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Activity theory

See alsoSocial constructivism (learning theory) and Critical psychology.

Activity theory is a psychologicalmeta-theory, paradigm, or framework, with its roots in Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky's cultural-historical psychology. Its founders were Alexei N. Leont'ev (1903-1979), and Sergei Rubinshtein (1889-1960) who sought to understand human activities as complex, socially situated phenomena and go beyond paradigms of psychoanalysis and behaviorism. It became one of the major psychological approaches in the former USSR, being widely used in both theoretical and applied psychology, in areas such as education, training, ergonomics, and work psychology.

Activity theory theorizes that when individuals engage and interact with their environment, production of tools results. These tools are "exteriorized" forms of mental processes, and as these mental processes are manifested in tools, they become more readily accessible and communicable to other people, thereafter becoming useful for social interaction.

The history of activity theory

The origins of activity theory can be traced to several sources, which have subsequently given rise to various complementary and intertwined strands of development. This account will focus on two of the most important of these strands. The first is associated with the Moscow Institute of Psychology and in particular the troika of young researchers, Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky (1896–1934), Alexander Romanovich Luria (1902–77) and Alexei Nikolaevich Leont'ev (1903–79). Vygotsky founded cultural-historical psychology, an important strand in the activity approach; Leont’ev, one of the principal founders of activity theory, both continued, and reacted against, Vygotsky's work. Leont'ev's formulation of general activity theory is currently the most influential in post-Soviet developments in AT, which have largely been in social-scientific and organizational, rather than psychological research.

The second major line of development within activity theory involves scientists, such as P. K. Anokhin (1898-1974) and N. A. Bernshtein (1896-1966), more directly concerned with the neurophysiological basis of activity; its foundation is associated with the Soviet philosopher of psychology S. L. Rubinshtein (1889-1960). This work was subsequently developed by researchers such as Pushkin, Zinchenko & Gordeeva, Ponomarenko, Zarakovsky and others, as is currently most well-known through the work on systemic-structural activity theory being carried out by G. Z. Bedny and his associates.


After Vygotsky's early death, Leont'ev became the leader of the research group nowadays known as the Kharkov school of psychology and extended Vygotsky's research framework in significantly new ways. Leont'ev first examined the psychology of animals, looking at the different degrees to which animals can be said to have mental processes. He concluded that Pavlov's reflexionism was not a sufficient explanation of animal behaviour and that animals have an active relation to reality, which he called activity. In particular, the behaviour of higher primates such as chimpanzees could only be explained by the ape's formation of multi-phase plans using tools.

Leont'ev then progressed to humans and pointed out that people engage in "actions" that do not in themselves satisfy a need, but contribute towards the eventual satisfaction of a need. Often, these actions only make sense in a social context of a shared work activity. This lead him to a distinction between activities, which satisfy a need, and the actions that constitute the activities.

Leont'ev also argued that the activity in which a person is involved is reflected in their mental activity, that is (as he puts it) material reality is "presented" to consciousness, but only in its vital meaning or significance.

Developments in activity theory

Activity theory is dynamic. It can be used by a variety of disciplines to understand the way people act.

Scandinavian activity theory

This major school of thought seeks to integrate and develop concepts from Vygotsky's Cultural-Historical Psychology and Leont'ev's activity theory with Western intellectual developments such as Cognitive Science, American Pragmatism, Constructivism, and Actor-Network Theory. It is known as Scandinavian activity theory. Work in the systems-structural theory of activity is also being carried on by researchers in the US and UK.

Systemic-structural activity theory (SSAT)

At the end of the 1990s, a group of Russian and American activity theorists working in the systems-cybernetic tradition of Bernshtein and Anokhin began to publish English-language articles and books dealing with topics in human factors and ergonomics and, latterly, human-computer interaction. Under the rubric of systemic-structural activity theory (SSAT), this work represents a modern synthesis within activity theory which brings together the cultural-historical and systems-structural strands of the tradition (as well as other work within Soviet psychology such as the Psychology of Set) with findings and methods from Western human factors/ergonomics and cognitive psychology.

The development of SSAT has been specifically oriented toward the analysis and design of the basic elements of human work activity: tasks, tools, methods, objects and results, and the skills, experience and abilities of involved subjects. SSAT has developed techniques for both the qualitative and quantitative description of work activity. Its design-oriented analyses specifically focus on the interrelationship between the structure and self-regulation of work activity and the configuration of its material components.

Applications to design

In the study of Human-Computer Interaction and indie-rock band from Montreal (featuring two members originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia) which comprises guitarist-vocalists Warren Spicer and Nic Basque and drummer-vocalist Matthew Woody Woodley. They often describe their music as post-classic rock. They are signed to Secret City Records. Their first full-length album, Parc Avenue, was shortlisted for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize and nominated for a 2009 Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year. Plants and Animals were also given a 2009 Juno nomination for Best New Band.


Plants and Animals' self-titled EP was released in 2004 via Ships at Night Records.

In the fall of 2007, Plants and Animals released the four-song with/avec EP

Their full-length debut Parc Avenue was released on February 26, 2008 in Canada and on March 25, 2008 in the United States. The album features string parts by Sarah Neufeld of The Arcade Fire

The band released their second LP, titled La La Land, on April 20, 2010.


