Gdp2 2013 14-2
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Gdp2 2013 14-2

on

  • 354 views

 

Statistics

Views

Total Views
354
Views on SlideShare
207
Embed Views
147

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
2
Comments
0

6 Embeds 147

http://educationcognitionbrain.blogspot.it 79
http://educationcognitionbrain.blogspot.fr 54
http://educationcognitionbrain.blogspot.com 9
http://educationcognitionbrain.blogspot.co.uk 3
http://educationcognitionbrain.blogspot.in 1
http://educationcognitionbrain.blogspot.ch 1

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment
  • Neverthelesslearning in ecological conditions is not necessarily the same as learning in school:a. The contents and context of learningmight countb. « Learning » might have a differentmeaning in the framework of education, training, etc. (e.g. learningwithunderstanding, learning for re-use)Also, whentalking about learningwitheducation in mind people do not all describe the samemechanisms and strategies: somegive more importance to the study of special classes of good learners, like experts; others to neurophysiologicalmechanisms (e.g., the relationshipbetween maturation, development, learning; or: neural recycling; others to functionalprocesses (e.g. learning by analogy, learning by imitation); etc.
  • Learning is a processthatcanbedescribedatseverallevels of analysis – from the molecularlevel, to neural, to the individualimmersed in hisenvironment, to groups of people; from the development of the organism to the evolution of itsspecies, and the comparisonwithotherspecies; and of course, learningcanbediscussed in a socio-political and socio-cultural frameworkLearning canconcernhumans, animals and machinesA reference for a crash course on machine learning: Domingos, P. (2012). A few usefulthings to know about machine learning. Communications of the ACM, 55,10, 78-87,http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~pedrod/papers/cacm12.pdfOn animal learning:Pearce, J. (2008). Animal Learning and Cognition. Psychology Press.
  • Some questions for education:How wepassfromlearning how to interactwithobjects to learning QED, fromimmediatelyperceivingquantities to computingderivatives, fromtalking to writingMacbeth?Education, formal and informal, has a part in this. Wewilltry to concentrate on this articulation
  • But:a. How doeseducationinteractswithnaturallearningmechanisms, how it exploits them, eventuallyenhances or modifies them?- Can welearnanything, withappropriateeducation?b. How do we learn to have an interest in something? E.g. learn to become interested in physics or learn to appreciate something? Alias: become motivated for something, acquire a motivationHow does this happen? Much of the topics of education are new or innatural. So, how do we develop a motivation for them (in addition to developing an understanding or ability to deal with them)?Some things we are understanding them better (but there still much to be discovered): We do not start from scratchWe have a bunch of learning mechanisms – described at different levels f analysis – and a sort of head start kit that includes knowledge and systems for acquiring new knowledgeThe way the architecture of the brain is altered by experience depends on both experience and genes
  • http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-teen-brain-still-under-construction/index.shtml
  • http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0896627307007593
  • One way of illustrating the interaction of pre-programmed developmental processes of maturation with experience is represented by the notion of critical or sensitive periods, which is largely debated in the framework of educationCritical periods = time-window opportunitiesExample 1: - Development of visionHubel & Wiesel, 1970: monocular deprivation reduces the number of cells responding to the activity of the deprived eye monocular deprivation has different effects at different agesExperience helps the brain specializing and becoming more efficient, but less flexibleExample 2: Development of language, namely of phonetic recognitionCritical periods in language learning differ in the three aspects of language: phonetics (before 12 months), syntax (18-36), lexicon (forever) (Kuhl, 2004) Neural commitmentOnce perceptual systems are committed they filter new informationCommitment is done between 6 and 12 months (for phonetics): before, children distinguish all the phonetic units of all languagesNot all functions are like that though.Other functions do not seem to have sensible periods, or windows of developmentSo, according to the terminology proposed by (Greenough, Black & Wallace, 1987) one can distinguish between two ways in which experience modifies the brain:Critical periods can be interpreted as experience-expectant forms of learning or plasticity, according to the terminology introduced by Greenhough et al 1987During these periods certain groups of neurons “expect” a certain kind of experience in order to properly develop, to mature into the adult pattern that is shared by the species; if experience of this kind lacks, then the function does not develop properlyThe development of the function is subject to a rather constrained timing: experience should arrive at a certain point of the maturation of the brain, or the function risks to be impaired and even unrecoverableOther functions do not develop according to a precise timing: they depend on experience and when it arrives; they extend throughlife and are served by a different form of plasticity or mechanism for the modification of the brain’s functional architectureIn short:Experience-expectant plasticity: Selected by evolutionConcerns sensory motor functionsAllows to fine-tune the sensory motor systems in relationship to the environmentThrough the selection of synapses that have been generated in excessDefines the stimuli that should be found in the environment for the function to develop in a certain way Experiences are very general and concern stimuli, which are normally present in the environmentExperience-dependent plasticity:Does not depend on mechanisms that have been selected by evolution according to a precise timingEvolution has selected a capacity to learn from experience in generalThrough the generation of synapses, and the modification of the strength of the synapses
