Conference on Inductive Developmental Systems Theory

Held October 31st - November 2nd, 2011
The Penn Stater Conference Center, University Park


Conference organizers: Peter C. Molenaar (Pennsylvania State University), Karl M. Newell (Pennsylvania State University) and Richard M. Lerner (Tufts University).

Relational, developmental systems theory is at the cutting edge of theory in developmental science. Although the tenets of Developmental Systems Theory are well established, it is accurate to say that advances in the use of concepts derived from developmental systems theories for framing research have until recently exceeded extant progress in developing methods fully capitalizing on these theories. Only recently the required mathematical-statistical tools have become available to fit developmental systems models directly to intensive measurements of developmental processes. At this critical juncture, implementation of the emerging paradigm of relational, developmental systems theory will benefit optimally by bringing together leading scientists in the component fields, including developmental psychology, biological systems theory, life span psychology, econometrics, systems science and psychometrics. The focus will be on integration of the diverse strands of specialized systems theory and simulation methodology with the innovative statistical modeling techniques into an effective research agenda. The results of this conference will be published in the form of a Handbook integrated with additional video material and publicly available documented software.

Speakers: Steven Boker, Jennifer Brown Urban, Sy-Miin Chow, Adele Diamond, Emilio Ferrer, Kurt Fischer, Sylvia Frühwirth-Schnatter, Jim Heckman, Mae-Wan Ho, Rich Lerner, Hedibert Lopes, Peter Molenaar, Karl Newell, Bill Overton, Maartje Raijmakers, Peter Saunders, Gregor Schöner, Marty Sliwinski, Han van der Maas, Wayne Velicer.

Space is available for a limited number of additional participants. To reserve a space for the conference, preregistration is required. For details, please contact Deanna Gray, 121B Henderson South, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.

Conference Schedule

Each presentation lasts 30 minutes and is followed by 15 minutes discussion (45 minutes in total).


08:00-08:30: Opening by organizers

08:30-08:45: Opening by Dr. Graham Spanier, President of PSU

09:00-09:45: Bill Overton: Relational Developmental Systems: A Primer

09:45-10:30: Mae-Wan Ho: Nonlinear Dynamics, Development and Evolution

10:30-10:45: Break

10:45-11:30: Maartje Raijmakers: Nonlinear Epigenetic Variance: Empirical Data and Neural Network Development

11:30-12:15: Gregor Schöner: Dynamical Systems Thinking: From Metaphor to Neural Theory

12:15-13:30: Lunch

13:30-14:15: Peter Saunders: Dynamical Systems, Development and Evolution

14:15-15:00: Han van der Maas: The Dynamics of Cognitive Development

15:00-15:15: Break

15:15-16:00: Adele Diamond: Insights from Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience on Ways to Improve Executive Functions in Young Children and Why that’s Important

16:00-16:45: Kurt Fischer: Dynamic Shapes of Development and Learning

16:45-17:30: General Discussion


08:00-09:30: Jim Heckman: Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation

09:30-09:45: Break

09:45-10:30: Sylvia Frühwirth-Schnatter: Stochastic Model Specification Search for Gaussian and Partially Non-Gaussian State Space models.

10:30-11:15: Hedibert Lopes: Examining the Effect of Early-Life Conditions and Education on Health via Parsimonious Bayesian Factor Analysis when Number of Factors is Unknown

11:15-12:00: Sy-Miin Chow: Non-Linear Regime-Switching State-Space Models

12:00-13:15: Lunch

13:15-14:00: Steven Boker: Human Dynamics

14:00-14:45: Emilio Ferrer: Differential Equations for Evaluating Theoretical Models of Dyadic Interactions

14:45-15:30: Marty Sliwinski: Modeling Healthy Aging

15:30-15:45: Break

15:45-16:30: Karl Newell: Time Scales in Motor Learning and Development

16:30-17:15: Jennifer Brown Urban: Developmental Systems Science: Extending Developmental Science with Systems Science Applications

17:15-18:30: General Discussion


08:00-08:45: Rich Lerner: Positive Youth Development: A Relational Developmental Systems Approach

08:45-09:35: Wayne Velicer: Idiographic Applications in Behavioral Medicine: Issues Of Ergodicity and Generalizability

09:30-10:15: Peter Molenaar: Idiographic Filtering

10:15-10:30: Break

10:30-11:30: General Discussion, Closing Comments and Instructions

Conference Downloads