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ERIC Number: EJ934316
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Priming Infants to Use Pattern Information in an Object Individuation Task: The Role of Comparison
Wilcox, Teresa; Smith, Tracy; Woods, Rebecca
Developmental Psychology, v47 n3 p886-897 May 2011
There is evidence that 4.5-month-olds do not always use surface pattern to individuate objects but that they can be primed to attend to pattern differences through select experiences. For example, if infants are first shown events in which the pattern of an object predicts its function (dotted containers pound and striped containers pour), they will attend to pattern differences in a subsequent individuation task. However, 4.5-month-olds must see multiple exemplars of the pound and pour events and view the dotted and striped containers together during the events. These results suggest that it is the formation of event categories, in which pattern is linked to object function, that supports pattern priming and that direct comparison of the exemplars facilitates the extraction of event categories. The present research investigated conditions that support the comparison process in 4.5-month-olds. The results revealed that the comparison process was initiated only when the dotted and striped containers were seen directly adjacent to each other; if the containers sat far apart, so that infants had to shift their gaze to compare them, event categories were not extracted. In addition, it was comparison of the two patterned containers, and not comparison of the two function events, that was critical to the formation of event categories. These results join a growing body of research indicating the importance of comparison to category formation in infants and reveal the impact of categorization and comparison processes on object individuation in infancy. (Contains 6 figures and 3 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A