  • The notion of critical periods has been dominating the world of education and has given birth to myth of the first three yearsBruer, 1997 describes this myth as a typical case of bad translation from neuroscientific data to educational applicationsBruer, 1997 criticizes the identification of learning with synaptogenesis:Different systems have different sensitive periods, in the sense that they do not develop at the same rate (including within the visual system)Not all functions have critical periodsHuman critical periods are not necessarily the same as animalsThe myth also rests on studies concerning synaptogenesis, and the fact that synaptic sprout does not last life-long and at least not at the same rateBut learning cannot be reduced to synaptogenesisother processes are at stake even at the neural level, such as the strengthening of synapses or even synaptic pruning, which is the effect of learningThe brain is more plastic than accorded before
  • Plasticityis the basis of learningfromexperienceA. The moststudied and commonmechanismissynapticplasticitySynapticplasticity = change in strength or efficacy of synaptic transmissionSynaptogenesis & synapticpruningExcitabilityproperties of single neuronsSynapticplasticitycanbetransient (short termphenomenasuch as short-term adaptation to sensory inputs) – depends on modulation of transmitter releaseOr long lasting: long-termform of memoryLTP/LTD (long-termpotentiation/long-termdepression) mechanismsIn a sense, LTPis the mechanismthat corresponds, at the molecularlevel, to learning as a long-lasting modification of knowledge states of the brainLTP: repetitive activation of excitatory synapses in the hyppocampus causes an increase in synaptic strength that can last for hoursLTP is hypothesized to be involved in the formation of memories and more generally in information storing, hence in learning in general, because LTP and learning considered at the behavioral level share some properties:LTP can be generated rapidly and is prolonged and strengthened by repetitionIt is input specific (it is elicited at the activated synapses and not at adjacent synapses of the same neuron)It’s long-lastingHow? Modification of dendritic spines? Growth of spines? Generation of new synapses as a consequence of the splitting or duplication of existing spines? Incorporating structural changes into the mechanisms of long-term synaptic plasticity provides means by which the activity generated by experience can cause long-lasting modifications of neural circuitry
  • Other forms of adult structural plasticity have been recently studied B.NeurogenesisMRI of licensed London taxi drivers wereanalyzed and comparedwiththose of control subjectswhodid not drive taxis. The posteriorhippocampi of taxi drivers weresignificantlylarger relative to those of control subjects. Hippocampal volume correlatedwith the amount of time spent as a taxi driver (positively in the posterior and negatively in the anteriorhippocampus). These data are in accordance with the ideathat the posteriorhippocampus stores a spatial representation of the environment and canexpandregionally to accommodateelaboration of thisrepresentation in people with a highdependence on navigationalskills. It seemsthatthereis a capacity for local plastic change in the structure of the healthyadulthumanbrain in response to environmentaldemands. (Maguire, et al.,2000)The phenomenon has also been studied in otheranimalslikebirds and othermammalsthathidetheirfoodB. Rearranging of neural mapsE.g. in the case of musicians it seems that the finger brain maps can modify their extension following exercise. The same phenomenon has been studied in the case of amputated subjects and experimentally induced through intensive musical exercise (PascualLeaone et al. 1995) and intensive juggling (Draganski et al 2004)
  • Children possess several skills that they lead some (e.g. Alison Gopnik) to theorize that they are like scientists in the crib:Not only they are capable of extracting causal relations, and sensitive to themThey are curious and in search for explanationsThey do perform complex observations and simple experimentsOthers (e.g. Renée Baillargeon, Liz Spelke) have observed that children possess core knowledge that is precocious – present before they are 1 year old domain-specific, governed by specific principles that hold for each domainIt’s a head start for interpreting the world around them and giving sense to itThese studies reinforce the image of cognition as domain specific and of the mind as modular: subdivided into modules that possess each their own principles and shortcuts (heuristics) for coming to a quick and dirty but often efficient solution to specific problemsThis vision is compatible with an evolutionary perspective: specific problems create specific pressures upon organisms and specific solutions are selected to those problems – rather than general work-for-all solutionsLater it is possible to observe that children develop representations about several knowledge domains: they have their ideas in biology, physics, psychologyThis is at the same time a head start and an obstacle to learning science because common sense representations do not always correspond to modern science
  • http://alum.mit.edu/pages/sliceofmit/2012/03/23/mit-baby-lab-curiosity/“Curiosity is a curious thing, according to Laura Schulz, class of 1943 career development associate professor of cognitive sciences. In MIT’s Early Childhood Cognition Lab, she and her colleagues have gone beyond the obvious (yes, all babies are curious) to explore the conditions that turn off—or turn on—curiosity and, thus, creativity. Several of her findings can be applied to education at many levels.Schulz has conducted several experiments showing that:Curiosity is triggered by uncertainty about causes: it the cause of an event is clear, the child explores less that if there’s some ambiguity about it (e.g. whether his action or the experimenter’s has caused a jack-in-the-box emerging from a boxCuriosity is diminished by full instruction and explanations about causes and how things workhttp://www.csun.edu/~vcpsy00h/students/explore.htmA largely quoted model of curiosity is Loewenstein’s knowledge or information gap (Loeweinstein 1994). According to this model, total ignorance does not lead to curiosity: one needs to perceive the existence of a gap in information in order to become curious, but this is more likely to happen when one knows something – even if not all.
