The Development of the Mediated Mind Sociocultural Context and Cognitive Development
This volume is a festschrift for Katherine Nelson, an NYU professor who was a pioneer in infant perception and memory. The "mediated mind" is a term coined by Dr. Nelson and it refers to how cognitive development is mediated by the sociocultural context, including language and social interaction. The impact of Nelson's views on the sociocultural basis of cognition and her functionalist perspective on cognitive development are evident in the collection of chapters in this book. The contributors--all leaders in the field of cognitive development--examine ways in which cognition is embedded in everyday, meaningful activities and the role of social context and cultural symbol symptoms, such as language and text influence children's developing concepts and thought. The concept of the mediated mind is examined from a variety of perspectives, including research in concept development, memory development, language learning, the development of literacy, narrative analysis, and children's theory of mind.
The significant contribution of this volume is that it addresses all aspects of the mediated mind. Memory--both autobiographical and event-semantic--theory of mind, mental representation, temporality, narrative, and metalinguistic awareness comprise the chapter topics. The breadth of topics represented is a tribute to the impact Nelson's vision has on many developmental "domains." The contributors acknowledge and honor her work. Her theory and research paved the way for the advances in understanding a mediated mind that are evident and that will continue to shape notions of how the human mind develops and evolves within a social, interactive world.