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Editorial
Open access
From Cubes to Ribbons: Transformation of an Illusion

Summary

In Part 1 Small describes her discovery that an array of depicted cubes produces another and completely different illusion from that of a single cube. When a group of such cubes are viewed at an angle, they turn into rectangular boxes, and as the angle gets more severe, they become narrow ribbons. The illusion works only in one direction. In Part 2, Todorović manipulates the image to demonstrate various transformations and offers an explanation of how and why they work the way they do.

Open access
Hier bin Ich: Wo bist Du?
The Affiliative Imprinting Phenomenon in the Modern Study of Animal Cognition

Summary

Since its first description, the imprinting phenomenon has been deeply investigated, and researchers can nowadays provide profound knowledge of its functioning. Here, I present how this peculiar form of early exposure learning can be used as a strategy to study animal cognition. Starting from imprinting as a social trigger for the domestic chick (Gallus gallus) and combining it with the unique possibility of accurate control of sensory experiences in this animal model, I present evidence that in artificial environments, imprinting serves as a rigorous test of the core domains of cognition. Whether basic cognitive concepts are already present at birth or whether they need extensive experience to develop are questions that can be addressed in precocial birds and still, following the tradition of the seminal works made by Lorenz, can inform on human cognitive processing.

Open access
The Primary Intersubjectivity and the Gestalt Theory

Summary

For the study of the first year of life, Sander, Stern, and Gomez each chose the adult–infant relationship as the unit of analysis; they followed its development, respectively, in moments of meeting, in the proto-conversation and in the focus of attention. The authors explicitly refer to the Gestalt theory and support the need to interpret the behavior of the child as part of a wider context, as the experiences of a person in relation (Galli, 2010) since birth.

Open access
Productive Thinking in Place of Problem-Solving?
Suggestions for Associating Productive Thinking with Text Comprehension Fostering

Summary

Why and how is the Gestalt theorists’ concept of productive thinking particularly suitable for being applied to the educational question of how student motivation can be encouraged, thus providing an important condition for self-regulated, intrinsically motivated learning?

An answer to this question has been sought using an approach to the fostering of text comprehension ability, based upon the features specific to productive thinking, originally identified by Wertheimer (1945) and Duncker (1935).

Firstly, these specific features are dealt with and their educational implications compared with those deriving from the definitions of problem-solving used most frequently in educational research. Secondly, an analysis is made of the process by which the features specific to productive thinking are turned into the conditions for a kind of text analysis suitable for designing an instructional project aimed at enhancing text comprehension ability and, at the same time, encouraging intrinsic motivation and self-regulation on the part of the learner. Thirdly, an educational project centred on the thinking-aloud poor reader is described, where thinking aloud and reflection–response are combined in order to guarantee the maximum level of intrinsic motivation. In the concluding section, the most important features of the project are discussed in relation to reciprocal teaching and scaffolding.

Open access
Editorial
Open access
The ‘Good Form’ of Film
The Aesthetics of Continuity from Gestalt Psychology to Cognitive Film Theory

Summary

This article questions certain assumptions concerning film form made by the recent (neuro)psychological film research and compares them to those of precursors of film psychology like Hugo Münsterberg and Rudolf Arnheim, as well as the principles of Gestalt psychology. It is argued that principles of Gestalt psychology such as those of ‘good form’ and good continuation are still underlying the psychological research of film, becoming particularly apparent in its approach to continuity editing. Following an alternative Gestalt genealogy that links Gestalt theory with more recent dynamic models of brain activity and with accounts of brain complexity and neuronal synchronisation, the article concludes that psychological research on film needs to shift the focus from form to transformation, both in conceiving the perceptual and cognitive processing of films and in approaching film aesthetics more broadly.

Open access