  • http://www.alisongopnik.com/papers_alison/sciam-gopnik.pdf
  • Some of them have been studied extensively in non-human animals, such as associative learning and learning by conditioning.They’ve been both at the center of behaviorist studies on learning because the relationship between stimulus and response is quite straightforward. In associative learning two stimuli are associate one with the other or a given event is associated with a given response.Other are gaining momentum, such as statistical learning (associative learning is in a sense a part of it)“Babies appear to be able to make connections between events that are reliably associated, even while in the womb.Once outside the womb, they appear to be able to track statistical dependencies in the world, such as conditional probabilities between visual events or between sounds. This turns out to be a very powerful learning mechanism.” (Goswami, 2006)Statistical learning: “Babies appear to be able to make connections between events that are reliably associated, even while in the womb.Once outside the womb, they appear to be able to track statistical dependencies in the world, such as conditional probabilities between visual events or between sounds. This turns out to be a very powerful learning mechanism.” (Goswami, 2006)Statistical learning has been mobilized in order to explain the acquisition of language:How can children succeed in a difficult task as identifying and grouping the more or less 40 phonemes that compose their language? In the middle of a great variability of speech? (Kuhl, 2004)Language acquisition has provoked a debate on nature (Chomsky) vs nurture (Skinner)Statistical learning (Saffran, et al, 1996) applies to the capacity to identify phonemes and to the capacity of segmenting words Japanese and English infants are both exposed to both /r/ and /l/ sounds, but in Japanese the sound /r/ is much more frequent Babies spot the transitional probabilities between syllablesStatistical learning is connected with the notion of implicit learning:Implicit learning theories are based on the capacity of extracting regularities, e.g. on grammar:Reber, 1967, 1989: implicit learning allows the acquisition of complex, abstract knowledge without awareness and effort (extraction of abstract rules)Pacton & Perruchet, 2006: acquisition of the aptitude to correctly answering to certain situations, without the intention of learning (no extraction of abstract rules; the learning of rules requires explicit learning)the crucial variable is the exposition to regularities in the environmentIt does not mean that one can learn without attention (concurrent attentional tasks lower the capacity of implicit learning) Perruchet & Pacton, 2006: Explicit learning completes implicit learning with rulesPerruchet & Pacton, 2006: In any case, explicit learning raises performances in comparison with implicit learning (school instruction demands more than above chance performances)Reber, 1989: introduction of explicit instruction is especially useful when information is provided before (rather than during or after the implicit learning phase), maybe because it helps directing attention on meaningful aspectsStatistical learning is also connected with causal learning: the extraction of causal relationship from the observation of certain regularities in the spation-temporal dynamics of events. It is served by a special sensitivity to causes, as illustrated by experiments conduced by Michotte, and then developed
  • Some of them have been studied extensively in non-human animals, such as associative learning and learning by conditioning.They’ve been both at the center of behaviorist studies on learning because the relationship between stimulus and response is quite straightforward. In associative learning two stimuli are associate one with the other or a given event is associated with a given response.Other are gaining momentum, such as statistical learning (associative learning is in a sense a part of it)“Babies appear to be able to make connections between events that are reliably associated, even while in the womb.Once outside the womb, they appear to be able to track statistical dependencies in the world, such as conditional probabilities between visual events or between sounds. This turns out to be a very powerful learning mechanism.” (Goswami, 2006)Statistical learning: “Babies appear to be able to make connections between events that are reliably associated, even while in the womb.Once outside the womb, they appear to be able to track statistical dependencies in the world, such as conditional probabilities between visual events or between sounds. This turns out to be a very powerful learning mechanism.” (Goswami, 2006)Statistical learning has been mobilized in order to explain the acquisition of language:How can children succeed in a difficult task as identifying and grouping the more or less 40 phonemes that compose their language? In the middle of a great variability of speech? (Kuhl, 2004)Language acquisition has provoked a debate on nature (Chomsky) vs nurture (Skinner)Statistical learning (Saffran, et al, 1996) applies to the capacity to identify phonemes and to the capacity of segmenting words Japanese and English infants are both exposed to both /r/ and /l/ sounds, but in