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120th anniversary of Lev Vygotsky

Tkhostov A. Sh. (2016). Prospect of development of L.S. Vygotsky’s ideas in clinical psychology. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 205-2014.

This work is dedicated to the development of L.S. Vygotsky’s ideas in clinical psychology and the clarification of some basic points of the cultural-historical concept. The paper presents a thesis about the development of man in ontogeny as the result of his interaction with the cultural environment, which transforms natural mental functions into higher mental functions. This process can be attended by a whole range of psychopathologies. The issues discussed include voluntary regulation of higher mental functions, determination of the involuntariness and “post-voluntariness” of functions, the internalization of actions, the differentiation of affect and emotion (including as higher mental functions), the “cultural” socialization of non-mental functions (sex, sleep, excretion), and the discord between natural and “cultural” entities in a person. The basis for the ontological development of man is the genesis of “subjectness”, like all the forms of higher activity that emerge when encountering cultural restrictions and requirements causing specific mental disorders. The supposition is made that there are no significant restrictions to explaining either mental or non-mental functions with the cultural-historical approach. Recommendations for further research are suggested.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0415
Keywords:  cultural-historical concept, development in ontogeny, voluntary regulation, internalization, higher mental functions, a “cultural” body
About the authorsTkhostov, Alexander Sh.

Available Online: 12.01.2016

Saraiva A. B., Ferreira J. (2016). Personality attributes of children with behavior problems. An exploratory analysis with the Exner Comprehensive System of the Rorschach Inkblot Test and implications for the socio-historical clinical practice approach. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 193-204.

From a Relational-Historical theoretical framework applied to clinical psychological practice, this study examines the data set underlying the personality attributes of different groups of children with behavior problems as demonstrated on the Rorschach Inkblot Test. To define the groups, categories were established from parents’ descriptions of their own children. This procedure allowed for the formation of three major psychological profiles: hyperkinetic, oppositional defiant, and antisocial (Saraiva & Ferreira, 2016). The major goal of this study is data exploration in a clinical setting, in order to investigate whether and in what ways groups of hyperkinetic, oppositional defiant, and antisocial children differ. These profile characteristics are important issues embraced by both psychodiagnosis and psychotherapy. The participants for this study were 39 Portuguese children, who were private clinic clients; there were 24 boys and 15 girls between the ages of 6 and 14. Their personality attributes were measured using the Rorschach Inkblot Test (Rorschach, 1994), and the Comprehensive System developed by Exner (1991, 1993, 2000) was applied, with the support of the clinical interpretation provided by Quintino-Aires (1999; 2009; 2012; 2014). Comparison of the three profiles showed four common aspects of personality structure: a deficit in cognitive perceptual skills, lack of self-control, limited relational skills, and low self-esteem. Differences in the three profiles revealed factors related to the functional characteristics of specific behavior patterns. Children with the hyperkinetic psychological profile show factors of difficulty in controlling their activity, impulsivity, and overlapping emotions about conscious action. Those with the oppositional defiant profile revealed factors of low self-confidence, low trust in others, high pessimism, loneliness, and structural stress. Finally, those with the antisocial profile had factors of a deficit in coping skills, lack of verbalization of affects and emotions, and egotism.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0414
Keywords:  hyperkinetic, oppositional, antisocial, Exner Comprehensive System for the Rorschach Inkblot Test, postnonclassical psychology
About the authorsSaraiva, Ana Beatriz / Ferreira, Jorge

Available Online: 12.01.2016

Rodrigues T. F., Alves P. U. M., Tirone C., Prade D. (2016). A new perspective on autism: Rita Leal School. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 163-192.

