According to Vygotsky, in terms of development, the thing that separates usfrom other animals is our use of tools and symbols. As a result of these wecreate cultures. Our cultures grow and change as we develop, and employextremely powerful influences on all of us. They dictate what we have to learn,and the sorts of skills we need to develop.
Vygotsky makes a distinct distinction between what he calls "elementarymental functions" and "higher mental functions." As we develop,these elementary capacities are gradually transformed into the latter, largelythrough the influence of culture. The essential difference between these twofunctions is in the stimulus-response relations of each (Lefrancois, 1994).
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