning 
Analogy is a general learning process by which abstract knowledge can arise
from experience. Comparison invites a structure-mapping process that fosters
learning and conceptual change in at least four ways: they highlight common
relational systems; they promote inferences; they call attention to
potentially important differences between situations; and they lead to
re-representations that maximize common structure.

Most prior work focuses on analogy as a means of importing knowledge from a
well-understood case to a less familiar one. This kind of mechanism cannot
explain the origins of human learning without postulating a fund of initial
knowledge. I focus here on another form of analogical learning -- analogical
encoding -- in which comparison between two partly understood situations
results in better understanding of both. Thus structure-mapping acts as a
bootstrapping process for learning.

The power of analogy is amplified by language learning. Hearing a common
label invites comparison between the referents, and this structure-mapping
process yields insight into the meaning of the term. The mutual facilitation
of analogical processing and language learning is a major reason that humans
are so smart.

Further information about this talk, the colloquium series, a schedule of
future talks, and an archive of previous talks are available at

Contact Janet Morrow, [log in to unmask], with any questions about registration
for this seminar.

Please forward this invitation to colleagues who would benefit from this
seminar or the series.

Tom Ward, Executive Officer, Cognitive Science Society
[log in to unmask]

Thomas B. Ward
Center for Creative Media
Box 870172
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0172

The seminar series is hosted Aptima's Web Conferencing Facility,
The seminar series is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research,

Lisa Neal, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, eLearn Magazine,
3 Valley Road, Lexington, MA 02421 USA
Phone: +1-781-861-7373
mailto:[log in to unmask]