[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Dynamics of Developmental Change



Great history lesson, David. Thanks. Shakespeare and Schopenhaur. Wow!
But I fear I misled you by my use of the word, contemporary. I was
referring to 2015, not 1925 or 1885. Its been a while since I have reviewed
the literature on neonatal reflexes and their transformations, so I checked
a recent text (Bornstein and Lamb- *Developmental Science: An advanced
textbook (2015)*. There is an interesting article there by Karen Adolph and
a colleague on sensory motor development (ch5) that has a good summary.
Very interesting and so far as i can tell, perfectly compatible with
emphasis on brain development in the transition to life on the outside and
some version of a story about the increasing role cortical structures
following a stage-like reorganization at 2-3 months. Particularly
intriguing are reflexes present at birth that disappear and then reappear
as constituents of more complex forms of behavior.

Sorry my attempt to advance the discussion was a misdirection. Better luck
next time. Perhaps we could discuss offline unless others want to pursue
this issue.

Might examination of the notion of primary intersubjectivity provide a more
useful avenue of investigation? Not sure.

mike




On Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 2:45 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:

> I assume that when Mike says "contemporary" he is talking about Vygotsky's
> contemporaries. It's always very hard for me to resist the temptation to do
> "Wikipedia" footnotes about the founding fathers of infant psychology--they
> are a very colorful bunch, and many of them heroic although quite wrong.
> Rudolf Virchow, for example, discovered leukemia and invented the autopsy.
> But he was also a bit of a crank: he didn't believe that diseases were
> caused by germs at all, and he insisted that all disease was cause by
> social inequality (this sounded a lot truer in the nineteenth century when
> TB was a leading cause of death). He had himself elected to parliament and
> made himself so unpopular with Bismarck that he was challenged to a duel.
> Since he thought duelling was barbaric, he produced two raw pork sausages,
> one of which was infected with trichinosis, and offered Bismarck a choice.
> Bismarck declined.
>
> Anyway, Virchow believed that infants are essentially "spinal"--all
> functions are decided "reflex arcs" in the spinal cord and not in the brain
> at all. Vygotsky thinks that only unimportant reflexes take place there,
> but he also thinks that there is a gradual movement of the crucial
> "gap"--the bridging point of the reflex arc--from the pallidum to the
> striatum to the cortex, and that this pretty much explains how children are
> able to sit up, and eventually walk.
>
> There are two key figures in mapping the cortex. One of them is
> Flechsig--the fellow who was accused of "bewitching" a judge with
> homosexual impulses and who Freud defended. The other was Foerster, who was
> Lenin's personal surgeon during his last illness. Foerster wasn't a
> neurosurgeon at all: like Virchow he was more interested in the contagious
> diseases of the poor, but during he war the main contagion was traumatic
> bullet wounds, and, not being a surgeon, he had the brilliant idea of using
> only local anaesthetics while he did brain surgery so that he could talk to
> patients as he was stimulating various parts of the cortex. This allowed
> him to produce a much more detailed map than Flechsig's, and that was
> eventually got him a job in the Kremlin.
>
> I think Vygotsky is reacting AGAINST a reaction. He actually starts with
> Shakespeare and Schopenhauer. They have tended to approach the problem of
> infancy as a matter of explaining why we weep when we enter the world and
> laugh when we leave. The reaction to this is to treat the infant as
> essentially brainless, and Vygotsky is very interested in re-establishing
> the role of the brain, although I rather doubt the theory, apparently taken
> over wholesale from Nazi psychologists like Kretschmer, that specific
> structures like the pallidum, and the stratium, just hand their functions
> up to the cortex. It's clear to me that grammaticization takes place in the
> cortex (my mother is suffering from stroke related dementia, and it's had a
> catastrophic effect on her grammar). Hence Halliday (but I'm afraid I don't
> have any pdfs--just my hardbound collected works--and since I got fired
> it's pretty hard for me to scan stuff without getting caught).
>
> David Kellogg
>
>
> On Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 9:06 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>
> > We aim to please, David. Being concrete in this way helps me a lot.
