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ERIC Number: EJ1155497
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Shape Up: An Eye-Tracking Study of Preschoolers' Shape Name Processing and Spatial Development
Verdine, Brian N.; Bunger, Ann; Athanasopoulou, Angeliki; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy
Developmental Psychology, v53 n10 p1869-1880 Oct 2017
Learning the names of geometric shapes is at the intersection of early spatial, mathematical, and language skills, all important for school-readiness and predictors of later abilities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We investigated whether socioeconomic status (SES) influenced children's processing of shape names and whether differences in processing were predictive of later spatial skills. Three-year-olds (N = 79) with mothers of varying education levels participated in an eye-tracking task that required them to look at named shapes. Lower SES children took longer to fixate target shapes and spent less time looking at them than higher SES children. Gaze variables measured at age 3 were predictive of spatial skills measured at age 5 even though the spatial measures did not require shape-related vocabulary. Early efficiency in the processing of shape names may contribute to the development of a foundation for spatial learning in the preschool years.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS); National Science Foundation (NSF); Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test; Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability; Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1RC1HD063497001; SBE1041707; R305A140385