Speaker series
Evolution and the Social Mind
Speaker series
 
The once and future infant
 
Jean Mandler
Department of Cognitive Science, UC San Diego
Monday June 1, 1998 at 3:30 - 5:00pm
Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology /
Interdisciplinary Human Development series
Psychology Department, TBA
 
 
Abstract
 
The once and future infant
 
The traditional view of cognitive development in infancy says that babies are perceptually bound and have no understanding of the underlying meaning of things. It says that even when they begin to develop concepts their thinking is concrete, with abstract thought being a later development. It also says that infants only understand objects at the basic level, not at higher superordinate levels and that babies cannot recall the past.

My research over the past ten years shows each of these views are incorrect. Instead, babies form concepts from early in life. Although primitive and not fleshed out, the first concepts are abstract and form the foundation of the adult conceptual system. The "new" infant is useful in understanding the continuity of development and illuminates not only the course of growth of the conceptual system but also its decline in semantic dementia and related brain disorders.
 

Jean Mandler is professor in UC San Diego's Department of Cognitive Science.

 

Selected Publications:

Mandler, Jean M. Development of categorisation: Perceptual and conceptual categories. IN:  Infant development: Recent advances. Gavin Bremner, Alan Slater, George Butterworth, Eds. Hove, England: Psychology Press/Erlbaum, 1997. p. 163-189.

Mandler, Jean M. Preverbal representation and language. IN:  Language and space. Language, speech, and communication.  Paul Bloom, Mary A. Peterson, Lynn Nadel, Merrill F. Garrett, Eds. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996. p. 365-384.

Mandler, Jean M.; McDonough, Laraine. Long-term recall of event sequences in infancy. Special Issue: Early memory. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1995 Jun, v59 (n3):457-474.

Gardner, Howard; Mandler, Jean M.; Kosslyn, Stephen M. Developmental theories and neurocognition. IN:  The science of the mind: 2001 and beyond. Robert L. Solso, Dominic W. Massaro, Eds.  New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1995. p. 65-106.
 

 

Speaker series
Evolution and the Social Mind
Speaker series