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Toward a Unified Theory of Development Connectionism and Dynamic System Theory Re-Consider - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Toward a Unified Theory of Development Connectionism and Dynamic System Theory Re-Consider

John Spencer


From William James to Sigmund Freud to Jean Piaget to B. F. Skinner, scholars (and parents) have wondered how children move from the blooming, buzzing confusion of infancy, through the tumult of childhood and adolescence, into adulthood. Does development occur continuously over time or in a series of dramatic stages? Is development driven by learning or by biological maturational processes? What is the nature of experience, and how does it generate change? The study of development has always been organized around these big questions. Answers to these questions have a profound influence on dail ... More

Keywords: learning, biology, experience, national policy, dynamical systems theory, motor development, acquisition of grammar

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195300598
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300598.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Spencer, editor
University of Iowa

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PART I Introduction to the Approaches

PART II Dynamical Systems Theory: Case Studies

CHAPTER 5 Dynamic Field Theory and Embodied Cognitive Dynamics

John P. Spencer, Sammy Perone, and Jeffrey S. Johnson

PART III Connectionism: Case Studies

PART IV Hybrid Models: Case Studies

PART V Reactions from the Outside

PART VI Reactions from the Inside

CHAPTER 17 Dynamic and Connectionist Approaches to Development: Toward a Future of Mutually Beneficial Coevolution

Michael S. C. Thomas, James L. McClelland, Fiona M. Richardson, Anna C. Schapiro, and Frank D. Baughman