Are Dynamic Systems and Connectionist Approaches an Alternative to Good Old-Fashioned Cognitive Development?
This chapter addresses the question of whether dynamic systems and connectionist approaches are an alternative to good old-fashioned cognitive development (GOFCD). The chapter is organized as follows. The first section discusses what connectionism and dynamic systems bring to the study of cognitive development. The second section examines how connectionist and dynamic systems theories relate to other GOFCD theories of developmental change. The third section evaluates the contribution of connectionism and dynamic systems in more depth by examining explanations of two historically important issues in cognitive development: infants' behavior in the A-not-B task and children's solutions to the balance scale problem. Finally, the chapter considers how well connectionist and dynamic systems approaches address criticisms often leveled at other theories of cognitive development.
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