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ERIC Number: EJ812313
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 42
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0285
Color-Function Categories that Prime Infants to Use Color Information in an Object Individuation Task
Wilcox, Teresa; Woods, Rebecca; Chapa, Catherine
Cognitive Psychology, v57 n3 p220-261 Nov 2008
There is evidence for developmental hierarchies in the type of information to which infants attend when reasoning about objects. Investigators have questioned the origin of these hierarchies and how infants come to identify new sources of information when reasoning about objects. The goal of the present experiments was to shed light on this debate by identifying conditions under which infants' sensitivity to color information, which is slow to emerge, could be enhanced in an object individuation task. The outcome of Experiment 1 confirmed and extended previous reports that 9.5-month-olds can be primed, through exposure to events in which the color of an object predicts its function, to attend to color differences in a subsequent individuation task. The outcomes of Experiments 2-4 revealed age-related changes in the nature of the representations that support color priming. This is exemplified by three main findings. First, the representations that are formed during the color-function events are relatively specific. That is, infants are primed to use the color difference seen in the color-function events to individuate objects in the test events, but not other color differences. Second, 9.5-month-olds can be led to form more abstract event representations, and then generalize to other colors in the test events if they are shown multiple pairs of colors in the color-function events. Third, slightly younger 9-month-olds also can be led to form more inclusive categories with multiple color pairs, but only when they are allowed to directly compare the exemplars in each color pair during the present events. These results shed light on the development of categorization abilities, cognitive mechanisms that support color-function priming, and the kinds of experiences that can increase infants' sensitivity to color information. (Contains 8 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A