Esther Thelen

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Here is a book that is addressed to a rather small audience—researchers on child development in the first couple of years—which is nevertheless accessible to, and I believe important for, a much larger readership. It is a serious attempt to apply to psychology a recent scientific development variously known as chaos theory, nonlinear systems dynamics, and(More)
The overall goal of this target article is to demonstrate a mechanism for an embodied cognition. The particular vehicle is a much-studied, but still widely debated phenomenon seen in 7-12 month-old-infants. In Piaget's classic "A-not-B error," infants who have successfully uncovered a toy at location "A" continue to reach to that location even after they(More)
The onset of directed reaching demarks the emergence of a qualitatively new skill. In this study we asked how intentional reaching arises from infants' ongoing, intrinsic movement dynamics, and how first reaches become successively adapted to the task. We observed 4 infants weekly in a standard reaching task and identified the week of first arm-extended(More)
The A-not-B error is one of the most robust and highly studied phenomena in developmental psychology. The traditional Piagetian interpretation is that the error reflects the immaturity of infants' understanding of objects as permanent entities. More recently, the error has been interpreted in terms of changes in representation, in memory, in spatial(More)
When infants first learn to reach at about 4 months, their hand paths are jerky and tortuous, but their reaches become smoother and straighter over the first year. Here the authors consider the role of the underlying limb dynamics, which scale with movement speed, on the development of trajectory control. The authors observed 4 infants weekly and then(More)
Development is about creating something more from something less, for example, a walking and talking toddler from a helpless infant. One current theoretical framework views the developmental process as a change within a complex dynamic system. Development is seen as the emergent product of many decentralized and local interactions that occur in real time.(More)
Naturalistic, longitudinal observations of 20 normal infants biweekly during their first year showed that they performed a great quantity and variety of rhythmical and highly stereotyped behaviours. Forty-seven movement patterns are described involving the legs and feet; the head and face; the arms, hands, and fingers; and the whole torso in various(More)
When prelocomotor infants are supported on a motorized treadmill, they perform well-coordinated, alternating stepping movements that are kinematically similar to upright bipedal locomotion. This behavior appeared to be a component of independent walking that could not be recognized without the facilitating context of the treadmill. To understand the(More)
DYNAMIC SYSTEMS THEORIES 258 Intellectual Heritage: Developmental Process 259 Lessons from Embryology: Form from a Formless Egg 260 The Mountain Stream Metaphor 263 Epigenesis in Developmental Psychobiology 263 Contextual and Ecological Theorists 266 An Introduction to Dynamics Systems Thinking 271 Development from a Dynamic Systems Perspective 276 Bimanual(More)