Extensive neurophysiological and neuropsychological evidence show that perception, action, and cognition are closely related in the brain and develop in parallel to one another. Thus, perception, cognition, and social functioning are all anchored in the actions of the child. Actions reflect the motives, the problems to be solved, and the constraints and possibilities of the child’s body and sensory-motor system. The developing brain accumulates experiences, which it translates into knowledge used in planning future actions. Such knowledge is available because events are governed by rules and regulations. The present volume discusses all these aspects of how action and cognition are related in development.
Neuroscientists, psychologists, developmental psychologists, cognitive scientists, and roboticists.
Table of Contents
1. THE STRUCTURING OF THE BRAIN Unaltered development of the archi- and neocortex in prematurely born infants. Genetic control dominates in proliferation , differentiation and maturation of cortical neurons. Subcortical regulation of cortical development: some effects of early, selective deprivations. The mirror-neurons system: data and models. Apraxia. A review.
2. THE EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF PERCEPTION AND ACTION Effects of early visual deprivation on perceptual and cognitive development. Visual trackaing and its relationship to cortical development. Visual and visuocognitive development in children born very prematurely. Development of brain mechanisms for visual global processing and object segmentation. How face specialization emerges in the first months of life. The early development of visual attention and its implications for social and cognitive development.
3. THE DEVELOPMENT OF ACTION AND COGNITION Visual constraints in the development of action. Object and event representation in toddlers. Learning and development in infant locomotion. Core systems in human cognition. Taking an action perspective on infant’s object representations.
4. THE DEVELOPMENT OF ACTION AND SOCIAL COGNITION Infants’perception and production of intentional actions. The role of behavioural cues in understanding goal-directed actions in infancy. Seeing the face through the eyes: a developmental perspective on face expertise. Past and present challenges in theory of mind research in non human primates. Infancy and autism: progress, prospects and challenges. Children-robot interaction: a pilot study in autism therapy.
5. THE DEVELOPMENT OF ARTIFICIAL SYSTEMS Sensorimotor coordination in a “baby” robot: learning about object through grasping. Emergence and development of embodied cognition –a constructivist approach using robots.