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Piaget, an eminent evolutionary biologist\cite{dixon200320}, intensively studied his children, making daily notes for over 3000 days, studying the development of their intelligence, the ability through which they adapted to their environment. Piaget focused on developmental breakthroughs demonstrated by his children.[p.28]. He saw their intellectual functioning as adaptation through natural selection, just as in other aspects of biology. Reflexes are identified as the starting point from which knowledge structures that underlie all thinking are built. Similar to an axiom in an axiomatized context, reflexes do not have to be proved/developed prior to use. Reflexes adapt to the environment. The infant learns to associate additional stimuli beyond those present at birth, to retrieve and enact the behavior of feeding. They learn to distinguish which person holds them in a way that, with one person but not the other, corresponds to feeding.
It is the nature of adaptation that implies constructivism. Dixon\cite[p. 30]{dixon200320} reminds us of Piaget's view, that an organism begins with what is present in its brain, and adapts that as a foundation upon which can be built a collection of knowledge.
Dixon\cite[p. 30]{dixon200320} calls our attention to Piaget's observation that "they would exercise their schemas apparently just for the enjoyment of the exercise." Enjoyment, in light of more recent knowledge of the role of dopamine in reinforcing memory, is a key observation.
Dixon\cite[p. 31]{dixon200320} reports Piaget's surmise that "the \ldots is not longer a reflexive island, passively responding to environmental stimulation, but is being coordinated with other activities \ldots there was a certain amount of circularity involved". Those of an engineering bent of mind may observe that positive feedback in a loop in which pleasure reinforces memory will encourage the construction, by adaptation, of preferred behaviors.
Dixon\cite[p. 31]{dixon200320} describes Piaget's categorization of adaptation of reflexes involving only the child, vs. incorporating external objects. The orienting reflex forms the basis from which the child adapts to choosing to pay attention. Children would try to re-create an interesting visual event. Piaget mentions the joy associated with this secondary circular reaction. This adaptation occurs with auditory as well as visual input. Dixon\cite[p. 32]{dixon200320} reports "Lucienne at once moves her whole body, and especially her feet, to make the noise last. She has a demented expression of mingled fear and pleasure, but she continues."
In light of today's understanding of the role of cholinergic as well as dopaminergic involvement in memory and attention\cite{}, the observations of mingled fear and pleasure seem prescient.
Subsequently, Dixon\cite[p. 32]{dixon200320} reports "babies start showing that they can do things on purpose \ldots we start seeing the integration of some schemas into the service of other schemas". Piaget arranged experiments whereby babies exhibited means-ends action. Dixon\cite[p. 32]{dixon200320} reports "What Piaget is describing here is that Jacqueline can use one schema, \ldots to help her enact another schema \ldots. This is intellectual adaptation of the best kind -- getting what you want!" The emphasis on reward might be due to Dixon, or to Piaget, but the idea of reward is present in both. Constructions, at least some of the time, are associated with reward, in a feedback loop. Moreover, we can see utility in having rewarding combinations be remembered. We can also see the utility of frightening combinations being remembered.
According to Dixon\cite[p. 34]{dixon200320} Piaget believed that babies explore, learning the expand the domain over which their schemas have been seen to operate. In the next, i.e. sixth, substage children exhibit use of their schemas through imagination. The example given, in which Lucienne wishes to open a box, can be seen as evidence of making an analogy. Dixon\cite[p. 34]{dixon200320} reports "She looks at the slit with great attention: then several times in succession, she opens and shuts her mouth, at first slightly, then wider and wider: Apparently Lucienne understands the existence of a cavity subjacent to the slit and wishes to enlarge the cavity." Dixon\cite[p. 35]{dixon200320} describes "represented the problem in a different way -- using her imagination. Once she removed the problems from its physical form and represented it mentally, she was able to invent a solution that wasn't previously possible. She pretended her mouth was the slit of the matchbox. By bringing this mental image into play, Lucienne was able to manipulate the image in a new way. Specifically, she was able to pretend she was opening and closing the matchbox by opening and closing her mouth. And once she was able to do this, she made the connection that to get the chain out of the matchbox all she had to do was open the matchbox wider than it already was".
