The General Laws of Physical Development in the Child: The Nervous System
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Vygotsky begins by noting that functions are transferred from lower nervous centres to higher ones (e.g. from the peripheral to the central, from the midbrain to the cortex). But the lower centres retain the ability to function, and can revert to their function when the higher system is damaged. Vygotsky then argues that if higher functions have already emerged in development, it is also possible for the lower functions to entirely transfer their functions to the higher centres when they are damaged. For Vygotsky, this shows a very clear unity of mental and physical development, and he concludes with some thoughts about how growth and development might be related, noting that the traditional relationship, which places growth as a precondition for development, could be the very opposite of the truth.