ERIC Number: EJ789405
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
The Difficulties of Representing Continuous Extent in Infancy: Using Number Is Just Easier
Cordes, Sara; Brannon, Elizabeth M.
Child Development, v79 n2 p476-489 Mar-Apr 2008
This study investigates the ability of 6-month-old infants to attend to the continuous properties of a set of discrete entities. Infants were habituated to dot arrays that were constant in cumulative surface area yet varied in number for small (less than 4) or large (greater than 3) sets. Results revealed that infants detected a 4-fold (but not 3-fold) change in area, regardless of set size. These results are in marked contrast to demonstrations that infants of the same age successfully discriminate a 2- or 3-fold change in number, providing strong counterevidence to the claim that infants use solely nonnumerical, continuous extent variables when discriminating sets. These findings also shed light on the processes involved in tracking continuous variables in infants.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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