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Creativity During Infancy: Are Infants Capable of Creativity? Research Critique for DEP 4054 Mike Cilla.

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Presentation on theme: "Creativity During Infancy: Are Infants Capable of Creativity? Research Critique for DEP 4054 Mike Cilla."— Presentation transcript:

1 Creativity During Infancy: Are Infants Capable of Creativity? Research Critique for DEP 4054 Mike Cilla

2 Creativity is primarily measured from middle childhood on Claxton & Pannells (2005) Longitudinal study that showed an increase in divergent thinking in students from 6th - 9th grade. To what extent is creative thought, or imagination apparent prior to these ages though?

3 What is Infant Creativity & How is it measured? It is the active engagement of the organism’s own will onto the world from authentic learning through spontaneous variations in novel stimuli - a much more complex cognitive domain than simple response reflexes. Music and language offer a qualitative approach to measuring infants’ creative capabilities.

4 Creativity: Is it Innate? Nativist views offer the possibility of innate elements as primarily feeding the development of mature cognitive capacities such as imagination and creativity. However, it is probably more the result of a dynamic relationship between the organism and it’s self-regulated living system - the ongoing emergence of later capacities.

5 A definition of creativity in Infancy Lebovici (1988) Creation is the infant’s ability to process communication (aural stimuli) and to organize signals and object relationships (visual stimuli) - bringing about, making it be, or coming into existence. Hoffman (1995) Initiative - major factor Four types of infant self-initiated behavior: Exploration Experimentation Play Contact Making

6 Hoffman (1995) cont’d Emerging Individuality: Infant’s repetition of same patterns of behavior during a typical feeding situation - Performance = the process of conceiving, organizing, and developing initiatives. Performances are reinforced and worked into the self. The repetition of these experiences further embeds the creative thought process. Initiative + Performance (Repetition) = Onset of creativity in Infants

7 Creativity as a result of innate capabilities Wynn (2000) Pre-Homo sapiens species “Homo erg aster” was not capable of main elements of human thinking, but evidence from their stone tools indicates their ability to use a reductive cognitive technology. What exactly does this insinuate about creative cognition?

8 Innate Capabilities cont’d This 400,000 year old species had to be capable of holding an image in mind of the desired shape that the stone would have been when seen from the other side. Thus rotating it mentally so as to compare it to the side being worked on. The evidence from the fine symmetries this species was able to impose on these tools suggest the ability to plan strikes some moves ahead during construction.

9 Innate Capabilities cont’d This may predict the emergence of performance rehearsal, which contributes greatly to the notion of music and language perceptivity capabilities in the early onset of life. However, although these abilities still reside deeply entrenched within our cognitive processes, the more likely explanation for development of creativity in this domain is that of dynamic systems relationships.

10 Creativity as a result of dynamic systems Development across time Tafuri and Villa (2002) Study to determine if children who receive a musical education from 3mos prior to being born onwards are able to sing in tune at 6yrs, and if they develop this skill earlier than the general population. First part of a 3 part longitudinal study: To see when these infants start to produce musical babbling, and what the musical content is with regard to pitch, rhythm, and total duration as compared to a control group that received no musical education.

11 Results Could not prove infants in experimental condition produce earlier musical babbling because control was too small. However, analysis of babbling using professional audio software revealed presence of musical patterns belonging to Western diatonic scale system and rhythmic relationships. Also, babies reacted differently between groups when sang to by their mothers.

12 Development across time Given the non-linear nature of development, this longitudinal research might offer insight into the possible ongoing emergence of musical perceptivity abilities later in life from environmental factors. Let’s explore another complex cognitive ability that is similar to music perceptivity, and the dynamic relationship they both share.

13 Creativity as a result of dynamic systems Anderson (2005) Infant musical perceptivity and linguistic competence are more than mere reflexive responses. They are the direct result of authentic learning through biofunctional automaticity. Biofuntional automaticity - the basis for learning without any conscious intent to internalize or learn - better describes learning situations for infants.

14 Authentic learning Learning is understood as a reorganization of the learner’s own intuitive knowledge base - thus it is effortless. It is self-regulated outside the realm of intention by the biofunctional subsystems of the body and brain working together as a comprehensive whole. e.g., many sensory experiments with infants rely on the infant’s preference for novel stimuli as a likely preference.

15 Dynamic capacities and commonalities in infant musicality and language learning: Because the human brain translates incoming acoustic energy into the basic perceptual elements of music and language without conscious effort, studies of the sort provide examples of dynamic learning. Intentional learning is not required for authentic learning. Some of these capacities and commonalities are: Infants’ perception of changes in simple-ratio harmonic intervals. Infants’ recognition and reaction to emotion in speech and music. Infants’ preference for correctly vs.. incorrectly segmented speech and music (phrasing)

16 Conclusion Parallels between music and language cognition are quite transparent. Although foundations for these processes might be somewhat innate: Emergence of complex cognitive abilities associated with creativity likely stem from the dynamic relationship of the organism’s authentic learning through spontaneous variations in novel stimuli and the active engagement of performing it’s own will onto the world.

17 Conclusion cont’d Thus, it appears to be a more dynamic interaction that occurs between the infant and the spontaneous variability within it’s living system that accounts for the development of creativity throughout this domain. Finally, it is quite clear that infants within a musical domain may be building the foundation for which creativity will be built upon later in life.

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