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J Hist Neurosci. 2013;22(3):292-306. doi: 10.1080/0964704X.2012.761071. Epub 2013 May 16.

Contributions of Hebb and Vygotsky to an integrated science of mind.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. hghassemzadeh@tums.ac.ir.


Hebb and Vygotsky are two of the most influential figures of psychology in the first half of the twentieth century. They represent cultural and biological approaches to explaining human development, and thus a number of their ideas remain relevant to current psychology and cognitive neuroscience. In this article, we examine similarities and differences between these two important figures, exploring possibilities for a theoretical synthesis between their two literatures, which have had little contact with each other. To pursue these goals, the following topics are discussed: (a) Hebb and Vygotsky's lives and training; (b) their innovations in theory building relating to an "objective psychology" and objective science of mind; (c) their developmental approach; (d) their treatment of mediation and neuropsychology; and (e) their current relevance and possible integration of their views. We argue that considering the two together improves prospects for a more complete and integrated approach to mind and brain in society.

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