Preschoolers rely on spatial cues to individuate objects Open Access

Krivoshik, Amy (Spring 2018)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/kw52j805z?locale=en
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Abstract

In the first four years of life, there is a profound shift in how children weight object cues. Infants can detect both spatial (e.g., distance) and featural (e.g., color and shape) cues, yet when these cues are presented simultaneously, they weight spatial cues more heavily than features (Ayzenberg, Nag & Lourenco, 2017). Interestingly, preschoolers show the reverse pattern, weighting objects’ features more than spatial properties. This study tested whether a shift from object individuation, the process of separating objects from one another, to object identification, the process of understanding what an object is, might account for this developmental change. Specifically, if spatial cues are weighted more than featural cues for object individuation, then preschoolers should weight spatial cues more than featural cues in an object individuation task. The results showed that in an object individuation task, 3- and 4-year- olds weighted spatial information more than featural information. This study sheds light on a possible mechanism for the developmental shift in object cue weighting from infancy to preschool, and furthers our understanding of how children learn to integrate different sources of information.

Table of Contents

Title page.................................................................1

Abstract....................................................................2

Introduction.............................................................3

Object Individuation.................................................5

Object Identification................................................6

Present Study...........................................................7

Method....................................................................8

Participants..............................................................8

Procedure and Tasks................................................9

Figure 1..................................................................13

Results...................................................................14

DataProcessing......................................................14

Main Results..........................................................14

Figure 2..................................................................16

Discussion..............................................................17

Appendix................................................................22

Pilot Study with Verbal Interference......................22

Pilot Study with Adult Participants.........................23

References..............................................................25

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