ERIC Number: EJ746208
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Infants' Use of Category Knowledge and Object Attributes when Segregating Objects at 8.5 Months of Age
Needham, Amy; Cantlon, Jessica F.; Ormsbee Holley, Susan M.
Cognitive Psychology, v53 n4 p345-360 Dec 2006
The current research investigates infants' perception of a novel object from a category that is familiar to young infants: key rings. We ask whether experiences obtained outside the lab would allow young infants to parse the visible portions of a partly occluded key ring display into one single unit, presumably as a result of having categorized it as a key ring. This categorization was marked by infants' perception of the keys and ring as a single unit that should move together, despite their attribute differences. We showed infants a novel key ring display in which the keys and ring moved together as one rigid unit (Move-together event) or the ring moved but the keys remained stationary throughout the event (Move-apart event). Our results showed that 8.5-month-old infants perceived the keys and ring as connected despite their attribute differences, and that their perception of object unity was eliminated as the distinctive attributes of the key ring were removed. When all of the distinctive attributes of the key ring were removed, the 8.5-month-old infants perceived the display as two separate units, which is how younger infants (7-month-old) perceived the key ring display with all its distinctive attributes unaltered. These results suggest that on the basis of extensive experience with an object category, infants come to identify novel members of that category and expect them to possess the attributes typical of that category.
Descriptors: Infants, Investigations, Visual Perception, Classification, Cognitive Ability, Concept Formation, Recall (Psychology), Dimensional Preference, Novelty (Stimulus Dimension), Spatial Ability, Psychological Studies, Infant Behavior
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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