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Toward a Unified Theory of Development Connectionism and Dynamic System Theory Re-Consider$
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John Spencer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195300598

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300598.001.0001

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Are Dynamic Systems and Connectionist Approaches an Alternative to Good Old-Fashioned Cognitive Development?

Are Dynamic Systems and Connectionist Approaches an Alternative to Good Old-Fashioned Cognitive Development?

Chapter:
(p.268) CHAPTER 13 Are Dynamic Systems and Connectionist Approaches an Alternative to Good Old-Fashioned Cognitive Development?
Source:
Toward a Unified Theory of Development Connectionism and Dynamic System Theory Re-Consider
Author(s):

Lisa M. Oakes

Nora S. Newcombe

Jodie M. Plumert

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300598.003.0013

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.

Keywords:   connectionism, dynamic systems theory, cognitive development, GOFCD theories

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