Events / MindCORE Seminar: Maya Bar-Hillel

MindCORE Seminar: Maya Bar-Hillel

November 1, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Maya Bar-Hillel
Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality
The Hebrew University, Safra Campus


Towards a theory of default representations


Rosch (1975) studied the cognitive representations of semantic categories. A chair is a prototypical representative of “furniture.” A 4-legged wooden chair with a back rest but no hand rests is a prototypical representative of “chair.” On a finer scale, such as the chair’s position and orientation in a visual representation, there are default representations. This is what I study. The default for “person” is an adult male, standing up, facing you. The default for “wine bottle” is full, but for “bottle” is empty. The default for “$5” is a fiver, but for “$2” is 2 singles. Stumpers (a special kind of child-level riddle that leaves even sophisticated hearers mostly stumped) are both a vehicle for, and a product of, understanding default representations.


A pizza lunch will be served at 11:45am. The seminar will run from 12:00pm – 1:30pm.