Japanese the sound /r/ is much more frequent Babies spot the transitional probabilities between syllablesStatistical learning is connected with the notion of implicit learning:Implicit learning theories are based on the capacity of extracting regularities, e.g. on grammar:Reber, 1967, 1989: implicit learning allows the acquisition of complex, abstract knowledge without awareness and effort (extraction of abstract rules)Pacton & Perruchet, 2006: acquisition of the aptitude to correctly answering to certain situations, without the intention of learning (no extraction of abstract rules; the learning of rules requires explicit learning)the crucial variable is the exposition to regularities in the environmentIt does not mean that one can learn without attention (concurrent attentional tasks lower the capacity of implicit learning) Perruchet & Pacton, 2006: Explicit learning completes implicit learning with rulesPerruchet & Pacton, 2006: In any case, explicit learning raises performances in comparison with implicit learning (school instruction demands more than above chance performances)Reber, 1989: introduction of explicit instruction is especially useful when information is provided before (rather than during or after the implicit learning phase), maybe because it helps directing attention on meaningful aspectsStatistical learning is also connected with causal learning: the extraction of causal relationship from the observation of certain regularities in the spation-temporal dynamics of events. It is served by a special sensitivity to causes, as illustrated by experiments conduced by Michotte, and then developed
  • Statistical learning is connected with the notion of implicit learning:Implicit learning is characterized as learning that proceeds both unintentionally and unconsciously …Reber (1967) who coined the terme implicit learning, asked participants to study a series of letter strings such as VXVS for a few seconds each. The he told them that all these strings were contructed according to a particuler set of rules (that is, a grammar) and that in the test phase they would see some new strings and have to decide which ones conformed to the new rules and which ones did not. Participants could make these decisions with better-than-chance accuracy but had little ability to describe the rules.” (Shanks, 1996 in: Lamberts & Goldstone: Handbook of cognition ) Implicit learning theories are based on the capacity of extracting regularities, e.g. on grammar:Reber, 1967, 1989: implicit learning allows the acquisition of complex, abstract knowledge without awareness and effort (extraction of abstract rules)Pacton & Perruchet, 2006: acquisition of the aptitude to correctly answering to certain situations, without the intention of learning (no extraction of abstract rules; the learning of rules requires explicit learning)the crucial variable is the exposition to regularities in the environmentIt does not mean that one can learn without attention (concurrent attentional tasks lower the capacity of implicit learning) Perruchet & Pacton, 2006: Explicit learning completes implicit learning with rulesPerruchet & Pacton, 2006: In any case, explicit learning raises performances in comparison with implicit learning (school instruction demands more than above chance performances)Reber, 1989: introduction of explicit instruction is especially useful when information is provided before (rather than during or after the implicit learning phase), maybe because it helps directing attention on meaningful aspectsStatistical learning is also connected with causal learning: the extraction of causal relationship from the observation of certain regularities in the spation-temporal dynamics of events. It is served by a special sensitivity to causes, as illustrated by experiments conduced by Michotte, and then developed
  • Learning by analogy“In learning by analogy, “we face a situation, we recall a similar situation, we match them up, we reason, and we learn” (Winston, 1980). We may decide whether a dog has a heart by thinking about whether people have hearts (young children use “personification analogies” to learn about biological kinds, see Inagaki & Hatano, 1988), or we may solve a mathematical problem about the interaction of forces by using an analogy to a tug-of-war (young children use familiar physical systems to reason about unfamiliar ones, …)”. (Goswami, 2008)
  • Social learning mechanisms“Child development is today conceptualized as an essentially social process, based on incremental knowledge acquisition driven by cultural experience and social context. We have “social” brains.” (Goswami, 2008, p. 1)Social interaction can have an effect on learning through:Enhancement of attentionAdditional information (gaze to object)Activation of mirror systems, and other mechanisms for perception-action linking in the brain
