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A Dynamic Systems Approach To The Development Of Cognition And Action Pdf

a dynamic systems approach to the development of cognition and action pdf

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What Develops in Emotional Development? There is a good deal of debate about what develops in emotional development.

A Dynamic Systems Approach to Cognition—Emotion Interactions in Development

The Dynamic Systems Approach DSA to development has been shown to be a promising theory to understand developmental changes. In this perspective, we use the example of mid-childhood 6- to years of age reaching to show how using the DSA can advance the understanding of development. Mid-childhood is an important developmental period that has often been overshadowed by the focus on the acquisition of reaching during infancy.

This underrepresentation of mid-childhood studies is unjustified, as earlier studies showed that important developmental changes in mid-childhood reaching occur that refine the skill of reaching.

We review these studies here for the first time and show that different studies revealed different developmental trends, such as non-monotonic and linear trends, for variables such as movement time and accuracy at target. Unfortunately, proposed explanations for these developmental changes have been tailored to individual studies, limiting their scope. Also, explanations were focused on a single component or process in the system that supposedly causes developmental changes.

Here, we propose that the DSA can offer an overarching explanation for developmental changes in this research field. According to the DSA, motor behavior emerges from interactions of multiple components entailed by the person, environment, and task. Changes in all these components can potentially contribute to the emerging behavior. We show how the principles of change of the DSA can be used as an overarching framework by applying these principles not only to development, but also the behavior itself.

This underlines its applicability to other fields of development. An increasing popular view in developmental psychology that has been used to understand how developmental changes emerge is the Dynamic Systems Approach DSA e. The hallmark of the DSA is its emphasis on all components of the system including environment and task.

The DSA has provided lasting changes in understanding development in a variety of fields e. In general, first reaching movements to a target emerge around 3 months von Hofsten, , while by 6 months, infants develop straighter and smoother reaches Berthier and Keen, An important contribution of the DSA is that the intrinsic dynamics of the system affect this development Thelen et al.

For example, Thelen et al. In contrast to infant reaching, the DSA is underrepresented in studies of mid-childhood 6- to years of age reaching. This field is exemplified here to show how the DSA can be used as an explanatory framework to advance understanding of development. During mid-childhood reaching skills are further refined i. Our review of the literature revealed that developmental trends differ among studies, as shown in Figure 1 and explained in more detail later e.

Moreover, proposed explanations were tailored to trends revealed in individual studies, limiting their scope. The DSA is able to explain different developmental trends within one skill, as it focuses on all contributing components. Importantly, the components contributing to reaching are still undergoing developmental changes during mid-childhood. For example, joint coordination changes Schneiberg et al. This shows the continuing complexity in reaching development and the need to understand developmental changes.

The goal of this perspective is to offer novel ideas on how to advance the understanding of the development of mid-childhood reaching by approaching the developmental changes from the DSA. We commence with a short synopsis of the existing explanations for developmental changes in mid-childhood reaching. Schematic representation of different developmental trends found in reaching studies examining mid-childhood development.

The variable movement time is functioning as an example. The non-monotonic developmental trend is sketched on the Left , the plateauing developmental trend in the Middle and the linear developmental trend is sketched on the Right. Note that the trends are in the opposite direction a decrease is an increase and an increase is a decrease for the variable accuracy. We focus on studies in which simple reaching movements from a start location to a target were performed.

These studies have primarily focused on the performance level of the reach, quantifying spatio-temporal measures of the index finger, such as movement time or accuracy at the target. Most studies compared three age groups, usually 6-, 8-, and years-olds. Based on our literature review, we differentiate developmental trends into three groups, i. Several studies focusing on simple reaching movements to a target while manipulating the availability of visual feedback about the arm vision vs.

A performance decrease around 8-years of age characterized this trend. For example, 6-year-old children had longer movement times than year-old children, but shorter movement times than 8-year-old children Bard et al. Interestingly, depending on the study this trend was found in the vision and no-vision condition Pellizzer and Hauert, , only in the no-vision condition Hay, ; Fayt et al.

