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					      Cognitive Development
• Nature – Nurture Debate
• Innate mental modules
• Analogy to the organs of the body
              Jean Piaget
• Stages of Development
• Interaction between innate structures and
  environmental influences
• The Epigenetic Landscape
Innate Modules: Imprinting
Peter Marler: White Crown Sparrow
          Innate Modules?
• Imprinting=Critical period
• Song Learning= Sensitive periods
• Used tape playback of song
Theory Based on Tape Playback
    Modified Theory Based on Tape
              and Model
•   Sensitive period lasts past 50 days old
•   Song of alien species can be learned
•   Song can be modified as adults
•   Still a very specialized form of learning
        Object Permanence
• Is out of sight out of mind?
• Test young infants using where they look
  and how long they look
• Surprises are looked at longer than
  habituated stimuli
• Common sense theory of physics
          Face Recognition
• Early study by Fantz: newborns like faces
  more than equally complex non-faces
• Johnson and Morton found that neonates
  like primitive and realistic faces, by 4
  months realistic face is preferred
   Individual Face Recognition
• Recognize mom as a neonate =
  evolutionary advantage
• As adults a specific module for face
• Prosopagnosia: damage to the right
  occipital-temporal lobe
          Theory of Mind
• Machiavellian intelligence
• Detecting cheaters
• Deception must work some times
           False Belief Test
• Another person’s knowledge is not
  identical to yours
• Box of Smarties (candy) has pencils in it
• What will someone else think?
             Sally-Anne Task
•   Sally hides marble
•   Anne moves it
•   Where will Sally look?
•   Age effects
       Non-Human Primates
• David Premack and Sarah shown
  videotapes of
• Person locked in cage: key
• Shivering when cold: plug in heater
• Wash down a dirty floor: hook-up hose
  Guesser-Knower Experiment
• Three cups attached to a rod
• Guesser leaves room, knower puts food in
  one cup
• Guesser returns and each point at a
  different cup
• Chimp successful about 70% of the time
  Bidirectional Consciousness
• Awareness of external events and internal
  thoughts and feelings
• Episodic memory: What, where and when
• Exclusively human? Evidence from food
  storing bird, Parus major, great tit
         Mirror Experiment
• Self Awareness? Gordon Gallup
• Expose Chimp to a mirror
• Paint red dot on eye ridge and ear
• Touch and rub dots more than control with
  no mirror experience
• Monkeys don’t show this
           ToM and Autism
• Mirror Neurons
• Fail ToM tests like false belief and Sally-
• Aspergers syndrome, also
          Williams Syndrome
•   Physical effects
•   Impaired spatial ability
•   Language and social skills are good
•   “Mirror Image” of autism
      Modules for the Mind?
• Autism and Aspergers= impaired social
• Williams = impaired spatial cognition
        Alternative to Modules:
• Karmiloff-Smith
• Emphasis on cortical plasticity: recovery
  from brain damage
• Innate domain relevant biases
• Biological preparedness

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