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Re: [xmca] Educational neuroscience
- To: "Hansen, Monica" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: [xmca] Educational neuroscience
- From: Andy Blunden <email@example.com>
- Date: Sun, 28 Jul 2013 11:41:28 +1000
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Of course wherever trauma or injury to the brain is involved, knowledge
of the localisation of functions is important for giodng therapy, and
also, as Martin notes, neurpscience has functioned to debunk various
simplistic assumptions about how the brain works, and in fact greatly
complicates imagination of even simple thought processes, but here is
what I think about the central point.
Freud had a diagram of the "mental personality". (see
for example). He did not claim that this corresponded to the forms to
any actual biological structure inside the skull. But it was an image
around which therapeutical activities and knowledge of psychoanalysis
could be organised. The diagram functioned as a mediating artefact, in
other words. Likewise, religious people use the Bible as a mediating
artefact around which to organise pastoral counselling, prayer and
generally managing their own lives. That the Bible may function quite
effectively in this respect does not depend on the claim that it is the
word of God, even if some of those who use it staunchly believe it to be
Now in our naturalistic times, we insist that the mediating artifact
(such as a map of the brain) around which we organise psychotherapy,
education and so on, *is* a representation of a real, material organism.
And of course, it is. But if you think about it, it would not matter at
all if it were not. For example, teaching by rote, something which has
thousands of years of history, can now be "rationalised" by "brain
plasticity," but obviously it is its efficacy in social practice which
is the final critierion of its success. (By the way, "brain plasticity"
was known to physiotherapists for half a century, at least, before
neurosurgeons coined the term. They had never bothered to enquire what
the "nurses" were doing with their patients once they left the operaitng
theatre, and were surprised to discover that people were being cured of
their injury by paramedicals.)
Hansen, Monica wrote:
Hi, Andy, and others. Interesting discussion. Some good sources. One consideration:
Pharmaceutical implications are NOT the only result of understanding the contribution of neuroscience in education! Although I have seen neuroscientists include this in their discussion (especially for dyslexia and adhd).
One implication of neuroscience for teachers in the classroom with individual students is a greater understanding of normal, individual variation for complex functions like reading and writing. In working to understand neuroanatomy of meaningful language, one finds that current research supports more structures being involved rather than identifying one localized region for speech production. Rather than considering development as predetermined, development is considered ongoing. The social and cultural influence in an individual's cortical organization is huge! Current neuroscience supports what Bella Kotik-Friedgut refers to from Luria as "extracortical" organization, the notion that the cortex is reorganized from without the individual. Development of the brain is not predetermined for our students just because of genetics. What we become and are is not reduced to chemicals, is not a function of time(maturity) in the mechanistic sense, but arises from the ability of our nervous systems as dynamic, growing and changing within larger systems.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 9:00 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Educational neuroscience
I would like to suggest a thought experiment.
Suppose that neuroscience had progressed to a point where every psychological phenomenon has been traced to a specific formation in the brain. (This is of course very far from the case. Even dramatic psychological disorders are often invisible to neuroscience, but just suppose. ....)
It could help faciitate new pharamceutical and surgical cures for psychological disorders.
So instead of better teaching, we could administer drugs to children so they learn faster, or something??
It is only surgical and pharmceutical interventions that require neuroscientific knowledge. Oherwise, stories about the brain just function as rationalisations, for doing things which can be explained and tested without reference to the brain,
Huw Lloyd wrote:
On 24 July 2013 16:45, Huw Lloyd <email@example.com> wrote:
On 24 July 2013 16:35, Wagner Luiz Schmit <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Thanks for the indications. Any "recent" (10 years or so) research
dealing with the data made available by the knew scan technologies?
Nothing that I've come across. I haven't expected to find anything
though, so haven't looked with any diligence.
Christine had some thoughts on biological developments a while back.
*ANY* studies on genetic process are of merit here, I believe. it doesn't
have to be the brain. Note that this is looking at "natural phenomena"
rather than artificial phenomena alone.
Dynamic Systems Theory may be worth exploring -- I haven't looked yet.
