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Abstract

Dual-system, dual-process, accounts of adult cognitive processing are examined in the context of a self-organizing relational developmental systems approaches to cognitive growth. Contemporary adult dual-process accounts describe a linear architecture of mind entailing two split-off, but interacting systems; a domain general, content-free ‘analytic’ system (system 2) and a domain specific highly contextualized ‘heuristic’ system (system 1). In the developmental literature on deductive reasoning, a similar distinction has been made between a domain general competence (reflective, algorithmic) system and a domain specific procedural system. In contrast to the linear accounts offered by empiricist, nativist, and/or evolutionary explanations, the dual competence–procedural developmental perspective argues that the mature systems emerge through developmental transformations as differentiations and intercoordinations of an early relatively undifferentiated action matrix. This development, whose microscopic mechanism is action-in-the-world, is characterized as being embodied, nonlinear, and epigenetic. WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 231–237 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.120

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