Even within the same manipulation different results were found as it was the case for the amplitude and direction manipulation: for the directional error, Fayt et al. Two explanations for the non-monotonic trend were suggested in these papers. Authors suggested that the change from feedforward to feedback control would cause the performance decrease around 8 years. They assumed that 6-year-old children rely on an intra-modal mode, in which different afferent sources visual, proprioceptive, or tactile are processed independently.

Authors proposed that the integration of different sensory modalities would be established around the age of eight causing performance decline. Studies that unexpectedly displaced the target location during the reach found a plateauing developmental trend, indicated by a performance plateau from 8-years onward Van Braeckel et al. Time to correction i. Authors proposed that this performance improvement from 6- to 8-year-old children is the result of gaining the ability to generate an internal model i.

A plateauing trend was also found in a task where children had to adapt their movements to a visuomotor rotation, in which received visual feedback about the movement was rotated to a certain degree Contreras-Vidal et al. Contreras-Vidal et al.

Note that these results are in contrast with King et al. Interestingly, they found no differences between ages in the extend of the after-effect, indicating no developmental trend for this variable. A linear developmental trend was found in Ferrel et al. Authors found a linear decrease in errors from 6- to year-olds. Results were interpreted by these authors as showing changes in the nature of representations. Also studies that manipulated the availability of visual feedback found linear trends in performance measures e.

The literature overview shows that several performance measures improve over development, indicating that important fine-tuning takes place during mid-childhood that demands understanding. Reviewed studies assumed that developmental changes in performance measures follow directly from developmental changes in one single process i. Early studies were published at a time in which the information processing approach was popular, whereas more recent studies follow the computational neuroscience tradition referring to internal models and representations as explanations.

In sum, over the last decades, useful and interesting explanations of developmental changes in reaching during mid-childhood have been put forward by focusing on specific single causes, fitting within the theoretical framework underlying these studies.

We, however, propose that if one wants to understand the full range and complexity of the revealed developmental trends, one should depart from the assumption that over development the same cause is responsible for all developmental changes.

Our reasons for this are: first, from the literature overview it became clear that different developmental trends were found for both, different manipulations and the same manipulations e. For example, the studies of Bard et al. If there would be a single cause, the changes brought about by this cause should be found across manipulations. Feedback and feedforward processes, for example, play a role in all described experiments in one way or another, which would mean that the deterioration in performance following from increased usage of feedback in 8-year-olds should be seen in each experiment.

As the literature overview revealed, the deterioration around 8-years is not found in all studies which makes it unlikely that there is only one cause. Studies on reaching during mid-childhood have not focused on other levels so far, however, in other behavior different developmental trends at different levels have been found e. We think that this is an essential question which will be difficult to answer, hampering full understanding of the developmental changes.

Importantly, the system is not confined to the body, but includes the full action-perception cycle. Automatically, this means that the environment and the task are equally important parts of the system. Newell, According to the DSA, the components of the body-environment-task system are interacting.

Hence, if one or multiple components change, the behavior might change. Thus, developmental trends emerge from changes in interactions that are affected by all components of the system. It also means that the component s involved in the emergence of new behavior may differ at each instant in development. The concept that DSA uses to explain the emergence of new behavior is that of an attractor. Attractors are preferred, but not fixed, behaviors of the system to which the system returns to when perturbed.

Attractors emerge from the interaction of the components at a certain point in time. At a given moment more behavioral attractors are present, hence, the attractor landscape represents the dynamic regime and the stability of the attractors emerging from interactions among task, person and environment components.

Changes in the attractor landscape reflecting disappearing behaviors, appearing behaviors, and qualitatively changing behaviors are indicated in terms of stability and its counterpart variability. Stability of the attractor specifies resistance to change which is indicated by the effort it takes the system to perform a new or a different behavior.

