On the ontogeny and phylogeny of the representational mind

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dc.contributor.author Suddendorf, Thomas en
dc.date.accessioned 2006-11-30T01:20:19Z en
dc.date.available 2006-11-30T01:20:19Z en
dc.date.issued 1998 en
dc.identifier.citation Thesis (PhD--Psychology)--University of Auckland, 1998. en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/100 en
dc.description Subscription resource available via Digital Dissertations only. en
dc.description.abstract This thesis proposes a theory for fundamental aspects of the evolution and development of the representational mind. Building on Perner's (1991) theory of representational development, it is suggested that mind evolved from the ability to represent current reality (primary mind) to further entertain secondary representations of hypothetical content (collating mind) to finally represent representational relations themselves (metamind). In child development these transitions can be observed by about 18 months and by about 42 to 48 months. In comparative analysis only the great apes show signs of a collating mind. Young children and great apes can, for example, pretend, consider a limited future and past, solve problems by insight, and consider others' basic mental states. By about age four children begin to show evidence for metarepresentation in their ability to pass theory-of-mind tasks. At about the same age they also gain considerable executive control which, together with metarepresentation, is the key cognitive advance of metamind. Empirical evidence suggests that various skills co-develop with metamind and the thesis includes four studies that investigate such associations. It was found that gestural representation with imaginary objects and the generation of creative problem solutions were robustly correlated with theory-of-mind measures. These results substantiate the claim for a domain-general change in cognitive ability by about age four. Understanding delayed video feedback, however, was not found to correlate with such measures and it is questioned whether delayed feedback tasks measure an extended sense of self as has been proposed (Povinelli, 1995; Suddendorf & Corballis, 1997). Great apes, while showing evidence for a collating mind, have not yet provided any convincing evidence for metamind. It is thus suggested that metamind developed after the split from the line that led to modern chimpanzees about five million years ago. Metamind, it is argued, was a prime mover in human phylogeny and is a crucial step in human ontogeny. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA698870 en
dc.rights Subscription resource available via Digital Dissertations only. Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.source.uri http://wwwlib.umi.com/dissertations/fullcit/9824385 en
dc.subject.other PSYCHOLOGY, DEVELOPMENTAL (0620) en
dc.title On the ontogeny and phylogeny of the representational mind en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Psychology en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.local.anzsrc 17 - Psychology and Cognitive Sciences en
pubs.org-id Faculty of Science en


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