6.803 | Spring 2019 | Undergraduate

The Human Intelligence Enterprise

Schedule of Activities

Spelke explains how to turn MIT students into rats; Fedorenko explains we don't need language to think


Core of the assignment:

Sources of flexibility in human cognition: dual-task studies of space and language” by Linda Hermer-Vazquez, Elizabeth S. Spelke, and Alla S. Katsnelson.

Estimated reading time: 1.5 hours

Language and thought are not the same thing: evidence from neuroimaging and neurological patients” by Evelina Fedorenko and Rosemary Varley

Estimated reading time: 1.0 hours


[Note: If you discuss the paper or the assignment with another student—which we encourage—indicate whom you have talked with in your submitted composition. Of course your submitted composition must be written entirely by you.]

On a total of one side of one sheet of paper, using 10 pt type or larger, with standard interline spacing and margins, respond to all the following:

Planning ahead for fall, Winston has decided to continue the tradition of “Right Now” speakers who talk about their recent work. One of those speakers will be either Spelke (you are to imagine she just finished her paper) or Fedorenko.

He supposes that the best way to decide would be to read through the two papers. Unfortunately, he is too busy. He asks you to send a recommendation via email using the following template:

Professor Winston,

I compared Spelke’s work with Fedorenko’s along several dimensions that seemed particularly relevant to me.

Accordingly, I think you should invite …

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2019
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments