Different neural systems contribute to semantic bias and conflict detection in the inclusion fallacy task

Peipeng Liang, Vinod Goel, Xiuqin Jia, Kuncheng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The inclusion fallacy is a phenomenon in which generalization from a specific premise category to a more general conclusion category is considered stronger than a generalization to a specific conclusion category nested within the more general set. Such inferences violate rational norms and are part of the reasoning fallacy literature that provides interesting tasks to explore cognitive and neural basis of reasoning. To explore the functional neuroanatomy of the inclusion fallacy, we used a 2 × 2 factorial design, with factors for quantification (explicit and implicit) and response (fallacious and non-fallacious). It was found that a left fronto-temporal system, along with a superior medial frontal system, was specifically activated in response to fallacious responses consistent with a semantic biasing of judgment explanation. A right fronto-parietal system was specifically recruited in response to detecting conflict associated with the heightened fallacy condition. These results are largely consistent with previous studies of reasoning fallacy and support a multiple systems model of reasoning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number797
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Issue numberOCT
Publication statusPublished - Oct 20 2014


  • Category-based induction
  • fMRI
  • Inclusion fallacy
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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