Guided by the principle that scientific knowledge should serve to transform reality and create suitable conditions of life for all, the Portuguese Association for Relational-Historical Psychology (APPRH) founded a school named RITA LEAL (RLS), with a therapeutic purpose based on new perspectives for treating autism — perspectives quite different from instrumental and behavioral learning programs. The Rita Leal School (Leal, 1975/2004, 1997, 2005, 2010) is rooted in the theory that mental development is based on a mutually contingent emotional relationship, while it underwrites Vygotsky’s concept of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and Mediation (1930/2004, 1934/2009). Learning to read is a complex process which individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) master slowly and with difficulty. We analyzed the process of learning to read of two ASD children accompanied by peers without special educational needs, aiming to pinpoint distinct aspects of their progress. We used the Observer Software Program to collect and analyze observations of their performance, which were understood as data to be classified according to previously specified codes. We believed we could demonstrate that, especially in the case of ASD children, learning is dependent on contingent responses and adequate levels of mediation. The technical team at the RLS has continuous clinical supervision. That is because we believe this supervision is what permits the team to undergo a process of de-centering, becoming more empathic and accessible to the autists. This makes the team’s intervention more efficient, because it becomes more aware of each autist’s individual characteristics, and therefore more available to respond to the autist’s needs.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0413
Keywords:  autism, contingent emotional development, mediation, zone of proximal development
About the authorsAlves, Pedro Ferreira  / Rodrigues, Tâmara Ferreira  / Prade, Diego / Tirone, Claudia

Available Online: 12.01.2016

González H. J. P., Solovieva Yu., Quintanar L., Meza V. R., Arce R. M. J. (2016). Proposal for psychomotor development in newborns with low weight according to A.R. Luria’s conception. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 152-162.

Low birth weight has a negative impact on psychomotor development, specifically on motor and perceptual functions. In order to prevent this effect, neurodevelopmental diagnosis should be supplemented by an effective therapeutic system. The aim of this work was to test a program for psychomotor development based on A.R. Luria’s concept of three functional brain units or blocks and the necessity of stimulation of the first functional unit in early childhood. Stimulation of subcortical systems associated with psychomotor and cognitive regulation may help to set the basis for positive functioning of the cerebral cortex in the coming years. Vestibular exercises and proprioceptive stimulation were used. All exercises included significant communicative activity as described by Vygotsky and Lisina, which provided positive direct emotional contact between adult and child. Twenty-five babies with low birth weight were included in the study, along with their parents. After 250 days in the program, all the underweight children presented positive functional development. We conclude that positive effects of these programs for correction and psychological development may be achieved during the first year of life. The methods for sensitive diagnosis and correction should be considered by all specialists involved in topics of early development.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0412
Keywords:  low birth weight, psychomotor development, subcortical systems, joint activity, early childhood
About the authorsSolovieva, Yulia / Quintanar, Luis Rojas / González, Héctor Juan Pelayo / Meza, Verónica Reyes / Arce, Ricardo Marcelo Jimeno

Available Online: 12.01.2016

Fatikhova L. F., Sayfutdiyarova E. F. (2016). Understanding of unsafe situations by children with intellectual disabilities. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 138-151.

This article deals with vital questions of the health and safety of children with intellectual disability (mental disability and mixed specific disorders). Theoretical analysis has demonstrated insufficient study of the problem, both in national and foreign psychological and pedagogical studies, although a number of approaches exist. Researchers agree that development of these children is an important condition for the existence of both individual and society at large. At the contemporary stage of development of our society, the safety of the children is all the more relevant since the degree of their development is an important condition of socialization and normal interaction with the environment. Diagnostic tools to estimate the comprehension and recognition of unsafe situations by children with these disorders are still insufficiently developed.

