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Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Hardcover – 10 Sep 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 3rd Edition edition (10 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444330853
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444330854
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.2 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,901,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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"There is a real lack of texts in the area of developmental cognitive neuroscience and Mark Johnson’s book thus fills and important gap. It takes a decidedly neurocomputational perspective and provides a wonderful synthesis of fundamental issues and an overview of the state of empirical knowledge in this emerging field. It is definitely a clarion call for a new way of doing both developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience." – Professor Bruce Pennington, University of Denver

"A major topic of this generation of research is to understand the interaction between environment and genetics every level from molecules to the behaviour of organisms. Johnson effectively argues that at the intermediate level of analysis present in cognitive neuroscience we will be able to illuminate this interaction during the course of development. This volume reviews evidence and organizes it in a way that allows one to see how behavioural and physiological experiments with humans and other organisms can help answer very general psychobiological issues. By illuminating basic issues of development this book is as important for students and researchers at the adult level as it is for students of infancy and childhood." – Professor Mike Posner, University of Oregon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


′Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience has become the best advanced undergraduate textbook that lays out the agenda and approach to this rapidly expanding field. In this updated third edition, I particularly like the emphasis on reconciling brain–based research with pure behavioural approaches and why students must appreciate the contribution of neuroscience to building better models of cognitive development.’ — Professor Bruce Hood, University of Bristol, UK ‘The way in which genes and environment shape brain networks underlying human behavior is now among the most active issues in science. This new edition of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience provides a comprehensive approach to theory, data and application to this issue and others within the perspectives of Cognitive and Social Neuroscience.’ — Michael I. Posner, Professor Emeritus, University of Oregon, US ‘This book, which launched the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience 13 years ago, shows no sign of aging.  This up–to–date and newly revised volume eloquently captures the key domains of the discipline and will prove essential reading to both students and established scientists alike.  Well–written and well–researched, this revised edition will serve as both a resource and inspiration for anyone interested in the intersection of brain and cognitive development.’ — Professor Charles A. Nelson III, Harvard University Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston, US

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By May on 10 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fast delivery. It will take a lot longer to read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Introducing a new field in style 1 Mar. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is the first introductory textbook on the emerging field of developmental cognitive neuroscience, and one that sets high standards. Professor Johnson provides a clear and comprehensive overview of the essential mechanisms of the development of brain, behavior and cognition. Developmental cognitive neuroscience is a relatively new field of research, and Johnson has been one of its pioneers. The book deals not only with research on human infant development, but also deals with early learning and development in animals. This book is required reading for advanced undergraduates and postgraduates, and it is an excellent guide for researchers and teachers in this field. I will certainly want to use it for courses in developmental cognitive neuroscience.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Halfway between popular science and textbook: an ideal introduction 8 Jan. 2007
By Chris Chatham - Published on
Format: Paperback
In a few places throughout the second edition of his landmark book, Mark Johnson suggests that the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience has matured from infancy to toddlerhood. This book, then, is a sort of biography, from the field's theoretical ancestry in 17th century debates between "vitalists" and "preformationalists" to current (and in some ways similar) debates between nativists and empiricists. In between, Johnson expertly covers everything from prenatal cortical differentiation to developmental change in the distributions of various neuromodulators, to the development of simple oculomotor function, to prefrontal processes supporting object permanence. Johnson draws from genetic, neuroimaging and behavioral research, postmortem analysis of developing human brains, various neural network models, and even in vitro experiments with a variety of brain tissues.

Along the way, Johnson analyzes how each aspect of functional brain development can be accounted for by three basic views. One, which he terms the "maturational" view, supposes that brain development is largely pre-determined by genes, and further that these neural changes can be directly related to cognitive change. A second contrasting view, which Johnson terms the "skill learning" view, supposes that the mechanisms guiding cognitive development are similar or identical to those guiding skill acquisition in adults. Finally, a third view - which Johnson calls "interactive specialization" - represents a fusion of the previous two perspectives. According to this perspective, broad patterns of connectivity are innately specified, but the ultimate computations supported by brain regions rely on an interaction between maturational processes and neural activity resulting from experience throughout a variety of neural networks.

Although this tripartite framework necessarily simplifies the theoretical debates surrounding each topic, it has many advantages as a rhetorical device. For example, the tone of the book is noticeably more conversational than the didactic quality of other textbooks which avoid controversial issues altogether (or perhaps worse, present just a single interpretation as fact). Secondly, this framework gives the book a strong coherence, despite the wide variety of methodologies, levels of analysis, and topics reviewed throughout. This leads to a polished work equally suited to the graduate classroom as to the libraries of interested laypeople.

In general, the book is skewed towards infancy; accordingly, the visual system is covered in detail while much less space is allocated to the development of higher-level cognition and explicit memory. On the other hand, Johnson's treatment of early social cognition is particularly impressive and wide-ranging, covering topics from parental "imprinting" in chicks to the development of face recognition, gaze-tracking, and ultimately theory of mind. Johnson notes that an introductory text such as this is necessarily selective, but the analytical depth of what is covered more compensates for this in my view. Furthermore, Johnson recommends additional readings for nearly every major point, which provides a great starting point for readers interested in learning more about a specific topic.

This book is likely to be enjoyed by dedicated laypeople, new graduate students, and research professionals alike, thanks to Johnson's knack for explaining even complex topics at an easily-understood level of detail. Unlike many popular science books, this more academic text steers clear of over-generalization, instead carefully explaining the evidence used to support each argument. Johnson's Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience comes highly recommended as an introductory textbook to this exciting new field.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
no mirror neurons? 25 Jan. 2007
By W Boudville - Published on
Format: Paperback
Johnson writes at a technical level probably well suited for an undergraduate reader in biology. It is at a higher level than a popular-type book aimed at a mass audience. There is a good discussion of the development of the neural networks and the internal structures of the brain.

Vision is given an entire chapter because of its importance to the organism. Also, the visual structures of the eyes are usefully understood as a direct pipeline into the brain, or, equivalently, as a simple extension of the brain. Higher level processing is described in the case of social interactions and speech processing.

No mention of mirror neurons. Perhaps these are not seen as significant for the infant's development?
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Confusing 29 Sept. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I can see that the author knows his stuff but he really has little idea how to write or to communicate information in such a way that the reader can follow it. He is addicted to saying 'First', 'Second' and 'Finally', without appearing to have any appreciation of the fact that readers will then expect to see information appearing in that order. Two examples:
In Chapter one, under the heading An Outline of this book, he talks about the 'next chapter'. One might reasonably assume a brief overview of each chapter, but this is not forthcoming. From 'the next chapter', he skips to Chapter 9 and leaves it at that.
In Chapter 6, he details three approaches, the final one of which is 'a number of neural correlates'. Turn the page and what do we see? Not a detailed examination of these approaches in the right order, but another set of approaches apparently specific to neural correlates, the last approach of the previous page. At no point does he continue with the stages detailed in his overview.
I'm afraid the whole thing is just too muddled, and I'm surprised the editor did not point this out to him.
Supplemental Read 2 Oct. 2013
By Brooks Rudy - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this as a text for my class. Ultimately, it wasn't very useful, as the professor used lectures to indicate what we should be learning, but it did serve decently as supplemental reading. I don't recommend purchasing it, especially if you have a background in developmental psychology or genetics, as the approach the author takes is far different from those disciplines.
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