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Huang, Yi Ting; Spelke, Elizabeth; Snedeker, Jesse – Language Learning and Development, 2013
Number words are generally used to refer to the exact cardinal value of a set, but cognitive scientists disagree about their meanings. Although most psychological analyses presuppose that numbers have exact semantics ("two" means exactly two), many linguistic accounts propose that numbers have lower-bounded semantics (at least two), and…
Descriptors: Numbers, Semantics, Adults, Young Children
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McCrink, Koleen; Spelke, Elizabeth S. – Cognition, 2010
A dedicated, non-symbolic, system yielding imprecise representations of large quantities (approximate number system, or ANS) has been shown to support arithmetic calculations of addition and subtraction. In the present study, 5-7-year-old children without formal schooling in multiplication and division were given a task requiring a scalar…
Descriptors: Number Systems, Arithmetic, Multiplication, Young Children
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Beier, Jonathan S.; Spelke, Elizabeth S. – Child Development, 2012
Young infants are sensitive to self-directed social actions, but do they appreciate the intentional, target-directed nature of such behaviors? The authors addressed this question by investigating infants' understanding of social gaze in third-party interactions (N = 104). Ten-month-old infants discriminated between 2 people in mutual versus…
Descriptors: Infants, Social Behavior, Infant Behavior, Interpersonal Relationship
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Kinzler, Katherine D.; Spelke, Elizabeth S. – Cognition, 2011
Do infants develop meaningful social preferences among novel individuals based on their social group membership? If so, do these social preferences depend on familiarity on any dimension, or on a more specific focus on particular kinds of categorical information? The present experiments use methods that have previously demonstrated infants' social…
Descriptors: Familiarity, Infants, Toys, Race
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Hyde, Daniel C.; Spelke, Elizabeth S. – Developmental Science, 2011
Behavioral research suggests that two cognitive systems are at the foundations of numerical thinking: one for representing 1-3 objects in parallel and one for representing and comparing large, approximate numerical magnitudes. We tested for dissociable neural signatures of these systems in preverbal infants by recording event-related potentials…
Descriptors: Numbers, Infants, Brain, Number Concepts
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Spaepen, Elizabet; Spelke, Elizabeth – Cognitive Psychology, 2007
Infants as young as 5 months of age view familiar actions such as reaching as goal-directed (Woodward, 1998), but how do they construe the goal of an actor's reach? Six experiments investigated whether 12-month-old infants represent reaching actions as directed to a particular individual object, to a narrowly defined object category (e.g., an…
Descriptors: Infants, Cognitive Development, Perception, Infant Behavior
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Shutts, Kristin; Pemberton Roben, Caroline K.; Spelke, Elizabeth S. – Journal of Cognition and Development, 2013
A series of studies investigated White U.S. 3- and 4-year-old children's use of gender and race information to reason about their own and others’ relationships and attributes. Three-year-old children used gender- but not race-based similarity between themselves and others to decide with whom they wanted to be friends, as well as to determine which…
Descriptors: Whites, Young Children, Gender Differences, Racial Differences
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Winkler-Rhoades, Nathan; Carey, Susan C.; Spelke, Elizabeth S. – Developmental Science, 2013
In two experiments, 2.5-year-old children spontaneously used geometric information from 2D maps to locate objects in a 3D surface layout, without instruction or feedback. Children related maps to their corresponding layouts even though the maps differed from the layouts in size, mobility, orientation, dimensionality, and perspective, and even when…
Descriptors: Young Children, Toddlers, Spatial Ability, Memory
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McCrink, Koleen; Spelke, Elizabeth S.; Dehaene, Stanislas; Pica, Pierre – Developmental Science, 2013
Much research supports the existence of an Approximate Number System (ANS) that is recruited by infants, children, adults, and non-human animals to generate coarse, non-symbolic representations of number. This system supports simple arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, and ordering of amounts. The current study tests whether an…
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Number Systems, Arithmetic, American Indians
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Kinzler, Katherine D.; Dupoux, Emmanuel; Spelke, Elizabeth S. – Journal of Cognition and Development, 2012
Infants learn from adults readily and cooperate with them spontaneously, but how do they select culturally appropriate teachers and collaborators? Building on evidence that children demonstrate social preferences for speakers of their native language, Experiment 1 presented 10-month-old infants with videotaped events in which a native and a…
Descriptors: Evidence, Infants, Native Speakers, English (Second Language)
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Lee, Sang Ah; Sovrano, Valeria A.; Spelke, Elizabeth S. – Cognition, 2012
Geometry is one of the highest achievements of our species, but its foundations are obscure. Consistent with longstanding suggestions that geometrical knowledge is rooted in processes guiding navigation, the present study examines potential sources of geometrical knowledge in the navigation processes by which young children establish their sense…
Descriptors: Young Children, Geometric Concepts, Geometry, Spatial Ability
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Kinzler, Katherine D.; Shutts, Kristin; Spelke, Elizabeth S. – Language Learning and Development, 2012
Monolingual English-speaking children in the United States express social preferences for speakers of their native language with a native accent. Here we explore the nature of children's language-based social preferences through research with children in South Africa, a multilingual nation. Like children in the United States, Xhosa South African…
Descriptors: Linguistics, English (Second Language), Foreign Countries, Speech Communication
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Hyde, Daniel C.; Spelke, Elizabeth S. – Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 2009
Behavioral and brain imaging research indicates that human infants, humans adults, and many nonhuman animals represent large nonsymbolic numbers approximately, discriminating between sets with a ratio limit on accuracy. Some behavioral evidence, especially with human infants, suggests that these representations differ from representations of small…
Descriptors: Numbers, Adults, Brain, Cognitive Processes
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de Hevia, Maria Dolores; Spelke, Elizabeth S. – Cognition, 2009
Mature representations of space and number are connected to one another in ways suggestive of a "mental number line", but this mapping could either be a cultural construction or a reflection of a more fundamental link between the domains of number and geometry. Using a manual bisection paradigm, we tested for number line representations in adults,…
Descriptors: Preschool Children, Number Concepts, Cognitive Processes, Mathematical Models
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Shusterman, Anna; Ah Lee, Sang; Spelke, Elizabeth S. – Cognition, 2011
Language has been linked to spatial representation and behavior in humans, but the nature of this effect is debated. Here, we test whether simple verbal expressions improve 4-year-old children's performance in a disoriented search task in a small rectangular room with a single red landmark wall. Disoriented children's landmark-guided search for a…
Descriptors: Preschool Children, Navigation, Verbal Communication, Spatial Ability
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