  • One of the social learning mechanims that is more studied is is learning by imitationLearning by imitation is present in the human baby by the age of at least 9 months (Meltzoff, 1988)At 14 months, babies imitate with a delay (1 week) and rationally:They imitate certain features of the action if and only if they consider that they are functional to the reaching of the goal, not if they are contingent to the situation(Meltzoff, 2005)(Gergely, et al., 2002)Different interpretation of the role of imitation and mind reading or the theory of mind:1. The like-me hypothesis states that infants grow to understand others in three stages:Imitation: babies come to understand (or experience) the intrinsic connection between observed and executed acts, as manifest by newborn imitation First-person experience: Infants experience the regular relationship between their own acts and underlying mental states.Understanding Other Minds: Others who act "like me" have internal states "like me.” (Meltzoff, 2005)Among the studies on social cognition, mirror neurons have gained lot of attentionMirror neurons are involved in the representation of an actionMirror neurons are activated when observing an action, independently from the specific motor realization of the actionMirror neurons are related to the goal, and the agentMirror neurons could be involved in the understanding of others’ intentions and to imitationSpeculatively, in empathy (Iacoboni, et al., 2005)2. From mind reading to imitationInfants understand and imitate adults’ intentions, not only their behaviorsLearning by imitation seems to require the understanding of others’ intentions (Tomasello, 1990)Three levels of understanding others’ actions & reading of intentions)Perceiving others as actors that produce their actions (6 months old children)Perceiving others as having goals for their actions (9 months)Perceiving others as making plans for reaching their goal, and choosing the most rational action (14 months)(Tomasello, et al. 2005)3 levels of engagement in shared intentions:Dyadic engagement: face to face interactions and protoconversations with shared emotionsTryadic engagement: doing things together, but without assigning roles for the reaching of the goal; sharing perception and goals (9-12 months)Collaborative engagement = sharing action plans (12-15 months)At the origin of human culture and cognition stand two capacities:- mind reading, and in particular: the capacity of perceiving and understanding others’ intentions- a motivation for engaging in shared intention activitiesSo: shared intentionality is what makes humans special in the animal reign(Tomasello, 2005)This is called: Culturallintelligence hypothesis3. Natural pedagogyThe cultural intelligence hypothesis shares many elements with the Natural Pedagogy hypothesis that starts with the observation of the capacity of reading other’s intentions and imitating rationally and of the capacity of sharing attention. These capacities are related to the capacity of learning from others
  • http://www.cognitionandculture.net/home/news/59-publications/2464-paul-harris-on-how-children-learn-from-othersChildrenlearn by others by listening to them, asking questions, accepting their explanations.They have mechanisms for evaluating the information provided by others and decide who they will trustPau Harris in particular has studied these mechanisms and how children learn from testimony, and criticized the image of the child as a solitary scientist or Robinson Crusoe.
  • If not the individual but a larger system is taken as reference, cognitive processes, including representations and operations on representations, can be described at the level of the system. The entire large system is equivalent to a cognitive unit that has memory, knowledge and learns as a whole.The large system can be composed by several people/brains and several artifacts. Cognition is distributed among them - – among material, immaterial and social components (e.g. a cockpit represents its speed thank to instrumentation, norms, crew).In an extended cognition perspective these elements of the larger system can be described as scaffolds. Language is a powerful cognitive scaffolding tool.
  • importance of developing a multilevel, integrative analysis of complex psychological phenomena1. Neurochemical events influence social processes/Social processes influence neurochemical eventsDifficulty in the integration of neuroscience and social psychology levels of analysis: different scales into which brain and behavior can be represented The level of organization of psychological phenomena vary from molecular the organism set into a physical environment and a socio-cultural contextNeurosciences generally encompass the lower level of the spectrum, social psychology the higher oneIntegration means that analyses at each level of organization can inform, refine or constrain inferences in the other levels2. The study of the elements of the system can fall short of useful and comprehensive explanationsIn other sciences, the existence of different levels of explanation (protons/rocks) does not lead to considering geology as a folk theory when compared with molecular level models. Distinctive levels of analysis are complementary, not alternative3. A set of neural events can be a sufficient cause for producing a psychological phenomenon, without being a necessary oneE.g., lying rubustly produces certain electrodermal responses ; but other conditions can produce the same electrodermal responsesIn the case of multiple determinants of a certain behavior, studies on the sufficiency of a certain neurophysiological condition in causing a certain phenomenological phenomenon are impôrtant but lack generalizing power.
