Machine Learning

, Volume 16, Issue 1–2, pp 57–86 | Cite as

Modeling cognitive development on balance scale phenomena

  • Thomas R. Shultz
  • Denis Mareschal
  • William C. Schmidt


We used cascade-correlation to model human cognitive development on a well studied psychological task, the balance scale. In balance scale experiments, the child is asked to predict the outcome of placing certain numbers of equal weights at various distances to the left or right of a fulcrum. Both stage progressions and information salience effects have been found with children on this task. Cascade-correlation is a generative connectionist algorithm that constructs its own network topology as it learns. Cascade-correlation networks provided better fits to these human data than did previous models, whether rule-based or connectionist. The network model was used to generate a variety of novel predictions for psychological research.


cognitive development balance scale connectionist learning cascade-correlation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas R. Shultz
    • 1
  • Denis Mareschal
    • 1
  • William C. Schmidt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and McGill Cognitive Science CentreMcGill UniversityCanada

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