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date: 06 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The era of functional neuroimaging promised to shed light on dark corners of the brain’s inner workings, breathing new life into subfields of psychology beset by controversy. Although revelations from neuroscience provide the foundation for current views on many aspects of human cognition, there continue to be areas of study in which a mismatch between the questions asked by psychologists and neuroscientists renders the implications of neuroscience research unclear. Causal reasoning is one such topic, for which decades of cognitive neuroscience findings have revealed a heterogeneity of participating brain regions and networks across different experimental paradigms. This chapter discusses (i) three cognitive and computational models of causal reasoning (mental models, causal models, and force composition theory), (ii) experimental findings on causal judgment and reasoning using cognitive neuroscience methods, and (iii) the need for a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the nature and mechanisms of causal reasoning.

Keywords: fMRI, causal reasoning, causal models, mental models, force composition

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