Travieso, Ch. 6, The Cambridge Handbook of Socialcultural Psychology, (Eds)
Valsiner & Rosa.
On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 12:31 AM, Huw Lloyd <email@example.com>
On 24 July 2013 16:23, Wagner Luiz Schmit <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Any work you recommend for beginner's and or a must have/read in the
I am trying to get a broader sense of human development using Vygotsky
as core and searching for recent readings in different fields like
Philosophy (Ilyenkov) and History (People's history of the world by
Chris Harman), But still lacking a clue on "phylogeny" and
Wertsch, Vygotsky and the formation of mind -- genetic domains.
Waddington, Genetic Assimilation.
Batson, genetic/ecological processes.
The recent documents from Luria cover some "basics" which are typically
missed in this line of research. Luria's research is predominantly
functional (of a v. high calibre). It seems to be dialectic in an
kind of way. But the functional explanations stand up for themselves.
On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 12:13 AM, Ulvi İçil <email@example.com>
As far as I know, there is a strong neuroscience in Russia in the
Alexander Romanovitch's work, Homskaya and his many other students
continued his work a lot.
2013/7/24 Wagner Luiz Schmit <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I like that text pretty much (I always returned to it in our
group in Brazil and I will present it again this week to our
group in Japan). And this text, acording to Leontiev, is from
But at the same time Leontiev, in a letter from this same year (if I
am not mistaken again) points to divergent way of thinking between
him, Luria and Vygotsky... I unfortunately know very little about
Luria (just read some texts) and even less about today Russian
neuroscience, does this proposal by Vygotsky continues in Luria? And
returning to the main topic, there is still neuroscience following
On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 11:54 PM, Huw Lloyd <
On 24 July 2013 15:38, Wagner Luiz Schmit <
Please say more... I think this is so important, and things
that Vygotsky also, otherwise why enter the Medicine course in
(if my memory is not wrong)
"On Psychological Systems", collected works of LSV, v.3, p.105
"In actual fact, it seems to me that by introducing the concept of
psychological system in the form we discussed, we get a splendid
possibility of conceiving the real connections, the real complex
relationships that exist."
"To a certain degree this also holds true for one of the most
problems -- the localization of higher psychological systems."
On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 11:33 PM, Larry Purss <
You mentioned you are interested in *cognitive CHANGE*.
Within the concept *neuroplasticity* is implicit Nero change.
There is a scholar in France [Catherine Malabou] whose central
thesis explores *plasticity* as from the Greek *to mold or to
She moves the concepts of *dynamic* and *systems* and *theory*
within the orbit of the central thesis of plasticity as change,
transformation and metamorphosis.
Not sure if this is too far off topic.
I also want to mention *neo-Piagetian* theory including
Wittgenstein is being explored at SIMON Fraser University.
If interested I could say more.
On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:39 AM, Ulvi İçil <
Dear Andy and all, I found Kurt Fisher, he is at Harvard,
He is described as:
Fischer's theory differs from the other neo-Piagetian
of respects. One of them is in the way it explains cognitive
Specifically, although Fischer does not deny the operation of
processing constrains on development, he emphasizes on the
and social rather than individual factors as causes of
explain developmental change he borrowed two classic notions
is, internalization and the zone of proximal development.
I am rather interested in the application of the new findings
of educational neuroscience into the theory and practice of
2013/7/23 Andy Blunden <email@example.com>
Ulvi, best of luck in your search, and maybe someone on this
help. But don't get your hopes up.
Lawrence Barsalou is a very sophisticated writer on
Barsalou, L. W. (1992) “Cognitive Psychology. An Overview
Scientists,” Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum.
where he has a chapter on education, he characterises
“teachers provide information that students incorporate into
knowledge” - in other words, not only does he use "folk
grasp of the subtlties of education, but he seems to be
antiquated "theory" of teaching and learning has been
critique over the past 100 years. A classic illustration of
that Greg has been raising.
Ulvi İçil wrote:
I would like to know some outstanding scholar names in the
educational neuroscience, working in the line of
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
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