Cognitive Processing

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 231–241

Motion as manipulation: implementation of force–motion analogies by event-file binding and action planning

Research Report


Tool-improvisation analogies are structure-mapping inferences implemented, in many species, by event-file binding and pre-motor action planning. These processes act on multi-modal representations of currently perceived situations and eventuate in motor acts that can be directly evaluated for success or failure; they employ implicit representations of force–motion relations encoded by the pre-motor system and do not depend on explicit, language-like representations of relational concepts. A detailed reconstruction of the analogical reasoning steps involved in Rutherford’s and Bohr’s development of the first quantized-orbit model of atomic structure is used to show that human force–motion analogies can in general be implemented by these mechanisms. This event-file manipulation model of the implementation of force–motion analogies is distinguished from the standard view that structure-mapping analogies require the manipulation of explicit, language-like representations of relational concepts.


Structure mapping Tool improvisation Rutherford atom analogy Pre-motor system Mirror-neuron system Physical reasoning Conceptual reasoning 

Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Apdo. 363-4013AtenasCosta Rica

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