Volume 28, Number 4 

Table of Contents


From the diagnostics of reasoning in the mentally disabled to the microgenetic study of the processes of discovery: Bärbel Inhelder's contribution toward a global understanding of the subject

Helena Marchand
School of Psychology and Education
University of Lisbon
e-mail: helenamarchand@hotmail.com

The aim of this article, two years after the death of Bärbel Inhelder, is to show that she followed her own line of research, independent of that of Jean Piaget with whom she collaborated during decades, thus providing a more extensive understanding of the subject than had Piaget. Through four of her works Le diagnostic du raisonnement chez les débiles mentaux (Inhelder, 1943), De la logique de l'enfant à la logique de l'adolescent (Inhelder & Piaget, 1955), Apprentissage et structures de la connaissance (Inhelder, Sinclair & Bovet, 1974), and Le cheminement des découvertes de l'enfant (Inhelder, Cellérier et al., 1992) the path of Inhelder's search for the functional mechanisms of developmental progressions is traced. Her progressive passage from the study of macrogenetic processes (the central aim of the first two works), to a transitional phase (visible in the third work), and finally to the analysis of microgenetic processes (central aim of the fourth work) is shown; and her successive alterations to the clinical method, in order to enable an increasingly fine-tuned analysis of the genesis of thought, are pointed out. The fruitfulness of each of these studies is then analyzed.


When one thinks of Inhelder one automatically thinks of Piaget, with whom she collaborated throughout her whole life. A passing encounter with the work carried out by this great researcher–a researcher in the true sense of the word, to the extent that practically every day she questioned children "with the conviction that it is in daily contact that thought affirms itself, that intuition simmers, and that the hypotheses are formulated which are then tested by fitting means of probing" (Vonèche, 1993, p. 162)–could suggest that the only objective of her extensive work was the study of questions of an epistemological order, as had been the central interest of Piaget. Such a reading is, at the same time, both true and untrue. It is true to the extent that much work carried out by Inhelder in strict collaboration with Piaget set out to analyze epistemological questions by means of a structuralist approach. It is untrue to the extent that, from early on, Inhelder showed a very personal interest in and orientation toward the study of individual processes of evolution and remained faithful to that interest and orientation throughout the whole path of her life’s work. If this path might at times seem a bit sinuous, it is possible to find in the different studies carried out by Inhelder–namely in those we are about to analyze–a unity (and a crescendo) which have their roots in Le diagnostic du raisonnement chez les débiles mentaux (Inhelder, 1943).

Le diagnostic du raisonnement chez les débiles mentaux–"the audacity" of Bärbel Inhelder

The first evidence of Inhelder’s interest in individual processes of evolution can be found in her doctoral thesis published in 1943, entitled Le diagnostic du raisonnement chez les débiles mentaux. Invited by the Department of Public Education of the Canton of St. Gall to organize a school psychology service principally for the diagnosis and pedagogical orientation of the mentally deficient, Inhelder set about analyzing, with the same method used in Le développement des quantités chez l’enfant: Conservation et atomisme (Piaget & Inhelder,1941) the nature of the epistemic genesis and the functional mechanisms of atypical reasoning phenomena. According to Inhelder, "to establish the indices or clinical signs of abnormal reasoning it is necessary to take into account, not merely a complete cognitive structure, but its actual functioning.[1] To grasp the functioning of thought means to elaborate its norms of construction." (Inhelder, 1943/69, p. 260). Based on a very high number of clinical observations (more than 150 cases studied), she found similarity between the reasoning of the mentally deficient child and the reasoning of the younger, normal child[2], although the operational construction of the mentally deficient child remains incomplete to the extent that it does not reach the level of formal hypothetico-deductive operations. Some distinctive characteristics of the mental functioning of such deficient children were also identified: false thought equilibria, abnormal oscillations, and genetic viscosity. According to Inhelder, "one could say that in the child the successive passages from one level to the next take place in an increasingly more rapid manner up until the end of adolescence, in virtue of the increasing mobility of operational thought. In the mentally disabled, on the other hand, a gradual diminution of development can be observed which leads to a state of stagnation. Whereas normal thinking evolves in the direction of a progressive equilibration of operations characterized by the mobility and increasing stability of thought, the thinking of the mentally disabled seems confined within a false equilibrium characterized by a certain genetic viscosity" (Inhelder, 1943/69, p. XXII). We are not dealing here with chaotic thinking: the structural similarity between the mentally deficient subjects and small children reveals and assures the presence of a mental organization, even if an incomplete one. This "positive" characterization of the thinking of the mentally disabled was made possible thanks to the "audacity" of Inhelder (cf. Piaget, in Inhelder, 1943/69), who believed that the clinical method, originally developed to analyze the operational groupings of normal children, could also constitute a good instrument for the diagnosis and prognosis of mental disability, and could become an alternative instrument to psychometric methods, the limits of which have been made evident so often in the study of the mental organization of subjects.

The impact of these results was such that it gave rise to a new approach to cognitive dysfunction. An array of diverse pathologies–sensory and motor deficiencies, neurological perturbations, personality organization disturbances, and perturbations of semiotic functions related to adjustment to reality and school adjustment began to be studied by means of the operatory method, thus furnishing much more refined descriptions than had been previously possible, with important resultant therapeutic and educational implications (Pinol-Douriez et al., 1993).

De la logique de l’enfant à la logique de l’adolescent–the discovery of a new stage of development and the postponement of a project

The interest in the processes of cognitive structuring continued and Inhelder, along with a group of assistants, began studies with children and (for the first time) adolescents on the spontaneous formation of experimentation procedures in the solving of physics and chemistry problems. Inhelder aimed to analyze (1) how children make use of intellectual tools, notions, and mental operations in experimental situations; (2) in what way they would actualize their cognitive structures; and (3) what was the role of each particular instance of reasoning in this process (Inhelder, 1954). Because a new stage of development had been identified Inhelder’s project ended up by becoming the first description of the formal operational stage, published in partnership with Piaget under the title De la logique de l’enfant à la logique de l’adolescent (Inhelder & Piaget, 1955). The curious origin of this publication is pointed out by the authors in the Preface: "while one of the two authors of this work was studying the passage from the logic of the child to the logic of the adolescent–principally from the point of view of experimental thinking–the other was elaborating the tools of logical analysis which would make possible the interpretation of the results thus obtained"(Inhelder and Piaget, 1955, p. 2). They conclude this explanation with a promise that the specific problems of experimental induction, looked at from the point of view of the functioning of thought (in contrast to structural studies), would be published later by Inhelder in a work on cognitive processes and strategies, procedures, and ways of problem-solving in experimental situations (cf. Vonèche, 1993). It happens, however, that work ended up by being postponed, never reaching publication. Four decades later Inhelder (Inhelder, Cellérier, et al., 1992, p.14) refers to this episode saying, "The editing of the functional analysis, about which I had published the first general notions (Inhelder, 1954), was interrupted by a stay of some months in the United States. The presentation of some results at the Fifteenth International Congress of Psychology in 1954 (Inhelder, 1955) raised real interest, in particular in Jerome Bruner and George Miller–both engaged in the cognitive revolution of that epoch. Encouraged, but also cautious because of the psychological complexity of the proceedings, i put off the following up of these studies for later, giving priority, on my return to Geneva, to La genèse des structures logiques élémentaires (Inhelder & Piaget, 1959), L’image mentale chez l’enfant (Piaget & Inhelder, 1966), Mémoire et intelligence (Piaget & Inhelder, 1968), and Apprentissage et structures de la connaîssance (Inhelder, Sinclair & Bovet, 1974)".

Even though the project of Inhelder’s on the study of experimentation procedures had to be delayed, she can be credited with both the discovery of the final stage of Piaget’s conception of psychogenesis and with the first study of the logic of the adolescent. Although De la logique de l’enfant à la logique de l’adolescent raised, and continues to raise, questions regarding the methodology, the model, and the universality and the temporal limits of access to formal thought, its fertility is indisputable, as is evidenced by the innumerable replications to which it gave rise (see, Kuhn, Ho & Adams, 1979; Martorano, 1977; Papalia, 1972; Shayer, 1979; Sinnott, 1975, among many others), all of which have systematically confirmed central hypotheses such as the transition from concrete operations to formal operations, and the sequential nature of the substages within this last stage.

Apprentissage et structures de la connaissance – and not "Apprentissage des structures de la connaissance"

The stay of Inhelder and M. Bovet (her assistant) at the Center for Cognitive Studies at Harvard University, at the invitation of Jerome Bruner, had a determining role in the development of the studies presented by Inhelder, Sinclair and Bovet in Apprentissage et structures de la connaissance (1974). At the time, Bruner claimed that a suitable organization of the environment would make it possible to accelerate the attainment of operational structures. Inhelder and Bovet, finding the same cognitive structures in North American children as they had found in Genevan children, disagreed with him because they thought he was ignoring the importance of respecting the subjects own rhythm of development. From then on Inhelder carried out several studies which, contrary to what a hurried reading of them might suggest, were not limited to the study of eventual accelerations of cognitive development, but which above all observed "with a magnifying glass" those mechanisms which ensure passage from one level to the next. Studies previously carried out had permitted the statement of a conception of stages, which were defined by a constant sequence and by an integrative form of evolution. Little was known, however, about the way in which this integration was accomplished. In the words of Inhelder, Sinclair and Bovet (1974), "it is this style of integration, responsible for the creation of new behaviors, that we aim to study in this work." (p. 21). In order to do this, they analyzed the mechanisms of transition from one level to the next, by means of meticulous analysis of the behaviors observed in learning situations. According to Inhelder and Caprona (1992), "it wasn’t dealing with studying the learning of cognitive structures but with defining a method which would allow for a better understanding of the dynamic of macrogenetic progress, a method based on refined analysis of the behavior of the child. The learning situation was looked upon as a means of studying the processes of growth and evolution (i.e., the transitions from one stage of macrogenesis to the next) and the relationships, connections, and divergences between the evolutions of different notions" (p. 23). The operational learning exercises, although respecting the main demands of the clinical method, diverged from this to the extent that they involved both greater directivity regarding dialogue and an experimental basis "closer to the experimental methods regularly used in learning experiences" (Inhelder, Sinclair, and Bovet, 1974, p. 35). In these exercises conflicts between schemes were deliberately introduced, the time frame for completing the task was increased, and interactions, both with the physical environment and with the experimenter, were optimized. The aim was that the subjects, throughout the resolution of the different learning tasks, would exercise control over the results of their own actions by means of resolving the conflict between predictive schemes and observable ones, on the one hand, and between schemes of differing levels and natures, on the other.

The data obtained from this round of studies provided important information, not only regarding the psychogenetic theory of cognitive functions but, also, regarding cognitive learning theory. In regard to psychogenetic theory, they showed: (1) a better understanding of the dynamic of macrogenetic progress, revealing no direct affiliations, in the form of an initial structure which differentiates into sub-structures, among both earlier and later conservations, and (2) a greater number of interactions than expected between notions of different natures and with relatively independent evolutions (e.g., between notions of class inclusion, and notions of conservation). In relation to cognitive learning theory, the data showed improvements in spontaneous development, although the nature and magnitude of these may be dependent on the initial level of development (or competence) of the subjects. Questioning herself about the nature of these advances, Inhelder, announcing the future shift from macrogenesis to microgenesis, asks, "should we not look at them at the same time as the result, on the one hand, of an interaction between the scheme of assimilation of the subject and the contribution of the specific experiences of his environment and, on the other hand, as an activation of the subjects functioning through the possibilities given them to act and to combine the existing schemes" (Inhelder, 1987, p. 669). Beyond these general results the authors have identified, during the resolution of the learning tasks, intermediate levels of construction unknown until now, which point to–and this aspect was very dear to Inhelder–"the psychological reality of the operational construction, a reality sometimes questioned by psychologists who see in the stages nothing but the reflection of the epistemological and logical conceptions of the Geneva School" (Inhelder, Sinclair & Bovet, 1974, p. 297).

The method used in this work, operational learning, not only proved adequate for the detailed study of the mechanisms of development, but also permitted the identification of the effects (as well as the limits) of operational stimulation, thus contributing both toward the clarification of problems left unanswered by the Apprentissage et Connaissance studies of the Fifties (see Gréco & Piaget, 1959) and toward the development of a new area of research dealing with cognitive activation which, principally in the Seventies, involved innumerable researchers (Bovet, 1981; Dasen, Lavallée & Retschtzki, 1979; Doise, 1983; Kuhn, Ho & Adams, 1979; Lavallée & Dasen, 1980; Lefebvre & Pinard, 1974; Marchand, 1991, among many others). This focus of study also had practical fruitfulness in that it both furnished a methodology which proved particularly suitable for the meticulous evaluation of subjects developmental levels–thus making precise diagnoses and prognoses possible–and also furnished a solid foundation for the cognitive training of children who were either culturally deprived or mentally retarded, as well as of students with learning disorders (see Marchand, 1991; Moreno & Sastre, 1972; Paour, 1979, 1992).

The fascination with the psychological construction lead Inhelder, with a team of young assistants, to abandon the study of macrogenetic processes and to begin a round of studies, unprecedented in the School of Geneva, of cognitive microgenetic processes. These studies began to be published in the Seventies (see Inhelder et al., 1976; 1980; 1985;1987; Karmiloff-Smith & Inhelder,1975) and in 1992 they were compiled in the last of Inhelder’s books entitled Le cheminement des découvertes de l’enfant.

Le cheminement des découvertes de l’enfant–a project to elaborate a genetic psychology

"As Zeigarnik showed so well, the leaving unfinished of a task creates the effect of an appeal; the moment had arrived to resume, but in a different way, the problem of the procedures of discovery", affirms Inhelder in Le cheminement des découvertes de l’enfant (Inhelder, Cellérier, et al., 1992, p. 14) after confiding that the constant delaying of this project was due, on the one hand, to Piaget’s interest in structures, and on the other hand, to the lack of conceptual instruments and adequate methodologies for following the procedures of discovery in the child. Inhelder was no longer interested in studying the dynamic of macrogenetic progress based upon fine-tuned analyses of observed behaviors, as she had done in Apprentissage et structures de la connaissance. She wanted to go further in order to, by means of the microgenetic study[3] of children’s spontaneous action sequences, acquire a better understanding of the mechanisms of change which, until then, had been analyzed only in very general terms of reflexive abstraction, or of increasing equilibration (with the three levels, alpha, beta, and gamma) (Piaget, 1975), or in terms of fine, intermediary, transitional steps and of cognitive conflict (Inhelder, Sinclair & Bovet, 1974). In this last work the focus of study shifted from the atemporal structures of the epistemic subject to the finalized procedures of the psychological subject, or in other words, from macro-development to the changes which occur in the spontaneous action sequences of micro-formation (Karmiloff-Smith & Inhelder, 1975). What interested her was to study the processes of creation and of invention of homo quotidianus (Inhelder, Cellérier, et al., 1992, p. 32), that is, of the psychological, individual subject when placed in situations of free manipulation of material ("of experiences in order to see") or in problem-solving situations. In the words of Inhelder (1988-1989), "having studied the comprehension of the general problems of the universe of the epistemic subject, now we are analyzing the praxis of individual behavior in contextual situations" (p. 467). Her interest in the psychological subject, however, did not mean the negation of the epistemic subject. Inhelder was very clear about this, both when she affirmed that what interested her was to know in what manner the normative structure of the epistemic subject permits the psychological subject to organize his or her activities, and when she said that "individual behavior can only reveal itself within the limits of its connections with the categories of the cognitive system" (Inhelder & Caprona, 1997, p. 4). Basing on the hypothesis raised by Cellérier (1987), that microgenesis, which is the product of macrogenesis, gives rise to new macrogenetic transformations–or, stated in another way, that the cognitive structures constitute the set of possibilities which permit the development of procedures which, in turn, contribute to the evolution of the cognitive structural framework, Inhelder and her co-workers set out to study how, within the framework formed by categorical notions (those of number, space, time, etc.), homo quotidianus constructs and makes use of particular knowledge (the various notions and skills regarding counting, numbering, etc.) when confronted with problems of a practical nature (Inhelder & Caprona, 1992). She was interested now to find answers to the following questions: (1) how the child attributes meaning to a task; (2) how he or she selects and specifies the cognitive instruments to be used; (3) whether, in each situation, different representations exist, with different levels of adequacy; and (4) how the child monitors and evaluates his or her progress (Inhelder & Caprona, 1997). In this round of studies, the areas focused on turn out to be the scheme, as seen in two dimensions, both the epistemic (giving a meaning to the situation) and the heuristic (responsible for the orientation and control of the investigation), and representations, analyzed according to the two aspects of semioticity (gesture, image, language) and of the subject’s reflection on objectives and means (representation of "how-to", or anticipatory representations). In Inhelder’s words, "during the actual solving of problems, the subject applies and specifies schemes whose functions, of a primordial importance, consist in both organizing a notional or practical content and attributing meanings; but the subject also represents to him- or herself the goals and certain steps of the problem-solving process (...). Thus, the analysis of the solving of the problems cannot ignore representations." (Inhelder & Caprona, 1992, p. 46). Although maintaining the clinical dimension whose aim is "the intimacy of the knowing of things" (Saada-Robert, 1992, p. 141), the method actually used distances itself substantially from the method of critical exploration (in which a body of precise hypotheses is previously determined, with dialogue assuming a central role in the clarification of the processes of thought) to the extent that now what is given importance is interactive observation of the children’s actions, with the recording of behavior (gestures, mimicry, etc.) playing a primordial role in the analysis of the processes of discovery. The observations meticulously described in Le cheminement des découvertes de l’enfant show us active children, creators of procedural schemes, i.e., creators of "practical models", or of "theories in action" which are distinct from thought models (which are general and thematized) in that they are singular, naïve, and contextualized (cf. Inhelder, 1988-1989). These observations also show passages between procedural schemes and representative schemes in a process in which, thanks to the interaction and reinterpretation of the procedures, the children construct new representations which, in their turn, serve for the realization of new objectives (see Karmiloff-Smith, 1984; Saada-Robert, 1989). The observation of procedures also made it possible to verify (1) that the sequences of actions resulting from the complex interplay between actions and representations begin by being very short (in 2-5-year-olds) and become progressively more complex (at about 10 years of age); (2) that there are transfers in the passage from some learning situations to others and generalizations regarding the processes underlying the solution of the problems; (3) that "that which is essential in cognitive progression is not due to failure or success as such but, rather, to modifications carried out during the process and to the underlying theories" (Inhelder, Cellérier, et al., 1992, p. 90), that is, to the successive accomodations which, in microgenetic sequences, seem to play a more important role than that played in macrogenetic construction; and (4) that familiar schemes can just as well play a facilitating role as be obstacles to the solving of the problems.

The aim of Inhelder’s last work was not to study the mechanisms of change according to the manner of cognitive psychology. The objective–and here lies the great originality of Inhelder and her collaborators–was to try to reconcile the structuralist view, which deals with the "epistemic transformation" independently of action, with the cognitive approach, which analyzes the "pragmatic transformation" independently of knowledge (cf. Brown, 1988). The interest of such an approach is incontestable and has mobilized innumerable authors (Case, 1985; Demetriou, 1988; Farrar & Fisher, 1987; Gentner & Rattermann, 1991; Gouzien-Desbiens & Orsini-Bouichou, 1997; Halford, 1992; Smith, 1993) all of whom, although working from different theoretical frameworks and using different methodologies, defend a perspective which integrates structural development with functional development. The question remains, however, as to whether the studies carried out by Inhelder and her team did indeed succeed in clarifying the links between "normative knowledge" (of the epistemic subject) and "practical or empirical knowledge" (of the psychological subject), or, more explicitly, the relationships existing between structures and procedures. It appears that they have not been clarified, or better, that they have not been clarified yet. The study of such relationships is very complex. Leiser and Gillièron (1990) confirm the complexity of such an analysis in a very detailed study whose objective was to analyze the connections between structures and procedures. According these authors if there exists a top-down structuring by means of anticipatory schemes and a bottom-up one by means of the empirical discovery of procedures the joints between the procedures and the structures remain unknown. As was recognized by Inhelder et al. in the final considerations stated in Le cheminement des découvertes de l’enfant, the studies on the microgenesis of the processes of development are exploratory incursions and, as such, need further development. If, for the time being, these studies raise questions –though of an apparently lesser magnitude than those raised by the preceding studies–nevertheless it seems fruitful to view those questions and lacunae from a Piagetan perspective as "openings toward new possibilities" which will no doubt provide an ampler and richer understanding of "an active and constructing subject who takes an active part in knowing not only the universe, but himself as well" (Inhelder, Cellérier et al., 1992, p. 21)–in other words, a subject as seen in two dimensions, both the epistemic and the psychological.

Final considerations

For decades the Geneva School studied the epistemic subject and the structural dimension of knowledge. Although Piaget had magisterially described the spontaneous epistemology of the subject, thus making it possible to identify the major categories which assure economy, stability, and permanence to thought, he did not analyze in a detailed manner the mechanisms of change, until then touched upon only in very general terms of reflexive abstraction or of ever-increasing equilibration, with the three levels, alpha, beta, and gamma (Piaget, 1975); nor did he study how the psychological, individual subject constructs objectives, means and heuristic procedures when confronted with practical problems to solve. Sensitive to this lacuna, Inhelder developed a line of research which has as its objective the clarification of these domains. As we reach the end of this survol of the course of Inhelder’s work on the functional mechanisms of development, all that remains is to give homage to this great researcher who, besides collaborating actively with Piaget (le patron) throughout her life, bequeathed to the scientific community a global view of the knowing subject.


1. Bold print is ours.

2. Confirming Jean Piaget’s central hypothesis according to which the structures of knowing are built up in an integrative, ordered, and hierarchical way.

3. The microgenetic study of problem-solving, proposed by Inhelder and her collaborators, has had very interesting repercussions (see Karmiloff-Smith, 1993) among various Anglo-Saxon researchers (e.g., Briars & Siegler, 1984; Crowley, 1993; Elder & Perry, 1993; Goldin-Meadow, Nusbaum & Garber, 1991; Siegler & Crowly,1991; Thornton, 1982) who have come to abandon strictly statistical analyses, or methodologies involving a right-wrong dichotomy, and have instead come to perform detailed analyses of the manner in which children solve set problems. Such analyses have furnished very important information about mechanisms and levels of learning.


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31st Annual Meeting–Berkeley CA

Jean Piaget Society Meeting
Berkeley California, May 31-June 2, 2001

Biology and Knowledge Revisited: From Embryogenesis to Psychogenesis

Organizers: Jonas Langer, Sue Parker and Constance Milbrath

The 1995 JPS Meeting, organized by Jonas Langer & Melanie Killen (Eds., Piaget, Evolution and Development. Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum, 1998) focused on the evolution and development of behavior. In this follow-up meeting we propose to extend the discussion by focusing on the evolution of experience-contingent brain development which constitutes the foundation for cognitive construction, language acquisition, and social and personal identities. The 1995 meeting considered human behavioral development in its comparative cross-species context, especially its primate developmental context. So too, the 2001 meeting will consider human brain development in its comparative cross-species, especially primate context.

Piaget's central metaphor from embryogenesis, the concept of epigenetic construction of cognitive development, applies equally well to brain development. Beginning in the embryo and continuing at least through adolescence, brain development co-occurs with cognitive construction through progressively widening feedback loops. Recent studies underline the experience-contingent nature of brain development causing investigators to rethink the concept of innateness. New comparative data on great ape brains highlight both similarities and differences with human brains. These data have important implications for understanding brain and behavioral evolution and development. Along with new understandings of size and information based limitations on genetic control of brain development they suggest more sophisticated models for the evolution of developmental algorithms.

The conference will be held at the Radisson Hotel at the Berkeley Marina, where the 1995 meeting took place. This is one of the most beautiful settings on the San Francisco Bay, with views of San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, and Mt. Tam in Marin. The hotel is located adjacent to Cesaer Chavez Park which has several miles of walking trails along the shore. There is easy access to downtown San Francisco via the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) and to the University of California, Berkeley campus. The hotel has a complete health club including state-of-the art exercise equipment, lap pool, whirlpool, and sauna and a separate family pool. Sailboat and motorboat rentals, windsurfing, fishing charters and golf or tennis are available nearby. We have negotiated excellent hotel rates for those registering before May 1.

Room Rates:

$109 for a single or double room
$125 for room with a view


I. Kurt Fisher, Harvard University: Brain Ontogeny and Piagetian Cognitive Development

II. Terrance Deacon, Boston University: Evolution and Development of the Symbolic Mind

III. Annette Karmiloff Smith, MRC, London: A Neuroconstuctivist Approach to Studying Developmental

IV. Daniel Slobin, UC Berkeley: The Comparative Development of Sign Languages in Deaf Children

V. Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, UC San Diego: Organismic Self-regulation and Neural Plasticity

VI. Elizabeth Bates, UC San Diego: Language Development and Neural Plasticity

Invited Symposia

1. Primate Cognition and Brain Evolution: Participants Invited by Sue Parker
K. Gibson, University of Texas
Katerina Semendeferi, UC San Diego
Philip Gannon, Mt. Sinai Medical School

2. Mammalian Brain Evolution and Embryogenesis: Participants Invited by C. Milbrath
Leah Krubitzer, UC Davis
Barbara Finlay, Cornell
Patricia Rodier, University of Rochester

3. Embodiment of Mind. Organizer: Willis Overton, University of Pennsylvania

4. Origin and Development of Sign Language in Deaf Nicaraguan Children. Organizer: Richard Senghas, Sonoma State


A Seminar on Piaget’s Biology and Knowledge. Conference participants are invited to discuss the ideas presented in Piaget’s book with the invited scholars who will lead the seminar. Organizers suggest that participants review the book prior to the conference.

Registration and Hotel information appears on the JPS website at: www.piaget.org


JPS Web site Update

The JPS web site receives an average of 200 "hits" a day. From the feedback I receive by e-mail, it appears that most of these visitors are students looking for information about Piaget. Although I have assembled a reading list filled with suggestions culled from JPS members, the appetite of students seems to be insatiable. Rather than try to provide a comprehensive treatment of Piaget, I created a set of links to other sites that contain bits and pieces of Piaget-relevant information. As anyone who explores the Internet knows, it changes so fast that links that are "live" one day can be "dead" the next. Over time, the JPS Links page became peppered with such casualties. After some pruning and planting, I’m pleased to announce that the new and improved Links page is open for business. I harbor no illusion that this page will provide all things to all people, but at least (and for the moment) it is current and all the links are functional. If anyone has suggestions for other links, please let me know.

Chris Lalonde, JPS Webmaster (lalonde@uvic.ca)

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