This paper describes the application of a technique called “Recognition of Unsafe Situations”, which was designed to study the ability of children with intellectual disability to recognize potentially life-threatening situations (handling household appliances, electricity, medicine, hot or sharp objects, behavior at heights and with stray animals) and to predict the consequences of their actions in such situations. The results of this study allow us to determine the differences in recognizing unsafe situations by children with mental disability and children with mixed specific developmental disorders. We show that children with mixed specific developmental disorders have a certain ability to identify potentially unsafe situations, and with support provided by adults, they are able to predict the consequences of their actions. Children with mental disability, however, have insufficient knowledge of safe behavior; but special activities that take into account these children’s ability to compensate enable them to develop the essential skills for behavior in potentially life-threatening situations.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0411
Keywords:  children with intellectual disabilities, children with mixed specific developmental disorders, health and safety, understanding of dangerous situations
About the authorsFatikhova, Lidia F. / Sayfutdiyarova, Elena F.

Available Online: 12.01.2016

Solovieva Yu., Quintanar L. (2016). The zone of proximal development during assessment of intellectual development in pre-school children. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 123-137.

The zone of proximal development is a well-known and frequently referenced term within cultural historical psychology. Nevertheless, it is rarely used in the concrete practice of assessing intellectual development. The majority of proposals for such assessment are based on a behavioral and psychometric conception of development. This study presents a Scheme for Evaluation of Intellectual Development based on the concept of the zone of proximal development and on gradual intellectual development. The Scheme was applied to 160 Mexican pre-school children from rural, suburban, official, and private kindergartens. The Scheme permitted us to determine the zone of proximal development by evaluating the children’s level of external orientation during the solution of new intellectual tasks. Three levels of orientation through external help were established. The results showed that the majority of children from all groups managed to fulfil new tasks after receiving external help, which indicated the existence of their zone of proximal development. Differences were detected in the use of the level of help in all groups. Statistical analysis showed a significant correlation between the level of helping received, the degree of fulfilment of the task, and the children’s socio-cultural group. The results permitted us to establish more precisely the zone of proximal development at pre-school age. We discuss how the concept of the zone of proximal development might be used in concrete psychological practice and research, instead of being only a well-known term at a declarative level.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0410
Keywords:  intellectual development, zone of proximal development, level of development, preschool development, assessment of intellect, assessment of development, intellectual actions
About the authorsSolovieva, Yulia / Quintanar, Luis Rojas

Available Online: 12.01.2016

Sobkin V. S., Veraksa A. N., Bukhalenkova D. A., Fedotova A. V., Khalutina U. A., Yakupova V. A. (2016). The connection of socio-demographic factors and child-parent relationships to the psychological aspects of children’s development. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 106-122.

Preschool childhood is a time of rapid development. During this period a child`s interaction with significant adults plays a very important role. The parent, as a mediator, defines the “zone of proximal development” (Vygotsky, 1984). The common assumption is that to determine a parent’s position, it is important to acknowledge both socio-demographic factors and the parameters which define the socio-psychological aspects of parent-child relationship. Hence, the type of research where a child’s psychological development is studied in the context of the socio-demographic and socio-psychological factors which determine the social situation of development, is very promising.

Based on our previous research (Sobkin, Marich, 2002; Cheie, Veraksa, 2015), a program of experimental research intended to determine the interconnections between the socio-demographic and socio-psychological parameters of parent-child relationships, and the level of a child’s psychic development, was designed. The research was based upon the material obtained through testing 59 children between 5 and 7 years old with specially collected psychological testing methods (Veraksa A.N. etc), as well as from the results of a special sociological questionnaire presented to their mothers (Sobkin V.S. etc). The research was carried out in 2014-2015 in municipal kindergartens of Moscow.

Among the socio-demographic factors analyzed, the most significant results were related to the child’s gender, the family structure, and the mother’s education. Thus, boys showed higher results on visual memory tests, and girls scored better on tests for self-control and social intelligence (higher ability to detect the reason for someone else’s negative emotions). Children from single-parent families had better results on verbal memory tests, but scored lower on those for self-control. Also they had less ability for decentration. The differences in mothers’ educational levels influenced the number and intensity of children’s fears, as well as their inclinations to avoid fearsome situations.

The analysis of features of the parenting position (such as attitude toward one’s future, positive/negative emotional state during the interaction with the child, authoritative/ democratic approach to upbringing) revealed two different strategies which children used to perform executive tasks.

