Re: The Ontogenesis of the Gurwitschian Perceptual Structure Part II

Date: Wed 10 Sep 2003 - 00:53:24 GMT

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    Date sent: Tue, 09 Sep 2003 20:41:47 -0400 To: From: Ray Recchia <> Subject: Re: The Ontogenesis of the Gurwitschian Perceptual Structure
             Part II Send reply to:

    Did you read parts I and III? They are accessible at:;action=display;threadid
    =29011 This would perhaps assit in placing Part II in context. I would love to run these experiments, but lack the resources; if anyone else would like to do so, feel free - just let me know how they come out.

    > Joe,
    > Those sound like a couple of reasonable experiments. You just need to
    > find someone to run them. There must be some psychologists out there
    > who have access to children of the right age to try this with. I
    > almost surprised that no one has tried this since those original
    > experiments were done in the 70s.
    > Ray Recchia
    > At 07:07 PM 9/9/2003 -0500, you wrote:
    > >Apparently, although parts I and III of this paper posted, Part II
    > >failed to. Here it is... THE CONTRIBUTION OF SEMIOTICS
    > >
    > >The growth of the discipline of semiots has furnished
    > >investigators with more precise and powerful ways of seeking to
    > >answer such questions. Semiotics is the study of signs and sign
    > >systems, and is subdivided into syntactics (the study of sigh-sign
    > >relations within a sign system), pragmatics (the study of the
    > >relationship of signs to their producers), and semantics (the study
    > >of the relationship between signs and the referents which they
    > >represent). Far broader than the study of language per se, semiotics
    > >studies all types of symbolic behavior, and insights garnered in the
    > >field have made possible the deveopment of experiments the results of
    > >which unambiguously indicate the presence or absence of capacities
    > >within preverbal infants. For instance, a study by Lewis and
    > >Brooks-Gunn (1979) explored the acquisition of self-awareness in
    > >preverbal infants by attempting to elicit behavior symbolic of its
    > >presence or absence. Infants were placed in front of mirrors after a
    > >spot of rouge was applied to each infant's nose. If the infant
    > >ignored the rouge or touched the mirror (as if the image was one of a
    > >conspecific, or another infant), self- awareness was judged to be
    > >absent. If, however, the infant touched his or her own nose, he or
    > >she was deemed to be self- aware. Such nose-touching behavior was
    > >never observed in infants younger than fifteen months of age, and
    > >rarely prior to eighteen; between the ages of eithteen and twenty
    > >months a dramatic increase in self-directed behavior was noted, and
    > >at the age of twenty-four months practiaclly all subjects tested
    > >touched their noses. This is the same period in which object
    > >permanence appears, thus corroborating Piaget's hypothesis that
    > >construction of self and reality proceed in parallel from their
    > >perceptual interface into internalized self-identity and externalized
    > >world- stability (1972, 1976). An experiment of this type would seem
    > >to offer the best hope of investigating the development of perceptual
    > >structure within the child.
    > >
    > >
    > >The disruption of the mother's face-voice relationship has been
    > >shown to distress infants four months old, and perhaps as early as
    > >one month old (Aronson & Rosenbloom, 1971; Carpenter, 1973; McGurk
    > >and Lewis, 1974). This entails that by the age of four months (and
    > >possibly earlier), both the mother's face and her voice are known to
    > >and recognizeable by the infant, and this fact can be used in studies
    > >based upon selective attention.
    > >
    > >
    > >Infants of various ages are chosen who demonstrate selective
    > >attention to pictures of their mothers' faces. They are than
    > >presented with increasingly abstract representational renderings of
    > >their mothers' faces, nested within arrays of representations,
    > >rendered in the same styles, of the faces of adults unfamiliar to
    > >them. Some forms of abstraction which readily suggest themselves are
    > >color, shape (mirror distortion), and gestalt closure, as well as two
    > >or more types of alteration in concert. The percentage of presence of
    > >selective attention to the renderings of their mothers' faces is
    > >noted for each age group and the data is analyzed for significant
    > >statistical differences.
    > >
    > >
    > >Infants are chosen who display selective attention to recordings of
    > >their mothers' voices. They are than presented with increasingly
    > >distorted recordings of their mothers' voices, nested within
    > >sequences of strangers' voices distorted in the same manner. Possible
    > >forms of distortion include pitch, timbre, inflection, and two or
    > >more types of distortion in combination. The percentage of presence
    > >of selective attention to the recordings of their mothers' voices is
    > >noted for each age group and the data is anlyzed for significant
    > >statistical differences.
    > >
    > >
    > >In both experimental cases, the develoment of perceptual
    > >sophistication in the studied modality may be inferred from the
    > >level of abstraction and distortion which nevertheless elicits
    > >statistically significant selective attention from the preverbal
    > >infants. It is hypothecized that older infants will selectively
    > >attend to more complexly altered stimuli, and that critical periods
    > >akin to the one for self-awareness which Lewis and brooks-Gunn found
    > >will be discovered, one for visuospatial stimuli and one for auditory
    > >stimuli, where dramatic increases in the infants' recognition
    > >(measured via selective attention) of altered or distorted
    > >mother-based stimuli will be observed, and that these critical
    > >periods will be mappable onto the sequence of cortical myelination
    > >noted in Kraft.
    > >
    > >
    > ===============================================================
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