Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 175–176 | Cite as

On simplicity and emergence

Brief Report


Mark Johnson’s paper centres around a provocative and sensible point: the simplicity of a change in evolutionary terms does not necessarily map straightforwardly onto the simplicity of that change within aformal system. This commentary discusses these implications in more depth, making the point that it isimportant to consider the level at which an operation occurs in order to correctly evaluate how complex it is.


Computational modeling High order cognition 


  1. Berwick, R., & Chomsky, N. (2016). Why only us: Language and evolution. Cambridge: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Johnson, M. (2016). Marr’s levels and the Minimalist program. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. doi:10.3758/s13423-016-1062-1 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations