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Re: [xmca] "Rising to the concrete"

I always enjoy these kind of observations, Mike, but I still don't know what perception of made-up objects in the laboratory has to do with abstract and concrete. I would be very grateful if you could share that with us Mike,


mike cole wrote:
Thanks for the extra connections, Peg. I'll track them down and perhaps we can return to Sayeki's work if people find it useful.


On Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Peg Griffin <peg.griffin@att.net <mailto:peg.griffin@att.net>> wrote:

    There are some recent studies of PM (physical manipulation) and CM
    (computer manipulation) and IM (imaginary manipulation) that might
    be interesting to consider here, Mike and Andy ( more the studies
    themselves than the framework/background that motivate them.)
Here's the general issue and some references: Kids who read sometimes don't comprehend. Telling them to visualize or imagine (IM) as a comprehension
    strategy is like telling a sad person to be happy. They don't
    really see what it means to go about that.
    But, if they learn to do PM or CM while reading some passages and
    then are advised to do the same but without the physical objects
    or the interactive computer objects (so it is IM), they can then
    do the IM and even do it on new passages they never did any PM or
    CM on. It works on narrative and expository passages.
    Glenberg, A.M., Goldberg, A. B. & Zhu, X. (2011)  Improving early
    reading comprehension using embodied CAI. Instructional Sciences,
    39(1), 27–39.
    Glenberg, A.M., Willford, J., Gibson, B., Goldberg, A. B. & Zhu,
    X. (2011). Improving reading to improve math. Scientific Studies
    of Reading. DOI: 10.1080/10888438.2011.564245
    Glenberg, A.M., Sato, M. & Cattaneo, L.  (2011).  Use-induced
    motor plasticity affects the processing of abstract and concrete
    language.  Current Biology, 18(7), R290-291
It's reminiscent of our marshmallow simulations of those
    genetically primary Pond problems, huh, Mike?
    And here is one older piece along the same lines that might be
    interesting to look at – the abstract starts this way: “This
    article explores the nature of the conceptual knowledge retrieved
    when people use words to think about objects. Suppose that
    conceptual knowledge is used to simulate and guide action in the
    Borghi, A. M., Glenberg, A. M. &. Kaschak, M. P. (2004). Putting
    words in perspective.  Memory and Cognition.  32 (6), 863-873Peg

    --- On Wed, 8/15/12, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
    <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>
    Subject: Re: [xmca] "Rising to the concrete"
    To: lchcmike@gmail.com <mailto:lchcmike@gmail.com>
    Cc: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
    Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 9:21 PM

    As I see it Mike, the reason that a set-up which facilitates the
    subject imaginatively putting themselves into the object, leads to
    quicker solution of the problem because it mobilises the highly
    developed sense we have of our own body. Although wrong about much
    else, I think Lakoff was right about the central place of spatial
    and other visceral metaphors lying at the root of our ability to
    understand things, including concept formation and the formation
    of language. Likewise, I think the whole range of social feelings
    we have - shame, fear of disapproval, desire for recognition,
    respect for norms of behaviour, etc., as well as knowledge of the
    various objects which populate our social world, key in our
    understanding of concepts which have an essentially social
    existence. Just as my feet and shoulders twitch when I watch a
    tennis match, I think similar but deeper processes are going on
    when I recognise or think about things which are conceptualised in a
     particular way in the social environment I am in. If this is the
    kind of thing you have in mind, then I believe I understand you.
    The same considerations also engage the concepts of abstract and
    concrete, but you seemed to be hinting at a more immediate
    connection which at the moment is just escaping me.

    Perhaps you could explain?


    mike cole wrote:
Thanks for posting the link to the paper, Andy.

    I believe that a starting point is to ask the following question(s):

    1. What is it that accounts for the increase in time to carry out
    a mental rotation for the plain
    conglomeration of blocks?

    2. Whatever the process is, why is it that the amount of rotation
    is irrelevant if the figure has
    a schematic face/head on it in a place where it appears person-like?

    Maybe all the concrete is between my ears.

    On Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 8:27 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
    <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    http://lchc.ucsd.edu/Histarch/ap81v3n2.PDF p.16

    Mike, I also, at first had the same problem with motorscooter
    indicator, and I used a different but similar tactic to overcome
    it. Also, as a civil engineer I learnt that it was essential to
    imagine yourself as the building in order to nknow where the
    stresses would be and effectively design it, and most difficult
    problems, up to the point of calculations could be solved this way.

    But ... :) ... I can't see what this has to do with abstract and
    concrete. Can you explain?


    mike cole wrote:

    A wonderful paper by Yutaka Sayeki (with two key figures reversed,
    but it is obvious where the mistake was made when you read it) has
    an example of what I take to be almost a "measure" of rising to
    the concrete (see also Davydov's ideas on the topic).

    Its part of a special issue of the newsletter. Accessible to
    anyone at lchc.ucsd.edu <http://lchc.ucsd.edu> <http://lchc.ucsd.edu>


    Volume 3, Number 2 April 1981


    AZUMA, Hiroshi: /A Note on Cross-Cultural Study/

    INAGAKI, Kayoko: /Facilitation of Knowledge Integration through /

    /Classroom Discussion/

    KASHIWAGI, Keiko: /Note on the Socialization Processes in Japan/

    HATANO, Giyoo, KUHARA, Keiko, and AKIYAMA, Michael: /Kanji Help /

    /Readers of Japanese Infer the Meaning of Unfamiliar Words/

    SAITO, Hirofumi/: Toward Comparative Studies in Reading Kanji and /


    SAYEKI, Yutaka: /"Body Analogy" and the Cognition of Rotated Figures/

    On Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 5:24 AM, Huw Lloyd
    <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com <mailto:huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
    <mailto:huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>>> wrote:

        On 15 August 2012 13:01, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>> wrote:

        > Well, these issues are not going to be solved in 5 minutes, Huw.
        > and digital belong to a completely different frame than the
        concepts of
        > abstract/concrete and general/universal which I think Greg asked
        > initially.

        Analog was an elaboration.  This point is not necessary to resolve
        "universal" in the Lenin quote.


        > Let me be brief then. Ilyenkov famously makes the point that
        > value is an ideal, but it is also real. The market implements a
        process of
        > abstracting the value of commodities but it is the very
        concreteness of the
        > market which makes that process possible.

        Democracy is an ideal which really motivates millions of
    people and
        > underpins constitutional governments.

        > Universal suffrage allows that insane people, criminals and
        children do
        > not vote. And what is more, when the President is elected, only
        the votes
        > of 51% count. (There are of course plenty of "Ah, but ..."s
        about this, but
        > this is what is meant by the difference between the general
    and the
        > universal.)
        > http://www.marxists.org/**reference/archive/hegel/works/**
        > Andy
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    *Andy Blunden*
    Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
    Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts

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    *Andy Blunden*
    Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
    Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts

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