> > A few commentaries in italics in between your paragraphs.
> >
> > On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 2:37 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > It's astonishing to me how much of this is in Vygotsky's chapter on
> > infancy
> > > and also in his work on The Crisis at One.
> > >
> > > a) Vygotsky vigorously denies that the newborn is a purely instinctive
> > > being; he argues precisely the opposite, that the evidence is that the
> > > newborn's instincts are extremely weak, and even those that exist (to
> do
> > > with feeding and positioning) are not "spinal", "medullar", or even
> > purely
> > > "midbrain" in their mediation but instead linked to an undeveloped
> > cortex.
> > >
> >
> > ​*I am actually not certain what you are referring to here. The
> > contemporary literature as I read it allows for a very clear set of
> > reflexes present at birth that are sufficiently widespread in the species
> > to be used as tests for serious organic damage. It has long been known
> that
> > smiling and sucking are observed in hydrocyphalic infants with no
> cortex.*
> >
> > *The key issue it seems is how to understand the reorganization of the
> > infant's life world and biological consiitution which has, until recent
> > research of the sort in the social smiling case, has used qualitatve
> change
> > in the physiological nature of, and social consequences of, the beginning
> > of what Vygotsky seems to be referring to by "receptive interest in the
> > world." Differentiation of mother's faces near birth in populations I
> know
> > about has been pretty clearly established, so receptive interest" seems
> to
> > be there from the beginning. What is primary intersubjectivity, in LSV's
> > terms? When does human perception become active (is it ever just
> > receptive?), or is it a form of action from the beginning?*​
> >
> >
> > >
> > > b) Vygotsky says that most writers on infancy consider that social
> > smiling
> > > is the THE key milestone which marks off the newborn period from
> infancy.
> > > Vygotsky says it isn't. Infancy begins with "receptive interest in the
> > > world", and it is only reciprocated in later periods of infancy (what
> > > Halliday calls proto-conversation).
> > >
> >
> > ​*Perhaps Manfred or an xmca-er familiar with the Nso/German and other
> > cases​*
> >
> > *​when reciprocity begins, Their kids show other features of behavior
> that
> > are part of the ensemble that includes smiling, activity, and in the
> > European cases what might be considered protoconversations. I do not
> recall
> > data on the study of the local language uses in infant-caretaker
> > interaction for the Nso, but it sure is something we would want to know.*
> >
> > >
> > > c) In HDHMF, Vygotsky tries to work out a typology of the different
> forms
> > > of higher cultural behavior. He does this through the method Andy calls
> > > immanent critique: he takes Thorndike's two level scheme and finds it
> > > doesn't explain intellect at all; he then adopts Buhler's three level
> > > scheme and finds that, 1) Buhler over-extends it to cover both humans
> and
> > > animals and both children and adults, and 2) it doesn't explain
> volition
> > at
> > > all, since intellect too is a form of adaptation. In the infancy
> chapter,
> > > Vygotsky argues that the roots of ALL of the forms of behavior
> (instinct,
> > > habit, intellect and volition) are right there in infancy--in the form
> of
> > > affect.
> > >
> >
> > ​*Perhaps here is where the concept of primary intersubjectivity could be
> > helpful because it is all about affect.*​
> >
> >
> > >
> > > Halliday too argues against the "blank slate": he points out that each
> of
> > > the different grammatical forms associated with what appears in
> Vygotsky
> > as
> > > ​
> > > crises and stable age periods has a "proto-" period ( which in my
> scheme
> > > ​
> > > corresponds to the crisis) and a "proper" period (which
> > > ​c​
> > > orresponds to the
> > > ​
> > > stable period).
> > >
> > >                               CRISIS                  STABLE PERIOD
> > >
> > > newborn                 protoconversation
> > >
> > > infancy                                                 conversation
> > proper
> > >
> > > one                        protolanguage
> > >
> > > early childhood                                      language proper
> > >
> > > crisis at three         protonarrative/dialog
> > >
> > > preschool                                              narrative and
> > > dialogue proper
> > >
> > > crisis at seven       protodiscourse
> > >                             (academic wording)
> > >
> > > school age                                            discourse proper
> > >
> > > crisis at 13             prototurn taking
