Research Digest – August 2020

Author: Gabriel Qi

For this month, I introduce a book chapter on the cultural-historical approaches developed by Vygotsky and Luria in contemporary neuropsychology, and a research article reviewing Luria’s contribution to neuropsychology from a cultural perspective. They are both authored by Kotik-Friedgut and Ardila (2014; 2020), and I found them a succinct summary of one of the theoretical foundations of cultural neuropsychology.​

The book chapter (Kotik-Friedgut & Ardila, 2014) discussed the cultural-historical theory developed by Vygotsky, especially the concept of the “extracortical organization of higher mental functions.” They also made additional discussions in the neuropsychological aspects of illiteracy and changes in brain functions related to learning, reading, and writing; and how the theory sheds light on the origin of human cognition.

The research article (Kotik-Friedgut & Ardila, 2020) is a natural extension of the previous article, and focused on the work of Luria. It introduced the systemic-dynamic Lurian analysis of brain activity, and reviewed how contemporary developments still support Luria’s theories. Given how much the global society has changed since the era of Vygotsky and Luria, it is probably not a stretch to say that they were ahead of their time.

Food for thought this month:

Luria is a big name in neuropsychology, but I did not know his contributions to the field in the cultural neuropsychology sense before reading these articles. Who were some of your personal heroes if cultural neuropsychology?

Here are the links to access the articles this month:




  • Kotik-Friedgut, B., & Ardila, A. (2020). AR Luria’s cultural neuropsychology in the 21st century. Culture & Psychology26, 274-286. doi:10.1177/1354067X19861053