Thus, the present research showed a significant degree of essential connections between socio-demographic factors and parent-child relationships to the specifics of a child’s mental development.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0409
Keywords:  child development, preschool age, social situation of development, parentchild relationships, executive functions, social intelligence
About the authorsSobkin, Vladimir S. / Veraksa, Aleksandr N.  / Yakupova, Vera A.  / Bukhalenkova, Darya A. / Fedotova, Aleksandra V. / Khalutina, Ulia A.

Available Online: 12.01.2016

Bayanova L. F., Tsivilskaya E. A., Bayramyan R. M., Chulyukin K. S. (2016). A cultural congruence test for primary school students. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 94-105.

The study presented in this article relies on the principles of the cultural-historical theory, which defines cultural impact as the main driving force behind psychological development. Based on the assumption that culture is a set of normative situations, the study identifies rules that are typical for primary school students in big Russian cities. These rules are grouped into what we refer to as factors of cultural compliance, which ultimately can be seen as indicators of pupils’ cultural congruence. In specifying the cultural congruence of primary school students, we take into account not only the rules of school life but also the whole range of stable rules for children 7- to 10-years-old. Researchers at the Psychology Institute of the Higher University of the Chinese Academy of Science (Wang, Zhu, & Shi, 2011) call such rules usual or contextually usual. We include rules that govern the behavior of children who have cultural differences, so in this article we are talking about the rules that are typical for children of this age in Russia.

The goal of the study was to develop a test to diagnose the level of cultural congruence. The test was exposed to psychometric evaluation for validity, reliability, and discriminatory power. Factor analysis by means of varimax rotation provided for calibration of the rules by consolidating them into factors. These factors underpin the test and include the categories social interaction, academic competence, regulation, obedience, self-service, and self-control. In accordance with the principles employed in psychology, the factors confirm the construct validity of the test in relation to children’s development when they are between 7 and 10 years old. The study confirms that learning is the main activity at this age by introducing a factor that brings together rules inherent in normative situations in the education process. The social setting for psychological development, viewed as a specific relationship between a child at the given age and the environment, is determined by the child’s interaction with an adult. The factor of obedience is the key parameter for children of the age under consideration. New at this age are arbitrariness, self-regulation, self-analysis, and an internal action plan. Self-control is also conceptually linked to these factors.

The study offers a new look at the cultural determination of psychological development in ontogenesis. Validated in the course of the investigations, the test can be used to diagnose cultural congruence — that is, the compliance of a primary school student with rules inherent in normative situations.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0408
Keywords:  primary school student, cultural congruence, normative situation, validity, reliability, discriminatory power
About the authorsBayanova, Larisa F. / Tsivilskaya, Ekaterina A. / Bayramyan, Roksana M. / Chulyukin, Kirill S.

Available Online: 12.01.2016

Téllez A., Sánchez T. (2016). Luria’s model of the functional units of the brain and the neuropsychology of dreaming. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 80-93.

Traditionally, neuropsychology has focused on identifying the brain mechanisms of specific psychological processes, such as attention, motor skills, perception, memory, language, and consciousness, as well as their corresponding disorders. However, there are psychological processes that have received little attention in this field, such as dreaming. This study examined the clinical and experimental neuropsychological research relevant to dreaming, ranging from sleep disorders in patients with brain damage, to brain functioning during REM sleep, using different methods of brain imaging. These findings were analyzed within the framework of Luria’s Three Functional Unit Model of the Brain, and a proposal was made to explain certain of the essential characteristics of dreaming. This explanation describes how, during dreaming, an activation of the First Functional Unit occurs, comprising the reticular formation of the brainstem; this activates, in turn, the Second Functional Unit — which is formed by the parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes and Unit L, which is comprised of the limbic system, as well as simultaneous hypo-functioning of the Third Functional Unit (frontal lobe). This activity produces a perception of hallucinatory images of various sensory modes, as well as a lack of inhibition, a non-selfreflexive thought process, and a lack of planning and direction of such oneiric images. Dreaming is considered a type of natural confabulation, similar to the one that occurs in patients with frontal lobe damage or schizophrenia. The study also suggests that the confabulatory, bizarre, and impulsive nature of dreaming has a function in the cognitiveemotional homeostasis that aids proper brain function throughout the day.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0407
Keywords:  dreaming, brain, neuropsychology, functional units, Luria´s model
About the authorsTéllez Arnoldo  / Sánchez, Teresa J.

