What Does Theoretical Neuroscience Have to Offer the Study of Behavioral Development? Insights from a Dynamic Field Theory of Spatial Cognition

John P. Spencer, Vanessa R. Simmering, Anne R. Schutte, Gregor Schöner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This chapter describes the dynamic field theory (DFT) of spatial cognition, which is grounded in a rich understanding of brain-behavior relations, offers a detailed account of the real-time processes underlying many spatial behaviors, and provides insights into the link between behavior in the moment and learning/development. Although the efforts to integrate short and long time scales are still limited in important respects, it emphasizes two insights: (1) a rich array of behavioral and theoretical constraints have been uncovered; and (2) the theory captures a host of developmental changes in spatial cognition with a relatively simple and neurally plausible hypothesis. Then, it tackles the longer time scale of development by discussing the spatial precision hypothesis. It can be concluded that the DFT takes an important step toward achieving an elusive goal in developmental science: providing an account of developmental mechanism that retains strong ties to behavior in context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Emerging Spatial Mind
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199848096
ISBN (Print)9780195189223
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 22 2012

Keywords

  • Behavioral development
  • Brain
  • Dynamic field theory
  • Learning
  • Spatial behavior
  • Spatial cognition
  • Spatial precision hypothesis
  • Theoretical neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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