Active Galactic Nuclei by H. Miller, et. al.,

By H. Miller, et. al.,

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In future work, such neurogenetic simulations could also be used as a tool to explore a related question, vital for understanding the evolution of language and cognition: how could small modifications to sets of developmental genes lead to new neural structure and new neural function? 3 BRIAN J. SCHOLL Innateness and (Bayesian) Visual Perception Reconciling Nativism and Development 1 A Research Strategy Because innateness is such a complex and controversial issue when applied to higher level cognition, it can be useful to explore how nature and nurture interact in simpler, less controversial contexts.

Evidence for neural flexibility also figures prominently in Elman, Bates, Johnson, KarmiloffSmith, Parisi, and Plunkett’s (1996, p. ’’ But is such a retreat from nativism really necessary? Certainly, whenever we learn something the brain changes, but the converse need not be true—some changes in the brain occur even in the absence of learning. Taking Chomsky’s notion of cognitive ‘‘organs’’ as a claim about development, we might expect cognitive organs to develop like other organs. Seen in that light, the findings of developmental flexibility are no longer quite so astonishing.

According to these views, innateness is seen as inherently ‘‘anti-developmental’’ (Gopnik, 1996, p. 174), and at root nativist research programs are seen as attempts at ‘‘minimizing change during development’’ (Quartz & Sejnowski, 1997, p. 537). 1 Examples from ‘‘Object Cognition’’ in Infancy One area of active nativist debate in cognitive development is the study of what young infants know about the physical world. , 1995a; Wynn, 1998). , 1992); that the mechanical interactions of objects will obey certain causal laws (Leslie & Keeble, 1987); and so on.

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