Appearances in the media

Plants and Animals' single "Bye Bye Bye" was available for free download on iTunes for a week in late August 2009. The song was featured on season three episode 8 of the TV show Chuck.

From Yahoo Answers

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Answers:1: Animal_Nickelback Animal_Def Leppard Animal_Ke$ha Animal ive become_Three days grace 2. British invasion? 3.Jim Henson 4. you(:

Question:It's form my electrical science exam in a week. Thanks!

Answers:This format of answering does not seem to support diagrams! I'll provide you with a table of energy gaps 'E(g)' for selected semi-conductors at T=0 K and energy versus wave vector equations for typical band structures. Energy gaps of selected semiconductors material ....... E(g) ev T = 0 K or E(0) Si ............... 1.17 Ge ............. 0.75 PbS ............ 0.29 PbSe .......... 0.17 PbTe .......... 0.19 InSb ........... 0.23 GaSb ......... 0.79 AlSb .......... 1.6 InAs ........... 0.43 At room temperature most band gaps, of semiconductors, have a linear variation with temperature, given by: - E(g) = E(0) - AT The electronic properties of semiconductors are completely determined by the comparatively small numbers of electrons excited into the conduction band and the holes left behind in the valance band. The electrons will be found almost exclusively in levels near the conduction band minima, while the holes will be confined to the neighbourhood of the valance band maxima. Therefore the energy versus wave vector relations for the carriers can generally be approximated by the quadratic form: - (k) = (c) + | k + k + k | .....................| __ .... __ .... __ ... | (electrons) .................... |m . m . m | (k) = (v) - | k + k + k | ....................| __ .... __ .... __ ... | (holes) ....................|m . m . m | Where ' (c)' is the energy at the bottom of the conduction band and ' (v)' is the energy at the top of the valance band. The origin of k-space is set to lie at the band maximum or minimum. If there exists more than one maximum or minimum, there will be one such term for each point so that there are a set of orthogonal principle axis( for each such point). For silicon. The crystal has the diamond structure, so the first Brillouin zone is the truncated octahedron appropriate to a face centred Bravais lattice. The conduction band has six symmetry related minima at points in the <100> directions, about 80 % of the way to the zone boundary. by symmetry each of the six ellipsoids must be an ellipsoid of revolution about a cube axis. They are quite cigar shaped, being elongated along the axis. There are two degenerate valance band maxima, both located at k = 0. For germanium. The crystal structure is that of silicon but the conduction band minima occur at the zone boundaries in the <111> directions. I hope this is of some help!

Question:I am educating myself on some history of music and the meanings of some songs. I am curious about the underground elements in the process of making hits. It seems that most of the songs we listen to and love to sing mean something other than what they appear. I took a music theory class and learned that the popular hits of the 60's and 70's were affiliated with the drug, and religious culture of that era.

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From Youtube

Band Theory of Solids :Band Theory of Solids Band theory of solids is a quantum-mechanical theory of motion of electrons in solids. Energy bands are located differently in various substances, as well as in various forms of the same substance. According to these bands' relative position substances are divided into three big groups. Conductors - conduction and valence bands are overlapping and thus create one band called conduction band. In this way, electron can freely travel between them having acquired any acceptably low energy. Thus when potential difference is applied to solids, electrons can freely travel from the point with lesser potential to the one with bigger potential creating electric current. All metals are conductors. Dielectrics - the bands are not overlapping. Distance between them is more than 4 electron-volts. Thus considerable energy is required to move the electron from valence band to conduction band. That is why dielectrics virtually do not conduct current. Semiconductors - the bands are not overlapping. Distance between them is more than 4 electron-volts. As compared with dielectrics, lesser energy is required to move the electron from valence band to conduction band. That is why pure semiconductors (also called intrinsic or undoped) conduct current poorly. Band theory is the basis of a contemporary theory of solids. It helped to understand nature and explain the most important properties of metals, semiconductors, and dielectrics. Band gap value between valence and ...

Double_slit_theory_Quantum_Physics_Animation-1.flv :I love this one. In quantum mechanics, the double-slit experiment (often referred to as Young's experiment) demonstrates the inseparability of the wave and particle natures of light and other quantum particles. A coherent light source illuminates a thin plate with two parallel slits cut in it, and the light passing through the slits strikes a screen behind them. The wave nature of light causes the light waves passing through both slits to interfere, creating an interference pattern of bright and dark bands on the screen. However, at the screen, the light is always found to be absorbed as though it were made of discrete particles, called photons.[1][2] If the light travels from the source to the screen as particles, then on the basis of a classical reasoning the number that strike any particular point on the screen is expected to be equal to the sum of those that go through the left slit and those that go through the right slit. In other words, according to classical particle physics the brightness at any point should be the sum of the brightness when the right slit is blocked and the brightness when the left slit is blocked. However, it is found that unblocking both slits makes some points on the screen brighter, and other points darker. This can only be explained by the alternately additive and subtractive interference of waves, not the exclusively additive nature of particles, so we know that light must have some particle-wave duality.[3] Any modification of the ...