Category Archives: Tools of the Mind

Spinning the Pieces

Each semester’s Developmental courses start with questions: “Who develops?,”  “What develops?,” and “How does development happen?”  The questions are profound, for me, and with every class the answers feel different — even if the lectures sound remarkably similar.

New answers are in the works!  This blog is an extension of the mental workbench on which I’m assembling clues that capture my attention and interest — grabbing each piece of the truth that I can — spinning the pieces in that incredible cognitive-affective-kinesthetic-symbolic dance that is “creative-spiritual intelligence.”  (Pascual-Leone, 1990)

Back in the day, referring to working memory as the “mental workbench” said it all.  Nuggets of information, salted away in long-term storage, were brought into the light of day, to be manipulated, tweaked, combined, and configured into mental models of reality.  (Roediger, 1979)

Almost 50 years later, Dad’s workbench fails to capture what we know or imagine about the complex mechanisms underlying memory and cognition.  In 2011, we’ve moved from the workbench to the multidimensional heuristic workspace (Schroeder,  2003), and for the tech-minded, the holographic lab environment.

Hey, the world within is way more cool than Dad’s workbench!


Pascual-Leone, J. (1990).  Reflections on life-span intelligence, consciousness, and ego development.   In C. N. Alexander & E. J. Langer (Eds.), Higher stages of human development (258 – 285).  New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.

Roediger, H. (1979).  Implicit and explicit memory models.  Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 13, 339-342.

Schroeder, P. C. (2003).  Spatial aspects of metaphors for information: Implications for polycentric system design.  Retrieved from


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