Thinking Developmentally from Constructivism to Neuroconstructivism: Selected Works of Annette Karmiloff-Smith, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Thinking Developmentally from Constructivism to Neuroconstructivism

Selected Works of Annette Karmiloff-Smith, 1st Edition

By Annette Karmiloff-Smith, Michael S. C. Thomas, Mark H Johnson


314 pages | 29 B/W Illus.

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In the World Library of Psychologists series, international experts present career-long collections of what they judge to be their finest pieces - extracts from books, key articles, salient research findings, and their major practical theoretical contributions.

This influential volume of papers, chosen by Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith before she passed away, recognises her major contribution to the field of developmental psychology. Published over a 40-year period, the papers included here address the major themes that permeate through Annette’s work: from typical to atypical development, genetics and computation modelling approaches, and neuroimaging of the developing brain. A newly written introduction by Michael S. C. Thomas and Mark H. Johnson gives an overview of her research journey and contextualises her selection of papers in relation to changes in the field over time.

Thinking Developmentally from Constructivism to Neuroconstructivism: Selected Works of Annette Karmiloff-Smith is of great interest to researchers and postgraduates in child development specialising in atypical development, developmental disorders, and developmental neuroscience. It also has appeal to clinical neuropsychologists and rehabilitation professionals.


"Annette Karmiloff-Smith changed the field of Developmental Psychology with her thinking. She recognised the importance of ‘development itself’ for understanding both typical and atypical development. In this collection of works, which spans four decades, the reader is introduced to the neuroconstructivist theory that development from infancy to adulthood is a product of multi-level interactions across genes, brain, behaviour and the environment. Annette’s work was and continues to be an inspiration for developmental psychologists. Whilst her presence is sorely missed, her legacy will live on through this volume." - Emily Farran, University College London, UK

"Karmiloff-Smith’s explorations of cognitive development and neurocognitive disorders challenge conventional modes of thought about the origins of cognitive abilities and the basis of developmental anomalies. Anyone who hopes to understand and contribute further to these topics will benefit from the distinctive perspectives presented in the articles in this book."Jay McLelland, Stanford University, USA

"Karmiloff-Smith was one of the most important developmental psychologists of her generation. She combined razor sharp critical skills with a profound belief that understanding child development meant understanding the mechanisms that give rise to the changes we see across childhood. This work brings together for the first time in a single volume Annette’s most important papers. Readers will not only have all of her seminal works within access, but will be able to see the evolution of her thinking and the stunning ranging reach of her impact. It is invaluable for students and researchers alike." - Denis Mareschal, University of London, UK

Table of Contents

FROM IMPLICIT TO EXPLICIT KNOWLEDGE – TYPICAL DEVELOPMENT, Karmiloff-Smith, A. & Inhelder, B. (1975) "If you want to get ahead, get a theory", Cognition, 3(3), 195-212.; Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1986) "From metaprocesses to conscious access: evidence from children's metalinguistic and repair data", Cognition, 23 (2), 95-147.; Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1990) Constraints on representational change: evidence from children's drawing". Cognition, 34, 1-27. ; Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1994) Beyond Modularity: A Developmental Perspective on Cognitive Science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 17(4), 693-706.; FROM TYPICAL TO ATYPICAL DEVELOPMENT, Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1998) Development itself is the key to understanding developmental disorders. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2(10), 389-398.; Karmiloff-Smith, A., Brown, J.H., Grice, S. & Paterson, S. (2003) Dethroning the myth: Cognitive dissociations & innate modularity in Williams syndrome. Developmental Neuropsychology, 23(1&2), 229-244.; Karmiloff-Smith, A., Thomas, M., Annaz, D., Humphreys, K., Ewing, S., Brace, N., van Duuren, M., Pike, G., Grice, S. & Campbell, R. (2004) Exploring the Williams Syndrome Face Processing Debate: The importance of building developmental trajectories. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45(7), 1258-1274.; GENETICS AND COMPUTATIONAL MODELLING APPROACHES, Karmiloff-Smith, A., Scerif, G., & Thomas, M. S. C. (2002). Different approaches to relating genotype to phenotype in developmental disorders. Developmental Psychobiology, 40, 311-322.; Karmiloff-Smith, A., Grant J, Ewing S, Carette MJ, Metcalfe K, Donnai D, Read AP, Tassabehji M. (2003) Using case study comparisons to explore genotype-phenotype correlations in Williams-Beuren syndrome. Journal of Medical Genetics. 40(2), 136-140.; Thomas, M.S., Knowland, V.C. & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2011).  Mechanisms of developmental regression in autism and the broader phenotype: a neural network modeling approach.  Psychological Review, 118(4), 637-654.; TAKING THE BRAIN SERIOUSLY, Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2010) Neuroimaging of the developing brain: Taking "developing" seriously.  Human Brain Mapping, 31(6), 934-941; TAKING THE ENVIRONMENT SERIOUSLY, Karmiloff-Smith, A., D’Souza, D., Dekker, T.M., Van Herwegen, J., Xu, F., Rodic, M. & Ansari, D. (2012). Genetic and environmental vulnerabilities in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. PNAS, 109, 2, 17261–17265.; AND, ALWAYS, TAKING DEVELOPMENT SERIOUSLY, Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2006). Ontogeny, Genetics and Evolution: A Perspective from Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Biological Theory, 1(1), 44-51.; Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2009) Nativism versus Neuroconstructivism: Rethinking the Study of Developmental Disorders. Special Issue on the Interplay of Biology and Environment, Developmental Psychology, 45(1), 56-63.; Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2015) An alternative to domain-general or domain-specific frameworks for theorizing about human evolution and ontogenesis. AIMS Neuroscience.

About the Authors

Annette Karmiloff-Smith was a world leading researcher in the field of developmental neuroscience. She worked with Jean Piaget, and held positions at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, followed by the MRC Cognitive Development Unit in London, the UCL Institute of Child Health, and the Centre for Brain & Cognitive Development, at Birkbeck, University of London.

Michael S. C. Thomas, Developmental Neurocognition Lab, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London

Mark H. Johnson, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, and Centre for Brain & Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London

About the Series

World Library of Psychologists

The World Library of Psychologists celebrates the important contributions to psychology made by leading experts in their individual fields of study. Each scholar has compiled a career-long collection of what they consider to be their finest pieces: extracts from books, journals, articles, major theoretical and practical contributions, and salient research findings.

For the first time ever the work of each contributor is presented in a single volume so readers can follow the themes and progress of their work and identify the contributions made to, and the development of, the fields themselves.

The distinguished careers of the selected experts span at least two decades and include Barbara Wilson, Elizabeth Valentine, Leo Hendry, Jonathan St. B.T. Evans and Mark Griffiths.

Each book in the series features a specially written introduction by the contributor giving an overview of his career, contextualizing his selection within the development of the field, and showing how his own thinking developed over time.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child