The use of analogy implies the existence of a process that develops, stores and retrieves analogies. One may wonder how analogies are retrieved.
%Piaget, Vygotsky and Bruner worked with the idea that students learn by
%aggregating new information onto their present conceptions.
According to Cole and Scribner\cite[p. 22]{vygotsky1978mind}, Vygotsky, in Tool and in Child Development, took note of the work of Shapiro and Gerke. "In their view, social experience exerts its effect through imitation; when the child imitates the way adults use tools and objects, she masters the very principle involved in a particular activity. They suggest that repeated actions pile up, one upon another, as in a multi-exposure photograph; the common traits becomes clear and the differences become blurred. \ldots they do not take into account the changes occurring in the internal structure of the child's intellectual operations. "
According to Cole and Scribner\cite[p. 24]{vygotsky1978mind},Vygotsky wrote that "Although practical intelligence and sign use can operate independently of each other in young children, the dialectical unity of these systems in the human adult is the very essence of complex human behavior. Our analysis accords symbolic activity a specific \textit{organizing} function that penetrates the process of tool use and produces fundamentally new forms of behavior."
According to Cole and Scribner\cite[p. 25--26]{vygotsky1978mind},Vygotsky wrote that "A child's speech is as important as the role of action in attaining the goal. Children not only speak about what they are doing; their speech and action are part of \textit{one and the same complex psychological function}, directed toward the solution of the problem at hand. \ldots Using words \ldots the child achieves a much broader range of activity \ldots planning future action."
According to Cole and Scribner\cite[p. 36--37]{vygotsky1978mind}, Vygotsky believed that "The possibility of combining elements of the past and present visual fields (for instance, tool and goal) in one field of attention leads in turn to a basic reconstruction of another vital function, \textit{memory}. Through verbal formulations of past situations and activities, the child frees himself from the limitations of direct recall; he succeeds in synthesizing the past and present to suit his purposes. The changes that occur in memory are similar to those that occur in the child's perceptual field \ldots The child's memory not only makes fragment of the past more available, but also results in a \textit{new method of uniting the elements of past experience with the present}. Created with the help of speech, the time field for action extends both forward and backward. \ldots This emerging psychological system in the child now encompasses two new functions: \textit{intentions and symbolic representation of purposeful action}".
According to Cole and Scribner\cite[p. 37]{vygotsky1978mind}, Vygotsky noted that "Lewin\cite{lewin1938will} \textbf{right person wrong book} gives a clear-cut definition of voluntary activity as a product of the historical-cultural development of behavior".
Vygotsky believed that speech reorganized perception, and created new relations among psychological functions.\cite[p. 38]{vygotsky1978mind}. He believed that people, though capable of memory unrelated to words, \textit{eidetic} memory, proceeded to a new memory utilizing signs, and that "these sign operations are the product of specific conditions of \textit{social} development".\cite[p. 39]{vygotsky1978mind}
Vygotsky\cite[p. 49]{vygotsky1978mind} wrote with a change in developmental level there occurs a change not so much in the structure of a single function (which, for example we may call memory) as in the character of those functions with the aid of which remembering takes place; what changes is the \textit{interfunctional} relations that connect memory with other functions.
An example of how the meaning of signs evolves in a social context is given by Vygotsky\cite[p. 56]{vygotsky1978mind}: A child reaches for an object, and the gesture is only a reach, but a person responds to the reach with assistance in obtaining the desired object, and the reach acquires the meaning of pointing.
In this way, the meaning is socially constructed.
Is the easier remembering related to analogy making? Exactly like what we learned before, in analogy to what we learned before vs. disruptive of what we learned before
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