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Article

Constructivist developmental theory is needed in developmental neuroscience

Arsalidou M., Pascual-Leone J.

Neuroscience techniques provide an open window previously unavailable to the origin of thoughts and actions in children. Developmental cognitive neuroscience is booming, and knowledge from human brain mapping is finding its way into education and pediatric practice. Promises of application in developmental cognitive neuroscience rests however on better theory-guided data interpretation. Massive amounts of neuroimaging data from children are being processed, yet published studies often do not frame their work within developmental models—in detriment, we believe, to progress in this field. Here we describe some core challenges in interpreting the data from developmental cognitive neuroscience, and advocate the use of constructivist developmental theories of human cognition with a neuroscience interpretation.