Available Online: 12.01.2016

Glozman J. M. (2016). Vygotsky in applied neuropsychology. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 73-79.

The aims of this paper are: 1) to show the role of clinical experience for the theoretical contributions of L.S. Vygotsky, and 2) to analyze the development of these theories in contemporary applied neuropsychology. An analysis of disturbances of mental functioning is impossible without a systemic approach to the evidence observed. Therefore, medical psychology is fundamental for forming a systemic approach to psychology. The assessment of neurological patients at the neurological hospital of Moscow University permitted L.S. Vygotsky to create, in collaboration with A.R. Luria, the theory of systemic dynamic localization of higher mental functions and their relationship to cultural conditions. In his studies of patients with Parkinson’s disease, Vygotsky also set out 3 steps of systemic development: interpsychological, then extrapsychological, then intrapsychological. L.S. Vygotsky and A.R. Luria in the late 1920s created a program to compensate for the motor subcortical disturbances in Parkinson’s disease (PD) through a cortical (visual) mediation of movements. We propose to distinguish the objective mediating factors — like teaching techniques and modalities — from subjective mediating factors, like the individual’s internal representation of his/her own disease. The cultural-historical approach in contemporary neuropsychology forces neuropsychologists to re-analyze and re-interpret the classic neuropsychological syndromes; to develop new assessment procedures more in accordance with the patient’s conditions of life; and to reconsider the concept of the social brain as a social and cultural determinant and regulator of brain functioning. L.S. Vygotsky and A.R. Luria proved that a defect interferes with a child’s appropriation of his/her culture, but cultural means can help the child overcome the defect. In this way, the cultural-historical approach became, and still is, a methodological basis for remedial education.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0406
Keywords:  psychological theory and clinical practice, Vygotsky and Luria, Parkinson’s disease, mediation, cultural-historical approach
About the authorsGlozman, Janna M.

Available Online: 12.01.2016

Dikaya L. A., Dikiy I. S., Karpova V. V., Lavreshina A. Yu. (2016). Neurophysiological correlates of artistic image creation by representatives of artistic professions. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 51-72.

The steadily increasing demand for artistic professions brings to the fore the task of studying the phenomenon of art by researching the unique capacity of the human brain to create works of art in different spheres of creative activity. So far, only a few studies have investigated creativity-related brain activity in representatives of the creative professions. The aim of the empirical research was to study the neurophysiological correlates of artistic image creation by representatives of the artistic professions. The participants were 60 right-handed females aged 23-27, divided into three groups— artists (23 people), actors (17 people), and specialists who do not work in an artistic field (20 people). The mono-typing technique was used to model the creative artistic process. EEG signals were recorded in a resting state, and during four stages of the creation of an artistic image (viewing of monotypes, frustration, image creation, and thinking over the details) from 21 electrodes set on the scalp according to the International 10-20 System. We analyzed EEG coherence for each functional trial at theta (4.00–8.00 Hz), alpha1 (8.00–10.5 Hz), alpha2 (10.5–13.00 Hz), and beta (13.00– 35.00 Hz) frequency bands. For statistical analysis, we used MANOVA and post hoc analysis. We found that the neurophysiological correlates of creating an artistic image are different at different stages of the creative process, and have different features for artists and actors. The actors primarily show dominance of right hemisphere activity, while close interaction of the hemispheres distinguishes the brains of the artists. The differences revealed in brain cortex functioning when artists or actors create an artistic image reflect different strategies of imaginative creative work by representatives of these professions.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0405
Keywords:  brain hemispheres, cortex, EEG, coherence, frequency band, art, artistic image
About the authorsDikaya, Liudmila A. / Dikiy, Igor S. / Karpova, Viktorija V. / Lavreshina, Anastasiya Y.

