Developmental Plasticity

Developmental Plasticity

Behavioral and Biological Aspects of Variations in Development

1st Edition - January 28, 1981

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  • Editor: Eugene Gollin
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323157209

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Developmental Plasticity: Behavioral and Biological Aspects of Variations in Development explores the behavioral and biological aspects of variations in development from a variety of theoretical viewpoints and research contexts. Topics covered include evolution and genetic variability; sensory bases of infant perception; and learning and ethology. The infancy of human learning processes is also discussed, along with epistemology and developmental psychology. Comprised of eight chapters, this book opens with a review of the broad evolutionary landscape and the specific genetic mechanisms implicated in biological and behavioral development. It then describes the sensory apparatus available to neonatal human beings and analyzes the similarities and differences between ethological theory and learning theory. Developmental plasticity is also examined in interdisciplinary contexts, while the acquisition of behavior patterns during early postnatal development is explored from a traditional learning theory point of view. The remaining chapters focus on the role played by asymmetry in general and by cerebral asymmetry in particular in the generation of individuality; cultural and biological instances of plasticity in development; and the barriers separating epistemology from developmental psychology and psycholinguistics. This monograph will be a useful resource for developmental psychologists and other professionals devoted to child development and learning, as well as those in the fields of genetics and behavioral and biological sciences.

Table of Contents

  • List of Contributors


    I Evolutionary and Genetic Background

    1 Evolution and Genetic Variability


    Contemporary Variability between Species

    Evolutionary Variability

    Sources of Variability

    Variability within Species

    Molecules and Variability

    Polygenic Systems

    Developmental Variability within the Organism




    II The Sensory Base

    2 The Infancy of Human Sensory Systems


    Prenatal Origins of Sensory Development

    Sensory Bases of Infant Perception



    III Learning and Ethology

    3 Learning Theory, Ethological Theory, and Developmental Plasticity


    Problems Raised by the Goal-Directedness of Behavior

    Learning Theory

    Ethological Theory

    Developmental Plasticity in the Perspectives of Learning and Instinct Theory

    Evolution of Developmental Plasticity: Implications for the Analysis of Immediate Causation

    The Confluence of Ideas: Emergence of Interest in Animal Perception


    4 The Infancy of Human Learning Processes


    The Pleasures of Sensation as Incentives for Infant Learning

    The Infant as Learner

    The Functions of Early Human Learning



    5 Innate Programs for Perceptual Development: An Ethological View


    Perceptual Adaptations to Local Conditions: Honeybees

    Sensitive Periods for Perceptual Change: Chick Pecking

    Imprinting and Perceptual Development: Birds

    Configurational Features and Sign Stimuli: The Herring Gull

    Innate Constraints on Vocal Imitation: Birdsong

    Species-Specific Processing of Vocal Stimuli: Macaques

    Color Vision, Naming, and Preferences

    The Ontogeny of Speech Perception

    Conclusions on the Ethology of Perceptual Development


    IV Asymmetries and Variation

    6 Lateralization and Its Implications for Variation in Development

    The Origins of Asymmetry

    Lateralization of the Brain

    Development of the Hand-Brain Relationship

    Sex Differences in Cerebral Asymmetry

    Why Variation?


    V Epistemology, Theory, and Method

    7 Development and Plasticity


    Developmental Perspectives

    Developmental Perspective and Plasticity

    The Roles of Experience

    Multimodal and Polyphasic Development

    Theoretical and Methodological Implications of a Multimodal-Polyphasic Model

    Cultural and Biological Instances of Plasticity in Development



    8 Epistemology and Developmental Psychology


    Does Mental Development Have a Unique Destination?

    The Grounds for Skepticism about Any Universal Destination

    The Need for an Alternative Approach

    Alternative Developmental Destinations and Trajectories


    Author Index

    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 296
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1981
  • Published: January 28, 1981
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323157209

About the Editor

Eugene Gollin

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