Weak attractor stability can result in an easy transition to a different attractor, which is reflected in increased behavioral variability. For development this means that when components of the system change, the interaction changes, which might influence the stability of the attractors in the attractor landscape.

This changed attractor landscape can lead to different behavioral patterns becoming stable resulting in changes at the performance level, affecting development. To understand developmental changes in reaching, the attractor landscape of reaching has to be identified e. The reaching movement is engendered by an intentionally destabilizing point attractor of the initial location while the limit cycle concurrently stabilizes representing the actual displacement of the limb , followed by a destabilization of this limit cycle and subsequent relaxation toward the target location attractor.

How do changes in the attractors of reaching lead to different patterns of change at the performance level? The limit cycle in particular has effects on the performance of the reach because it accounts for the trajectory stability Beek and Beek, ; Mottet and Bootsma, ; Zaal et al.

For instance, Mottet and Bootsma showed that to meet different task constraints imposed by modifications in target size and distance in a rhythmic reaching task, limit cycle dynamics systematically varied over conditions. In each condition, the imposed task constraints instantiated a limit cycle attractor of which the characteristics emerged from the interaction of the components involved in the system target properties and person constraints.

The exact dynamics of the limit cycle in turn determined the performance of the reaching movement. As described in the introduction the components that contribute to reaching are undergoing developmental changes during mid-childhood i. All these changes in individual components affect the interaction, which changes the attractor landscape of reaching, i.

Thus, 6-year-old children have different attractors than 8- and year-old children which influences the performance of the reach in different ways, resulting in different movement speeds or accuracy scores at different ages. As described earlier, different developmental trends were revealed in different studies. We gave the example of the studies of Bard et al. Important for understanding that DSA can explain these changes is that the details of the experimental setups in these studies differed.

For example, differences can be noticed in the task setup moving a stylus on a tablet vs.

A dynamic systems approach to the development of cognition and action.

Go to DTS. He greatly influenced our work at Lectica. Skills develop through levels of increasing complexity, differentiation, and integration, within a dynamic system that includes self, other, and environment. There are many ways in which skill theory has impacted our work. Mental development involves the entire brain and is impossible without social interaction. Even a concept like the physics of energy is best learned in an environment that engages learners emotionally, motivationally, kinesthetically, and reflectively.

a dynamic systems approach to the development of cognition and action pdf

A Dynamic Systems Approach to Personality

Skill theory

From Cognitive Psychology. By Linda B. Smith and Esther Thelen. A Bradford Book.

A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action presents a comprehensive and detailed theory of early human development based on the principles of dynamic systems theory. Beginning with their own research in motor, perceptual, and cognitive development, Thelen and Smith raise fundamental questions about prevailing assumptions in the field. They propose a new theory of the development of cognition and action, unifying recent advances in dynamic systems theory with current research in neuroscience and neural development. In particular, they show how by processes of exploration and selection, multimodal experiences form the bases for self-organizing perception-action categories. Thelen and Smith offer a radical alternative to current cognitive theory, both in their emphasis on dynamic representation and in their focus on processes of change.

European Psychologist , 6, pp. This paper considers three concepts relevant to a dynamic systems approach to personality: dynamics, systems, and levels. Some of the history of a dynamic view is traced, leading to an emphasis on the need for stressing the interplay among goals. Concepts such as multidetermination, equipotentiality, and equifinality are shown to be important aspects of a systems approach.

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A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action

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5 Comments

  1. Valdrada P.

    03.05.2021 at 22:56
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    The Dynamic Systems Approach DSA to development has been shown to be a promising theory to understand developmental changes.

  2. ГЃngela O.

    04.05.2021 at 20:29
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  3. Nicole F.

    05.05.2021 at 18:18
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    A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action and Action presents a comprehensive and detailed theory of early human development based on the principles of dynamic systems theory. PDF ( KB).

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