Available Online: 12.01.2016

Chernorizov A. M., Zhong-qing J., Petrakova A. V., Zinchenko Yu. P. (2016). Face cognition in humans: Psychophysiological, developmental, and cross-cultural aspects. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 37-50.

Investigators are finding increasing evidence for cross-cultural specificity in face cognition along with individual characteristics. The functions on which face cognition is based not only are types of general cognitive functions (perception, memory) but are elements of specific mental processes. Face perception, memorization, correct recognition of faces, and understanding the information that faces provide are essential skills for humans as a social species and can be considered as facets of social (cultural) intelligence. Face cognition is a difficult, multifaceted set of processes. The systems and processes involved in perceiving and recognizing faces are captured by several models focusing on the pertinent functions or including the presumably underlying neuroanatomical substrates. Thus, the study of face-cognition mechanisms is a cross-disciplinary topic. In Russia, Germany, and China there are plans to organize an interdisciplinary crosscultural study of face cognition. The first step of this scientific interaction is conducting psychological and psychophysiological studies of face cognition in multinational Russia within the frame of a grant supported by the Russian Science Foundation and devoted to “cross-cultural tolerance”. For that reason and in the presence of the huge diversity of data concerning face cognition, we suggest for discussion, specifically within the psychological scientific community, three aspects of face cognition: (1) psychophysiological (quantitative data), (2) developmental (qualitative data from developmental psychology), and (3) cross-cultural (qualitative data from cross-cultural studies). These three aspects reflect the different levels of investigations and constitute a comprehensive, multilateral approach to the problem. Unfortunately, as a rule, neuropsychological and psychological investigations are carried out independently of each other. However, for the purposes of our overview here, we assume that the main factors that could influence the developmental, individual psychophysiological, and cross-cultural differences in face cognition are not only biological but also social and cultural. One of the principal tasks of this article is to draw the attention of psychologists to the physiology of face processing and to draw the attention of neuroscientists to the psychology of face cognition. Thus, the main goal of the article is to instigate a discussion among social psychologists, psychophysiologists, and neuroscientists about the mechanisms of face cognition, which, as in a mirror, reflect the basic, fundamental “psychophysical” problem of psychophysiology.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0404
Keywords:  face cognition, social psychophysiology, development, other-ethnicity effects, brain mechanisms
About the authorsChernorizov, Alexsander M.  / Zinchenko, Yury P.  / Zhong-qing Jiang / Petrakova, Anastasia V.

Available Online: 12.01.2016

Chernorizov A. M., Isaychev S. A., Zinchenko Yu. P., Znamenskaya I. A., Zakharov P. N., Khakhalin A. V., Gradoboeva O. N., Galatenko V. V. (2016). Psychophysiological methods for the diagnostics of human functional states: New approaches and perspectives. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 23-36.