  • Cultural transmission not only allows the perpetuation of cultural achievements, but also improvement in a system to "catch" can improve the invention which is given to usThe transmission is not confined to humans. But improved "traditions" that are handed down to us from generation to generation seems to be
  • The human being is characterized by a particularly long childhood.Immature teeth, small digestive apparatus, growing brain, "childish” look indicate the existence of a long period of childhood - between the baby and the teenager and adult – specific to the human species. This change took place probably about 1.5-2 mya (Homo habilis / erectus).See for instance Bogin (1997) for some conjectures about the especially long childhood in humans possible adaptive explanations.See also Bjorklund (2007)
  • This change is accompanied by a significant increase in brain size. Brain size must be considered in relation to the bodyThe brain represents humans 2% of its weight - but uses 20% of its energy`Image: Bogin 1987, Yearbook of physical anthropology
  • Humans have developed a culture and a special kind of cultural transmission. They are adapted for culture. And this makes a great difference with learning in a non cultural world.Culture is the ensemble of knowledge and skills that can be transmitted from one individual to another by not through the medium of genes.Imitation is a form of cultural transmission that exists among several species. But humans have developed other forms of transmission and ratcheting: the information is not simply transmitted but transmitted and bettered
  • Human beings are biologically adapted for culture in ways that other primates are not, as evidenced most clearly by the fact that only human cultural traditions accumulate modifications over historical time (the ratchet effect). The key adaptation is one that enables individuals to understand other individuals as intentional agents like the self. This species-unique form of social cognition emerges in human ontogeny at approximately 1 year of age, as infants begin to engage with other persons in various kinds of joint attentional activities involving gaze following, social referencing, and gestural communication. Young children’s joint attentional skills then engender some uniquely powerful forms of cultural learning, enabling the acquisition of language, discourse skills, tool-use practices, and other conventional activities. These novel forms of cultural learning allow human beings to, in effect, pool their cognitive resources both contemporaneously and over historical time in ways that are unique in the animal kingdom. (Momasello, 1999)
  • We will talk about this in another lesson, about teaching
  • E.g.Science as an example of learning that is prepared by nature but requires culture and cultural transmission to developHunting and especially tracking require some capacities that are also required for scienceThey are present in hunter-gatherer societies – modern but also ancientThis suggests that certain capabilities in basic science have developed during the evolution of the genus HomoSome of these capabilities are shared with other primatesOther abilities and level of development seem to be unique to the human speciesThey can be considered as biologically primary abilitiesThey precede and prepare science but they are far from modern scienceIn order to explain the existence of science one needs more that the cognitive capacities that humans have developed in the past and that serve tracking wellOne needs social institutions, a special attitude for cooperation (which seems to be natural to humans), artifacts, but also a special form of cultural transmission that allows new generations to build upon their ancestor’s knowledgeEducation
  • We can distinguish between 2 types of learning1. natural learning or biologically primaryLearning natural skills that need a normal environment to develop and which are prescribed by our genes and therefore included in the structure of our brain: the brain is prepared to develop when conditions are given2. Cultural or biologically secondary learning.Examples of cultural learning: - reading and math - science?These lessons do not come naturally to our mind and our brain, while being able to develop, is not prepared to doThis terminology has been introduced by David Geary, but the idea is to have an evolutionary approach to education, as there is an evolutionary approach to cognitionThe distinction can be useful to identify learning contents that are potentially more difficult to acquire than others and The background of evolutionary educational psychology is evolutionary psychology.
  • For a start:http://www.cep.ucsb.edu/primer.htmlhttp://www.human-nature.com/nibbs/02/apd.htmlhttp://www.cognitionandculture.net/home/blog/9-dan/471-evolutionary-psychology-under-attack
  • We have quickly reviewed a few learning mechanisms but we have left out many important thingsOther functions that are connected tolearning, interact with it, make it possible or create an obstacle to itKnowledge of the young child, and how it progressesObstacles to learningTo the last two is dedicated the next lesson and also the three following ones – more specifically dedicated to learning dysfunctions The we will come back to the social mechanisms for learning and look at them from the perspective of teaching

Gdp2 2013 14-2 Gdp2 2013 14-2 Presentation Transcript

  • Learning WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LEARNING? SOME LEARNING PROCESSES SOME EARLY LEARNING MECHANISMS LEARNING IN AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE
  • • “Considerations on the optimization of educational strategies should take into account knowledge on brain development and learning mechanisms that has been accumulated by neurobiological research over the past decades.” (Singer, in Battro, Fischer & Léna, 2008, p. 97)
  • Learning …. Learning as acquiring cultural knowledge & skills Learning as developing an expertise Learning to become an intelligent novice Learning deep Learning for understanding Learning for transfer Learning as developing or extending natural skills & knowledge Learning’s biological underpinnings Learning mechanisms Learning & Development Learning & Maturation
  • Learning …. Human – Animal – Machine Learning Molecular – Neural – Individual – Social levels of analysis
  • Learning …. From here … … To here
  • Open issues: How does instruction interacts with learning mechanisms? How do we develop motivations for learning contents we are not predisposed to acquire …. Things we start to better understand: We do not start from scratch We have a whole set of learning mechanisms – described at different levels of analysis – and a sort of head start kit that includes knowledge and systems for acquiring new knowledge The way the architecture of the brain is altered by experience depends on both experience and genes
  • Learning WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LEARNING? SOME LEARNING PROCESSES SOME EARLY LEARNING MECHANISMS LEARNING IN AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE
  • “Learning is the process by which we acquire knowledge about the world. ". . . memory is the process by which that knowledge of the world is encoded, stored, and later retrieved.” (Kandel, 2000) • “any learning, i.e. the modification of computational programs and of stored knowledge, must occur through lasting changes in their functional architecture.” (Singer, 2008, p. 98) Learning = “the modification of behavior in light of experience” (Goswami (2006)
  • Learning and the brain Different processes are responsible of the specification/modification of the brain’s functional architecture (and thus, of knowledge acquisition) “altering the integrative properties of individual neurons… changing the anatomical connectivity patterns, … modifying the efficacy of excitatory and/or inhibitory connections. …”(Singer, 2008, p. 98)
  • • (Singer 2008 p. 101) Learning as one of the mechanisms that modify the functional architecture of the brain, with a certain timing Such changes can be obtained by altering the integrative properties of individual neurons, by changing the anatomical connectivity patterns, and by modifying the efficacy of excitatory and/or inhibitory connections. … this process of circuit formation and selection according to functional criteria persists until the end of puberty – but it occurs within precisely timed windows that differ for different structures. Once the respective developmental windows close, neurons stop forming new connections and existing connections cannot be removed. The only way to induce further modifications in the now cristallized architecture is to change the efficacy of the existing connections. These functional modifications are assumed to be the basis of adult learning and after puberty are constrained by the invariant anatomical architectures.
