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Olfactory language and cognition

Majid, A. (2013). Olfactory language and cognition. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2013) (pp. 68). Austin,TX: Cognitive Science Society. Retrieved from
Since the cognitive revolution, a widely held assumption has been that—whereas content may vary across cultures—cognitive processes would be universal, especially those on the more basic levels. Even if scholars do not fully subscribe to this assumption, they often conceptualize, or tend to investigate, cognition as if it were universal (Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan, 2010). The insight that universality must not be presupposed but scrutinized is now gaining ground, and cognitive diversity has become one of the hot (and controversial) topics in the field (Norenzayan & Heine, 2005). We argue that, for scrutinizing the cultural dimension of cognition, taking an anthropological perspective is invaluable, not only for the task itself, but for attenuating the home-field disadvantages that are inescapably linked to cross-cultural research (Medin, Bennis, & Chandler, 2010).
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The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

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