L. S. Vygotsky in his famous methodological essay “The historical meaning of psychological crisis” (1928) emphasized the importance of studying any psychological process or state as a “whole” — that is, as characterized from the subjective and objective sides at the same time. This position is fully relevant for studying the human functional states (FSes). Today the objective psychophysiological diagnostics of human FSes in activities associated with a high risk of technological disasters (in nuclear-power plants, transportation, the chemical industry) are extremely relevant and socially important. This article reviews some new psychophysiological methods of FS assessment that are being developed in Russia and abroad and discusses different aspects of developing integral psychophysiological FS assessment. The emphasis is on distant methods of FS diagnostics: the bioradiolocation method, laser Doppler vibrometry, eye tracking, audio and video recordings, infrared thermography. The possibilities and limitations of the most popular emotion atlases — the Facial Affect Scoring Technique (FAST) and the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) — in developing distant visual-range and infrared-range systems for automated classification of facial expressions are analyzed. A special section of the article concentrates on the problem of constructing an integral psychophysiological FS index. Mathematical algorithms that provide a partition of FS indicators into different FS types are based on various methods of machine learning. We propose the vector approach for construction of complex estimations of the human FSes.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0403
Keywords:  functional states, distant diagnostics, integral estimating, vector approach
About the authorsChernorizov, Alexsander M.  / Isaychev, Sergey A.  / Zinchenko, Yury P.  / Galatenko, Vladimir V. / Znamenskaya, Irina A. / Zakharov, Petr N. / Khakhalin, Andrej V. / Gradoboeva, Olga N.

Available Online: 12.01.2016

Quintino-Aires J. (2016) Emptiness in psychological science and practice. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 16-22.

Psychology is now one of the most popular sciences for young students. But whether academic production or professional practice, it is still in crisis. When we look together at two different approaches we realize the enormous amount of syncretism. They are not only two different approaches to the same science. They are more than that, they are different areas of knowledge, with very different practical implications. Discussion of psychology with the other sciences researching the same "objects" is nonexistent. So when it comes to practice, many of young psychologists leave the profession.

This article is an invitation to colleagues for a "look inside" this interesting science that can make a significant contribution to human sciences and the better life of human beings in the 21st century. This call is supported by a re-reading of the text by Lev S. Vygotsky The historical meaning of the crisis in psychology written in 1927. The article is structured in four subtopics: the problem of general science (in Psychology), the problem of terminology, the problem of difficulty in recognizing the crisis and the problem of emptiness. Being a call, of course, it is not a complete and finished analysis. It is rather a desire that, engaging some colleagues, we can continue the dialogue with Vygotsky on this topic started by him ninety years ago.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0402
Keywords:  psychology, crisis, approaches, general science, dialogue, Vygotsky
About the authorsQuintino-Aires, Joaquim

Available Online: 12.01.2016

Ardila A. (2016). L.S. Vygotsky in the 21st century. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 4-15.

Although Lev Vygotsky’s interpretation of human cognition was proposed almost one century ago, new scientific and technological advances have significantly supported many of his ideas and hypotheses. His cultural-historical theory of psychological processes, and his contributions to educational psychology, have continued growing without interruption. In this paper, three of Vygotsky’s hypotheses are examined in light of 21st century scientific developments:

  1. The influence of cultural factors on human cognition. A diversity of research studies in different countries has corroborated the crucial impact of culture on cognitive test performance; 
  2. The role of language in higher psychological processes. According to Vygotsky’s cultural-historical approach, cognitive processes (“complex psychological processes”) are social in origin, but complex and hierarchical in their structure. Intrinsic to the systemic organization of higher cognitive processes is the engagement of external artifacts (objects, symbols, signs), which have an independent history of development within a culture; and 
  3. The hypothesis that thought and general complex cognition is associated with certain “inner speech.” Some contemporary neuroimaging studies (particularly PET and fMRI) analyzing “inner speech” have been carried out. These studies have attempted to find the areas of the brain involved in “inner speech.” These scientific advances significantly support Vygotsky’s interpretation of human cognition. It has been found that inner speech depends on activity in Broca’s area and related brain network activity in the left hemisphere. Hence, inner speech is closely related to grammar, language production, and executive functions.

Vygotsky’s important contribution to the understanding of psychological processes has stimulated, and continues to stimulate, a substantial amount of research in this area.


DOI:  10.11621/pir.2016.0401
Keywords:  Vygotsky, cultural-historical psychology, literacy, inner speech, cognition
About the authorsArdila Alfredo

Available Online: 12.01.2016