  • Learning and the brain Taking place at different moments in life “Evolution, Ontogenetic development, And learning.” (Singer, 2008, p. 98)
  • The brain stores knowledge even before making experiences: It’s not a tabula rasa Education cannot be considered as the task of filling a hollow box There are constraints to learning: One cannot learn anything at anytime The brain is not plastic in the sense of being indiscriminately modifiable
  • Critical periods & Brain Plasticity Certain functions of the brain are more timelocked than others e.g. ocular dominance columns (Hubel & Wiesel, 1970)
  • The myth of the first three years (Bruner 1997) • Different systems have different sensitive periods, they do not develop at the same rate (including within the visual system) • Not all functions have critical periods • Learning cannot be reduced to the production of new synapses The brain is more plastic than accorded before
  • Different forms of plasticity But not indiscriminate modifications of the architecture of the brain « The most fascinating and important property of mammalian brain is its remarkable plasticity, which can be thought of as the ability of experience to modify neural circuitry and thereby to modify future thought, behavior, feeling.» (Malenka, 2002, p. 147)
  • Examples of adult structural plasticity (Maguire, et al.,2000) (Pascual Leaone et al. 1995) (Draganski et al 2004)
  • Learning WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LEARNING? SOME LEARNING PROCESSES SOME EARLY LEARNING MECHANISMS LEARNING IN AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE
  • Scientists in the crib Curiosity Core knowledge Observation, experimentation Several mechanisms , for learning from experience Folk knowledge/Naï ve representations / Common sense
  • Curiosity
  • Observation, experimentation
  • Learning mechanisms “statistical learning, learning by imitation, explanation-based or causal learning and learning by analogy. Using these simple learning mechanisms, the brain appears to build up complex representations about how the world is.” (Goswami, 2008, p. 52)
  • Associative learning “Babies appear to be able to make connections between events that are reliably associated, even while in the womb. Once outside the womb, they appear to be able to track statistical dependencies in the world, such as conditional probabilities between visual events or between sounds. This turns out to be a very powerful learning mechanism.” (Goswami, 2006)
  • Statistical learning “Babies are skillful statistical analysts. Experiments showed that eight- montholds notice if an improbable number of red Ping-Pong balls are taken out of a collection that is mostly white. Variations of the experiments (such as swapping the role of red and white) control against alternative explanations (such as having a greater interest in red objects). Twenty-month-olds tested with green and yellow toys inferred that a person taking an unusually large number of the rare color would prefer to be given a toy of that color. Thus, babies and young chil- dren learn about the world like scientists— by detecting statistical patterns and drawing conclusions from them.” (Gopnik, 2010)
  • Causal learning The basic idea is that children develop their everyday knowledge of the world using the same cognitive devices that adults use in science. In particular, children develop abstract, coherent systems of entities and rules, particularly causal entities and rules. That is, they develop theories. ..Children actively experiment with and explore the world, testing the predictions of the theory and gathering relevant evidence…Eventually, however, when many predictions of the theory are falsified, the child begins to seek alternative theories (Gopnik 2003)
  • Implicit learning Implicit learning is characterized as learning that proceeds both unintentionally and unconsciously … Reber (1967) who coined the terme implicit learning, asked participants to study a series of letter strings such as VXVS for a few seconds each. The he told them that all these strings were contructed according to a particuler set of rules (that is, a grammar) and that in the test phase they would see some new strings and have to decide which ones conformed to the new rules and which ones did not. Participants could make these decisions with betterthan-chance accuracy but had little ability to describe the rules.” (Shanks, 1996 in: Lamberts & Goldstone: Handbook of cognition )
  • Learning by analogy “In learning by analogy, “we face a situation, we recall a similar situation, we match them up, we reason, and we learn” (Winston, 1980). We may decide whether a dog has a heart by thinking about whether people have hearts (young children use “personification analogies” to learn about biological kinds, see Inagaki & Hatano, 1988), or we may solve a mathematical problem about the interaction of forces by using an analogy to a tugof-war (young children use familiar physical systems to reason about unfamiliar ones, …)”.
