Talk:Cognitive module

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Note: The text in this article is copied from which is licensed under the GFDL. CIreland 14:36, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

This article is wrong and misleading in almost every particular. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Jpalme 12:07, 5 September 2007 (UTC)jpalme 5 September 2007 13:07 (UTC) I believe I have made all the necessary changes to this page, so that it will not any more be speedily deleted. If I have not done this right, explain to me what is wrong and what more I have to do.


We need citations for the specific points made. See the wikipedia style pages, too. DCDuring 16:49, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I have added points where citations are needed. If more than one sentence in a paragraph contains a tag, it might be possible to dispense with multiple footnotes, say, if the source covers the material on adjoing pages of the same chapter. I will also provide links to wiki style reference pages. DCDuring 17:53, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Is this the name for a type of therapy?[edit]

The article reads like some of the articles on lesser known brands of psychotherapy. It seems like a reworking of cognitive behavior therapy in the language of brain modules, without even clinical evidence that such reworking helps. DCDuring 14:41, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I have borrowed three major books in this area in order to find more citations. Finding and adding citations will take time, I have other work to do too, so it may be several months before all citations are ready.
Cognitive modules is not, to my knowledge, the name of any type of therapy. The concept of cogntive modules, however, occurs in many psychotherapeutic methods, including Freudian and cognitive therapy.
Jpalme 06:54, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Swedish-language Reference?[edit]

The author does not seem to have a lot of high-quality English-language citations available. In a private e-mail, he has mentioned that he does have a Swedish-language reference. I don't know how to procede further. DCDuring 14:41, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

One solution for citations to the Swedish book would be to include small quotes, translated to English, of the sections in the Swedish book referenced, so that English-language readers can read the relevant text in the Swedish book and chech the relevance of the citations.
Jpalme 07:04, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Modularity of mind[edit]

There is an existing Wikipedia page [Modularity of mind] which partially covers the same topic as this article. That article, however, only talks about inherited modules, not about learned modules, and makes no discussion about the relation between inherited and learned modules. The article is written with a more scientific language, more difficult to understand for non-experts.

One could merge the two articles, or just add links back and forward between them. I would prefer links back and forward. Someone has already added a link from [Cognitive modules] to [Modularity of mind], I have now also added a reverse link.

Jpalme 06:59, 19 September 2007 (UTC)


See Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Cognitive_modules--Victor falk 12:00, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

I am working on rewriting the original, deleted article, finding citations. When I have done this, I will enter the full text again into Wikipedia. This will probably take several months to complete.
Jpalme 11:30, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

List of possible sources[edit]

Here are some possible sources for the rewritten article, taken from earlier versions. Please don't just bolt this list on to the end of the article: instead, please use them as information sources, and cite them where needed to support assertions derived from them.

Please only use a source if you have actually read it first and it is used to directly support an assertion in the article. Online sources for copies of peer-reviewed works are, of course, preferred, because they are easily accessible to online readers. Needless to say, websites, blogs and other self-published sources are not usable as authorities, as per the reliable sources policy. As a matter of preference, material for the new article should be rewritten from scratch on Wikipedia, rather than imported from self-published sources. -- The Anome 15:52, 22 September 2007 (UTC)



"rm Hawkins+Blakeslee: book is _highly_ speculative." sez User:The Anome --Victor falk 17:34, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Scope of the concept cognitive module[edit]

''Modularity of mind'' seems to be only oriented towards inherited basic capabilities, and not include learned modules in the concept of cognitive modules. To me, this seems very restricted, since that excludes most of human thinking, since most of human thinking is using also learned and not only inherited modules.

There seems to be a disagreement of whether the term cognitive module is to be used only to refer to basic, general cognitive methods used to create more advanced thoughts, or also to refer to the more advanced thoughts created using the basic modules. For example, with the first definition of cognitive modules the ability to rapidly compute trajectories of moving objects is a cognitive module, but the ability to use this capability to play basket ball is not a cognitive module. With the second definition, also learned capabilities like the capability to play basket ball are themselves a set of learned cognitive modules. Different experts seem to use the term cognitive modules in these two different ways.

One might designate the original, genetic, built-in modules for primary cognitive modules and the learned modules which are constructed using the primary cognitive modules for constructive cognitive modules. But since these terms are not at present used in the scientific writings, I guess we cannot use those terms in Wikipedia either.

Jpalme 14:34, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

I wrote an e-mail to David M. Buss, one of the authorities in the area of evolutionary psycholology. Here is his answer:

Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 14:58:09 -0500
To: Jacob Palme <>
From: David Buss <>
Subject: Re: Terminology "cognitive modules"
I generally avoid using the term "module" since it means so many different things to different people [e.g., information encapsulation for some, but not for most evolutionary psychologists]. I'm also not a language expert, so can't speak to that. Finally, EP generally does not use "genetic" versus "learned." I discuss some of these issues in the most recent edition of my Evolutionary Psychology text (3rd edition).

So I seem to be right that the term cognitive module has different meanings for different people. But Buss does not help with suggestion for alternative terminology.

I wrote the following reply to Buss:

To: David Buss <>
From: Jacob Palme <>
Subject: Re: Terminology "cognitive modules"
Thank you very much for your help! I would suggests using the term "primitive modules" for basic modules such as the ability to understand language and the ability to rapidly compute trajectories of a moving ball, and use the term "constructed modules" for the modules which are built on the primitive modules, but which contain obvious learned components, such as the ability to understand English or the ability to play basket ball.
Primitive and constructed are used in the same way in the ASN.1 computer protocol definition language. In ASN.1, primitive types are types built-into the ASN.1 language, which constructed types are types constructed for a particular application based in the primitive modules.

Jpalme 02:25, 26 September 2007 (UTC)