Andrew N. Meltzoff

  • Words, Thoughts, and Theories

    Words, Thoughts, and Theories

    Alison Gopnik and Andrew N. Meltzoff

    Words, Thoughts, and Theories articulates and defends the "theory theory" of cognitive and semantic development, the idea that infants and young children, like scientists, learn about the world by forming and revising theories, a view of the origins of knowledge and meaning that has broad implications for cognitive science.

    Gopnik and Meltzoff interweave philosophical arguments and empirical data from their own and other's research. Both the philosophy and the psychology, the arguments and the data, address the same fundamental epistemological question: How do we come to understand the world around us?

    Recently, the theory theory has led to much interesting research. However, this is the first book to look at the theory in extensive detail and to systematically contrast it with other theories. It is also the first to apply the theory to infancy and early childhood, to use the theory to provide a framework for understanding semantic development, and to demonstrate that language acquisition influences theory change in children.The authors show that children just beginning to talk are engaged in profound restructurings of several domains of knowledge. These restructurings are similar to theory changes in science, and they influence children's early semantic development, since children's cognitive concerns shape and motivate their use of very early words. But, in addition, children pay attention to the language they hear around them and this too reshapes their cognition, and causes them to reorganize their theories.

    • Hardcover $45.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00

Contributor

  • Action Science

    Action Science

    Foundations of an Emerging Discipline

    Wolfgang Prinz, Miriam Beisert, and Arvid Herwig

    An overview of today's diverse theoretical and methodological approaches to action and the relationship of action and cognition.

    The emerging field of action science is characterized by a diversity of theoretical and methodological approaches that share the basic functional belief that evolution has optimized cognitive systems to serve the demands of action. This book brings together the constitutive approaches of action science in a single source, covering the relation of action to such cognitive functions as perception, attention, memory, and volition. Each chapter offers a tutorial-like description of a major line of inquiry, written by a leading scientist in the field. Taken together, the chapters reflect a dynamic and rapidly growing field and provide a forum for comparison and possible integration of approaches.

    After discussing core questions about how actions are controlled and learned, the book considers ecological approaches to action science; neurocogntive approaches to action understanding and attention; developmental approaches to action science; social actions, including imitation and joint action; and the relationships between action and the conceptual system (grounded cognition) and between volition and action.

    An emerging discipline depends on a rich and multifaceted supply of theoretical and methodological approaches. The diversity of perspectives offered in this book will serve as a guide for future explorations in action science.

    Contributors Lawrence W. Barsalou, Miriam Beisert, Valerian Chambon, Thomas Goschke, Patrick Haggard, Arvid Herwig, Herbert Heuer, Cecilia Heyes, Bernhard Hommel, Glyn W. Humphreys, Richard B. Ivry, Markus Kiefer, Günther Knoblich, Sally A. Linkenauger, Janeen D. Loehr, Peter J. Marshall, Andrew N. Meltzoff, Wolfgang Prinz, Dennis R. Proffitt, Giacomo Rizzolatti, David A. Rosenbaum, Natalie Sebanz, Corrado Sinigaglia, Sandra Sülzenbrück, Jordan A. Taylor, Michael T. Turvey, Claes von Hofsten, Rebecca A. Williamson

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99
  • Joint Attention

    Joint Attention

    New Developments in Psychology, Philosophy of Mind, and Social Neuroscience

    Axel Seemann

    Interdisciplinary perspectives on definitional concerns, underlying mechanisms, and the functional significance of joint attention.

    Academic interest in the phenomenon of joint attention—the capacity to attend to an object together with another creature—has increased rapidly over the past two decades. Yet it isn't easy to spell out in detail what joint attention is, how it ought to be characterized, and what exactly its significance consists in. The writers for this volume address these and related questions by drawing on a variety of disciplines, including developmental and comparative psychology, philosophy of mind, and social neuroscience. The volume organizes their contributions along three main themes: definitional concerns, such as the question of whether or not joint attention should be understood as an irreducibly basic state of mind; processes and mechanisms obtaining on both the neural and behavioral levels; and the functional significance of joint attention, in particular the role it plays in comprehending spatial perspectives and understanding other minds. The collected papers present new work by leading researchers on one of the key issues in social cognition. They demonstrate that an adequate theory of joint attention is indispensable for a comprehensive account of mind.

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99