> > >                            (grammatical metaphor,
> > >                              variation, register,
> > >                              social dialect)
> > > puberty                                                   turn-taking
> > > proper
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> ​----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > *This is Halliday, David? And you wish to use it and line it up with
> LSV?*
> > *If so,*
> > *1.  a suggestion concerning the case of the change from newborn to
> infancy
> > that is the topic of the shift I recently sent around. You might want to
> > put newborn as a stage before, or within, infancy. Protoconversations in
> > Hallidays sense start after The "3 month shift", right? (If their culture
> > is so organized that reciprocal smiling is a valued from of joint
> mediated,
> > activity- to use my heavy jargon). *
> >
> > *2. What happens when we move outside of schooled environments? I assume
> > they acquire discourse proper in some other fashion? I am uncertain about
> > what it means to acquire turn-taking proper. *
> >
> > 3. *It has always struck me that the stages posited by Piaget and
> Vygotsky
> > corresponded so closely. I think one of the great benefits of all you
> have
> > been writing about is that it gets us to focus on the process of change.
> > Piaget had a name for this process, but, disequilbrium. But he does not
> > single out the period of (relatively) rapid transition for special
> notice.
> > LSV does. And in a manner that seems to be au courant, even if it is in a
> > different dialect.*
> > ​
> >
> > ​Do you by chance have a pdf of the Halliday article?
> >
> > mike​
> >
> > Halliday, M.A.K. (1978) Meaning and the Construction of Reality. In Modes
> > > of Perceiving and Processing Information (H.L. Pick and E. Saltzman
> Eds),
> > > Hillside, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, pp. 67-96, Also in the Collected Works
> of
> > > M.A.K. Halliday, Voll 4, pp. 113-143).
> > >
> > > David Kellogg
> > >
> > > On Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 1:07 AM, Peg Griffin <Peg.Griffin@att.net>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Thank you, Mike -- and Martin and Sheila!
> > > > Good material to think with and a nudge to look again at Barbara
> Means'
> > > > baby reports.
> > > > Tangentially, you know those strollers for babies that are reversible
> > --
> > > > the reclining baby can be looking toward the person pushing the
> > stroller
> > > or
> > > > with a switch the baby can be looking at the same world the pusher
> > sees?
> > > >  Maybe different affordances for proto-conversations within one wider
> > > > culture (don't know of any studies) and possible mini-impacts on
> > > > developments like smiling?
> > > > Peg
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > From: xmca-l-bounces+peg.griffin=att.net@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> > > > xmca-l-bounces+peg.griffin=att.net@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of
> mike
> > > > cole
> > > > Sent: Monday, September 07, 2015 3:20 PM
> > > > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Dynamics of Developmental Change
> > > >
> > > > I have been trying to think of a way to more concretely engage
> David's
> > > > developmental domainsxstages table. One of David's stage margins is
> at
> > 3
> > > > months and there is ample reason for arguing for the existence a
> stage
> > > > shift in development at this time. (My wife and I wrote about it in
> > just
> > > > this way in our textbook).
> > > > However, there is also a lot of interesting, newer, evidence showing
> > the
> > > > cultural-historical contingency of the changes that underpinned the
> > > > developmental literature for several decades.
> > > >
> > > > I thought that perhaps this example, since it is pretty well worked
> > out,
> > > > might help us get at the issues David raised. I believe this work
> could
> > > > usefully be related to notions of zopeds, but am not sure.
> > > >
> > > > This rather long fragment is taken from a recent article that Martin
> > and
> > > I
> > > > wrote.
> > > >
> > > > mike
> > > >
> > > > (For this one, not only Boesch but Waddington are apt: The latter
> > having
> > > > written that every new level of development implies a new, relevant,
> > > > context.)
> > > >
> > > > It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
> > > > object that creates history. Ernst Boesch
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> >
> > It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
> > object that creates history. Ernst Boesch
> >
>



-- 

It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
object that creates history. Ernst Boesch