Development of Cognition and Language
This course will provide an introduction to changes that underlie normal and abnormal development of the child’s cognitive system. This development is described from one year of age and concentrates on changes in thinking and language and interdependencies due in part to changes in brain structures. Two questions are important in a developmental approach: which changes take place as a child gets older and how do these changes occur? These questions seek to identify the nature of the changes. For example, by looking at the changes that take place if children learn mental addition and subtraction. If differences in behaviour between two age groups are indeed identified and specified in terms of their underlying competence, this may suggest what lies behind these changes. This leads to the next question, which relates to the mechanisms that influence behaviour. Developmental mechanisms are especially relevant to complex symbolic skills such as reading and arithmetic that can be conceived as cascaded processes which generally span a long period of time and consist of many components. The study of these mechanisms and their basis in the brain is complex and addresses many methodological issues that will be also discussed in the course. During the course students will also look at more specific examples of age related changes in cognition and language, for instance, number representation, word learning, visual-spatial working memory, explicit long term memory, dyslexia and other developmental disorders.
Doelstellingen van dit vak
Knowledge of: Functional development based on cortical development, mental number line development, mental arithmetic, visuospatial working memory, long-term explicit memory, word spurt, development of reading, bilingualism, Learning Disability.
Journal articles, book chapters.