25 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Simon Baron-Cohen: Radical Behaviorism

The central idea of Radical Behaviorism—that all behavior can be explained as the result of learned associations between a stimulus and a response, reinforced or extinguished through reward and/or punishment—stems from the early 20th century psychologists B.F. Skinner (at Harvard) and John B. Watson (at John Hopkins). Radical Behaviorism came under public attack when Skinner's book Verbal Behavior (published in 1957) received a critical review by cognitivist-linguist Noam Chomsky in 1959 ...
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24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Temperament is Influenced by Chemicals

Some 40 percent to 60 percent of the observed variance in personality is due to traits of temperament. They are heritable, relatively stable across the life course, and linked to specific gene pathways and/or hormone or neurotransmitter systems. Moreover, our temperament traits congregate in constellations, each aggregation associated with one of four broad, interrelated yet distinct brain systems: those associated with dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, and estrogen/oxytocin. Each constellat...
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Helen Fisher on the many chemicals that influence our behavior.

12 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 The Possible Innate Nature of Language Acquisition in Chi...

Consider first the nature of primary linguistic data. This consists of a finite amount of information about sentences, which, furthermore, must be rather restricted in scope, considering the time limitations that are in effect, and fairly degenerate in quality (cf. note 1 4). For example, certain signals might be accepted as properly formed sentences, while others are classed as nonsentences, as a result of correction of the learner's attempts on the part of the linguistic community. Furtherm...
Folksonomies: nature language nurture
Folksonomies: nature language nurture
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It is possible that children are born with the ability to acquire language.

18 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 How Brains Grow Into Bodies

Brain wiring begins with the outgrowth of axons. Once a newborn neuron has migrated, planting its cell body in a permanent position, it sends out a fine axon shoot with an enlarged tip known as a growth cone. At the end of the growth cone are about a dozen long tentacles that shoot out in all directions and act like radar, picking up all manner of navigational signals. They feel out the best-textured surfaces, sniff around for chemical cues, and even use tiny electrical fields to help the axo...
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Best description yet of the synaptic "pruning" human brains go through as the brain wires up to the body and best reason yet for why children should have rich, mentally-nourishing environments in which to grow so that their synapses don't get unnecessarily pruned, resulting in smaller brains.

18 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 The Nurture View of Human Nature Spawned Social Programs

Spitz showed that early nurturing and stimulation are essential to child development, and he was not alone in this view. At the time, the field of psychology was dominated by the theory of "behaviorism," which proposed that all our actions, from the simplest smile to the most sophisticated chess move, are learned through reward and punishment, trial-and-error interactions with other people and objects in the world. Babies, according to this view. are born as "blank slates," without predisposi...
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Child welfare was probably inspired by the idea the nurture was the defining element in human development.