  • Social learning mechanisms “Child development is today conceptualized as an essentially social process, based on incremental knowledge acquisition driven by cultural experience and social context. We have “social” brains.” (Goswami, 2008, p. 1)
  • Imitation / Rational imitation Mind reading / Theory of mind Shared attention/ Shared intentions
  • Cooperation Testimony
  • Learning in a social and extended perspective Distributed cognition The unit of analysis of cognitive performances should be extended beyond the individual so as to encompass social and material interactions with tool (Hutchins, 1995)
  • a multilevel, integrative analysis “… the brain does not exist in isolation but rather is a fundamental but interacting component of a developing or aging individual who is a mere actor in the larger theater of life. This theater is undeniably social, beginning with prenatal care, mother-infant attachment, and early childhood experiences, and ending with loneliness or social support and with familiar or societal decisions about care for the elderly. … Social psychology, with its panoramic focus on the effects of human association and the impact of society on the individual, is therefore a fundamental although sometimes unaknowledged complement to the neurosciences.” (Cacioppo & Berentson, 1992, p. 1020)
  • Learning WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LEARNING? SOME LEANRING PROCESSES SOME EARLY LEARNING MECHANISMS LEARNING IN AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE
  • Long childhood
  • Bigger brains
  • Adapted fo culture
  • Human beings are biologically adapted for culture in ways that other primates are not, as evidenced most clearly by the fact that only human cultural traditions accumulate modifications over historical time (the ratchet effect). The key adaptation is one that enables individuals to understand other individuals as intentional agents like the self. This species-unique form of social cognition emerges in human ontogeny at approximately 1 year of age, as infants begin to engage with other persons in various kinds of joint attentional activities involving gaze following, social referencing, and gestural communication. Young children’s joint attentional skills then engender some uniquely powerful forms of cultural learning, enabling the acquisition of language, discourse skills, tool-use practices, and other conventional activities. These novel forms of cultural learning allow human beings to, in effect, pool their cognitive resources both contemporaneously and over historical time in ways that are unique in the animal kingdom. (Tomasello, 1999)
  • Learning is a basic, adaptive function of humans. More than any other species, people are designed to be flexible learners and active agents in acquiring knowledge and skills. Much of what people learn occurs without formal instruction, but highly systematic and organized information systems—reading, mathematics, the sciences, literature, and the history of a society—require formal training, usually in schools. (Bransford et al, 2000)
  • From here… To here
  • Learning… Biologically primary Biologically secondary e.g. Talking Walking Tracking Coming easily Natural motivation With no explicit instruction e.g. Reading Dancing Making science Domain specificity Coming with effort No immediate motivation Needs instruction
  • Education is neither writing on a blank slate nor allowing a child's nobility to flower. Rather education is a technology that tries to make up for what the human mind is innately bad at. Children don't have to go to school to learn to walk, talk, recognize objects, or remember the personalities of their friends even though these tasks are much harder than reading, adding, or remembering dates in history... Because much of the content of education is not cognitively natural, the process of mastering it may not always be easy or pleasant, notwithstanding the mantra that learning is fun... they are not necessarily motivated in their cognitive faculties to unnatural tasks like formal mathematics. (Pinker 2002, p. 222).
  • The goal of research in evolutionary psychology is to discover and understand the design of the human mind. Evolutionary psychology is an approach to psychology, in which knowledge and principles from evolutionary biology are put to use in research on the structure of the human mind. It is not an area of study, like vision, reasoning, or social behavior. It is a way of thinking about psychology that can be applied to any topic within it. In this view, the mind is a set of information-processing machines that were designed by natural selection to solve adaptive problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. This way of thinking about the brain, mind, and behavior is changing how scientists approach old topics, and opening up new ones. This chapter is a primer on the concepts and arguments that animate it. (Cosmides & Tooby, n.d.)
  • ….
  • Leftovers Cognitive functions that are associated with or necessary for learning • Attention • Memory • Emotions • Rewards • Imagination • Intelligence • …. Knowledge of the young child and how it progresses Teaching : Learning in a social perspective