Questions from Johnson et al. (2003):
1.The authors demonstrate that after only 4 trials training trials, 4-month infants perform as well as 6-month infants on the occlusion trials.Does this performance enhancement persevere or is it lost shortly after the experiment?Given that I would expect infants probably see many examples of occlusion trials each day (e.g., the cat running behind the couch), knowing whether knowledge of occlusion was lost shortly after the experiment would help dissociate between a) whether infants are able to learn about occlusion but dont have sufficiently developed memory systems to successfully store that knowledge, or b) whether the simplicity of the training stimulus was simply more salient/rich/statistically pure which led to greatly facilitated learning.
2.When children are trained to perform at levels above their age they often fail to generalize to similar tasks, as if they had simply learned to respond to the surface structure as opposed to the deep structure of the problem in question.In the eyetracking study, this was not the case.Why?
3.Why dont infants learn the necessary causal contingencies about occlusion within the 8 trials of the baseline task?Why are the training trials so helpful in teaching children about occlusion?I cant see it being a question of temporal attention, as infants could easily be distracted from the occlusion task regardless of whether they saw training trials or not.Why then do they perform so differently after 4 trials?
Questions related to Spelke & Kinzler (2007):
1.The idea of a few broad-reaching core systems as opposed to numerous domain-specific brain regions is very appealing, but both types of explanations (in my mind) have trouble explaining how particular innate systems emerged via evolution.How can numerosity and math be stored genetically or learned via evolution.
1.Im not sure that I agree with Mandlers claim that infants showing correct categorization of bathroom vs. kitchen objects or vehicles vs. animals demonstrates that children are categorizing based on conceptual similarity.Why cant these categorizations be based strictly on temporal similarity?Blair
I have a question for memory development. I always seem to find myself asking this question whenever childrens eyewitness testimony is being mentioned. Children sort of perceive adults as a source of correct information. Sort of like what we might consider a calculator to be when we are solving calculations. If an adult figure implies something by asking misleading questions it puts the information the young child might have in memory in conflict with what should be otherwise correct since it comes from an adult. How can we tease apart the fact that the children may have less encoding, storage and retrieval capabilities with simply just using the strategy of adults are almost always right thus since they imply something it should be right, irrelevant with what might or might not be in memory. Are there any experiments where a cartoon character or another child of similar age is asking the misleading questions just to tease out the adult figure?
Imagine a task were an infant is looking at some computer generated stimuli. As the infant blinks, the stimuli changes. Would the infant be suprised? Does this suggest that, from birth, infants have some concept of object permanence, and that they represent occluded objects?