Blending Box Experiments, Build 1.0

27 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2010 Last revised: 9 Jul 2013

See all articles by Mark B. Turner

Mark B. Turner

Case Western Reserve University - Department of Cognitive Science

Date Written: January 23, 2010


This article - which includes a full analysis of the Buddhist Monk riddle, including technical proofs - concerns a central human mental ability: the ability to blend two different conceptual arrays so as to produce an emergent outcome in the blend. The centrality of this mental operation is widely and robustly confirmed by the empirical data. But as far as I have found, there are no tests proposed in the literature to detect the presence or to measure the extent of this ability across the human lifespan (development, maturity, senescence), or under deficit (post-stroke or trauma), or across members of other species (mammalian, aviary). This working paper sketches some of the difficulties encountered in trying to devise such a test. These difficulties have not yet been surmounted. No completely worthy test has yet been found.

Keywords: Conceptual Integration, Blending, Experiment

Suggested Citation

Turner, Mark B., Blending Box Experiments, Build 1.0 (January 23, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Mark B. Turner (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University - Department of Cognitive Science ( email )

10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-7068
United States


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