Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
I just discovered this Journal by the above name and it's open access. It's a relatively new emerging field that is rapidly expanding. The first issue of the Journal (2011) gives an overview. This Psychology Today article provides some interesting material. It provides 3 guiding principles for the transition to healthy adult development, topics previously discussed in this blog.
"The first guiding principle is that it is necessary to 'quiet the limbic system' (van der Kolk et al., 2005) to help emerging adults achieve a greater sense of safety. Quieting techniques facilitate attachments by promoting self-soothing and regulation. This is especially relevant when challenges are associated with trauma, anxiety disorders, and emotional/self-inhibition. Emotional and cognitive learning cannot take place in a state of fear. This also includes protecting the brain from the neurotoxic effects of excess alcohol and substances, lack of sleep or nutrition, and the distorting effects of unteated psychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or psychosis.
"The second guiding principle is the belief that it is essential to support the psycho-neurobiological development of a coherent self, an organized self, and a self-regulated self (Schore, 2008; Siegel, 1999; Gedo & Goldberg, 1973). This principle puts an emphasis on the processes of self-informed agency, self-directed empowerment, and an adaptive balance of vulnerability, collaboration, and boundaries for self-protection. This second pillar emphasizes the self-actualizing and motivational patterns of the developing individual.
"The third and last precept is drawn from neurocognitive modes of decision-making (Noel et al., 2006); therapeutic experiences of processing and problem-solving through emotional states of activation that occur in real-time within meaningful relationships are essential for achieving growth and change. Such experiences exercise and grow the networking between the limbic system and pre-frontal cortex which are naturally primed to sprout through emerging adulthood. Using mindfulness techniques such as "Reaction & Reflection,” while in relation, promote neurocognitive growth and, in turn, facilitate the further development of mindfulness, cognitive and executive functions, and competent self-governance."
The inaugural issue of the Journal gives a good overview of the emerging field.
Meltzoff is one of the pioneers of DCN, and here's what he had to say in this article. And this was in 1999. And we've hear nary a word about this in the integral community.
"There has been a profound, even revolutionary, shift in our theory of developmental psychology. The revolution began with challenges to Piaget's theory of cognitive development, particularly his views of infancy. As everybody who has attended scientific conferences, read technical journals, or monitored the popular media knows, modern research has discovered that young children know more at earlier ages than had been predicted by classical theory. These new findings led to the gradual weakening, and finally the collapse of, classical Piagetian theory.
"There is now a furious search for a new framework. An analogy can be drawn to the early part of this century when classical Newtonian mechanics was overthrown and physicists were searching for a new model. In our field, we know that the classical framework of developmental psychology, which has reigned for almost 50 years, does not work; we have crucial experiments that have uncovered surprising facts; and we have great excitement in both the laboratories and in society at large, as competing views of early human development are being thrashed out."
See this prior thread of relevance here. Meltzoff relates to the earlier paper in the prior thread on the supramodal space in this article. It seems the prior linked paper from 2012 is a development of Meltzoff's earlier use of the supramodal space (2007). He said:
"According to Piaget, infants begin life as asocial creatures, in a state of ‘solipsism’ or ‘radical egocentrism’, only gradually coming to apprehend the similarities between the actions of self andi other. An aim of genetic psychology was to investigate how an organism starting from solipsism could develop into the mature social adult.
"In this paper, I will show that the initial state differs from this vision. The recognition of self–other equivalences is the foundation, not the outcome, of social cognition. The acts of the self and other are represented within a supramodal code. This provides infants with an interpretive framework for understanding the behavior they see. Input from social encounters is therefore more interpretable than classically supposed. Infants have a storehouse of knowledge on which to draw: They can use the self to understand the actions, goals, and psychological states of others and conversely can learn about their own powers and the possibilities and consequences of their acts by observing the behavior of others. The bedrock on which social cognition is built is the perception that others are ‘like me’."
In Meltzoff's '99 paper he proposes his work supports theory-theory, described as "a combination of innate structure and qualitative reorganization in children's thought based on input from the people and things in their culture." And that this is accomplished at least in part through the supramodal representational system. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy has this to say about theory-theory:
"The Theory-Theory itself has a somewhat complicated origin story, with roots in a number of philosophical and psychological doctrines. One is the reaction against stage theories of cognitive development, particularly Piagetian and Vygotskian theories. Stage theories propose that children’s cognitive development follows a rigid and universal script, with a fixed order of transitions from one qualitatively distinct form of thought to another taking place across all domains on the same schedule. Each stage is characterized by a distinctive set of representations and processes. In Piaget’s theory, children move through sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages from birth to roughly 11 or 12 years old. Similarly, Vygotsky held that children move from a stage of representing categories in terms of sensory images of individual objects, through a stage of creating representations of objectively unified categories, and finally a stage of categories arranged around abstract, logical relationships.
"While Piaget and Vygotsky’s stage theories differ, both hold that early childhood thought is characterized by representation of categories in terms of their perceivable properties and the inability to reason abstractly (causally or logically) about these categories. Early childhood cognition, in short, involves being perceptually bound. While the empirical basis and explanatory structure of these theories had been challenged before (see R. Gelman & Baillargeon, 1983 and Wellman & Gelman, 1988 for review), Theory theorists such as Carey (1985), Gopnik (1988, 1996), Gopnik & Meltzoff (1997), and Keil (1989) went beyond providing disconfirming evidence and began to lay out an alternative positive vision of how cognitive development proceeds."
Also see this prior thread. It's nice when science supports my philosophical speculations.
I appreciate this article from the Journal of DCN, how developmental psychology and social neuroscience can work together. Concerning theory-theory, it suggests that our "default mode network, a coordinated network that is activated by task-independent introspection or self-referential thought," might be critical to support it. It involves several brain regions connected in a cohesive network, which seems more like 'supramodal space,' although they didn't use that expression.