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DEVELOPMENT OVER SCALES OF TIME 4 February 2010. Epigenetic theory is an emergent theory of development that includes both the genetic origins of behavior.

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Presentation on theme: "DEVELOPMENT OVER SCALES OF TIME 4 February 2010. Epigenetic theory is an emergent theory of development that includes both the genetic origins of behavior."— Presentation transcript:

1 DEVELOPMENT OVER SCALES OF TIME 4 February 2010

2 Epigenetic theory is an emergent theory of development that includes both the genetic origins of behavior and the direct systematic influence that environmental forces have, over time, on the expression of those genes. The theory focuses on the dynamic interaction between these two influences during development. For example, substances in the uterine environment can affect the expression of genes, which creates a changed foetal environment for the development of the brain and other organs. Similarly, genes in skeletal muscle are exquisitely responsive to changes in loads, in some cases responding with protein production within minutes of the onset of exercise. The actions of these proteins explain adaptations to exercise as wide ranging as long-term improvements in fitness and extremely short-term protection of the nervous system from glycogen depletion."... from Booth & Neufer (2005). In the human species, the social and cultural environment is particularly powerful in shaping the course of development. EPIGENETIC DEVELOPMENT

3 SOCIAL AND MATERIAL ENVIRONMENT Location, spatial layout and furnishing of home Presence of family members of different ages Parental beliefs-> practices of child rearing | JOINT ACTIVITIES Range and types of activity and their purposes Amount and quality of interaction with infant Values, practices and conceptual model of the world that are communicated | IDENTITY AND SELF IMAGE Cultural membership, abilities and interests, self efficacy

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5 Ratchet effect

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7 THE HYBRID MIND An important aspect of Donalds argument is that although, over the course of the cultural-cognitive transitions - the semiotic systems of mimesis, speech, and writing - each powered a new mode of cognitive activity; they did not replace those that preceded, but were additive in their effects. The result is that our modern minds are thus hybridizations with a variety of modes of functioning at their disposal; furthermore, most activities call for more than one mode of thinking and require the complementary and interdependent use of more than one mode of representation.

8 THE INTERNET REVOLUTION AND VIRTUAL REALITY If literacy has modified brain architecture and functioning, as Donald argues, what will be the effect of the new computer-based technologies on our brains and our ways of understanding and engaging in joint activities? http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/ ?utm_campaign=homepage&utm_medium=fixed&utm _source=fixed


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