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Post Info TOPIC: Posts for Perceptual and Conceptual Development


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Posts for Perceptual and Conceptual Development
 


You know what to do.

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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.

 

 

Mandler (2007):

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



-- Edited by 710core at 17:15, 2008-01-28

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Tuesday:
If development of stable object representations is based on learning, what sorts of visual experiences would it be dependent on? Would seeing objects moving on a steady trajectory coming out on the other side of an occluder be sufficient, or would additional experiences be needed? Would a problem with vision or eye tracking slow down cognitive development?

Thursday:
If categorization of very young children is based on the movement properties of objects, how then would they tend to treat non-moving living things, such as flowers or other plants? Is there evidence that they would tend to group them with inanimate objects rather than animals?

-Chris

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Christopher Paynter


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For those study general conceptual development (especially defining features approaches), most experiments base on the categorizations which are widely accepted in the adult's world. But children may use a different criterion. They may not use the criterion of animal vs. furnitures, but whether they like it or not. This can happen to adult too. I may categorize some unfamiliar physical terms in my way.

In other word, it is possible that children may have the same capability of categorization, but just don't know what they are expected to do in the experiment. And development is just the increase of memory and knowledge? Is there some experiment to argue for or against this kind of explanation?

Jingyuan


-- Edited by 710core at 01:09, 2008-01-30

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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?

Valentinos Zachariou

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the beginning of ch 8 begins with a 5-yr-old child whos concept of lunch is strict and inflexible -- yet, in some domains, 5-yr-old children's concepts do evidence flexible understanding (e.g. 'robber' described later) -- if children do possess the ability for rich conceptual understanding in some domains, i wonder if it is possible to teach children to transfer their understanding of a familiar domain to another unfamiliar one, and therefore increase their conceptual representation of the unfamiliar by comparing with the familiar. certainly this would be applicable to education and instruction. have any studies tried this?

also, in the mandler's article under inductive generalization, she describes a series of studies which she claims rule out a perceptual explanation of infants' generalizations -- I do not see how these studies rule out a perceptual account -- most items that share a superordinate category are in fact perceptually similar, mandler found that only when items were irregular w/in the superordinate did infants not generalize the behavior (also consistent w/a perceptual explanation). It is difficult to find superordinates that are familiar to infants yet perceptually dissimilar to other superordinates, but I think this is the kind of stimuli mandler would have to find in order to make her claim of infant's generalizing on the basis of conceptual similarity.

-bryan


-- Edited by 710core at 10:57, 2008-01-30

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I have several general questions based on our discussion yesterday:

We have discussed so far several domain-specific studies which the domain-general theorists are skeptical of.  In many of them, the result was due to habituating the infants in one direction and then claiming an innate conceptual understanding. However, if you habituate the infants in the opposite direction, you will find the opposite result.   Have these domain-specific researchers begun to modify all of their studies to habituate infants in both directions before making conclusions?

Also, do the domain-specific theorists pick on the domain-general theorists too? What are their common arguments?


Link between action and perception:
    It may be that by gaining experience in the world through action, infants are able to form new schemas for understanding the world.  These schemas enable them to more efficiently and successfully process and encode their sensory perceptions.  Then, they continue to learn through both action and perception.
    It's like the study that Seigler talked about where people listened to an audio tape from a baseball game.  People who know the game encoded way more information about the game itself, whereas those who don't understand baseball remembered things unrelated to the game, like how many vendors were walking around.   You need a basic understanding in order to parse and encode information.  Only through action can infants form a basic understanding or concept of things like space, movement, causality, and goal-directed actions.


Sarah

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On the link between action and perception:
Jana Iverson at Pitt conducts research on the relationship between movement and language learning. She and her colleagues have found that movement is a necessary component to language acquisition. During the babbling stage there is much flailing of the arms and bouncing. Later in development, when a child is near to producing their first two word sentence they can be observed first to use gesture in the place of one of the words. For example, the progression might be:
Pre-Transition: "Bop"
Transition: *point* "Bop"
Post-Transition: "Want Bop"

Clearly, movement is incorporated in language development, but how important is it? Interestingly, in a separate study Iverson found that children who were likely to be autistic (ie- had autistic siblings but were too early to themselves be diagnosed) did not display as much of movement during the babbling stage as normal children, and also experienced language development delays. This is a little bit of a chicken-egg problem, as we do not know if the attenuated movement is due to the developmental disorder autism or to the lack of movement, or some interaction between them. It is also possible that the mothers were somehow changed in their parenting behavior as a result of having an older autistic child, and this somehow influences the progression of language development in the younger child.

In any case, I have since wondered about the relationship between gesture and language development and just how important it is. For example, if a parent encouraged movement during babbling, would this help language acquisition? Conversely, if a parent discouraged movement (probably unknowingly) would this cause delays or make it more difficult?

How far back in development is the gesture-vocalization link important to later language development? For example, when babies cry and flail around, many parents swaddle their child, which means to wrap them tightly in a blanket. This minimizes movement and soothes the baby with the result that they stop crying. But, is it possible that this crying and flailing is actually and important developmental activity and inhibiting it may be somewhat harmful?

-Erika

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Everything we view is occluded every few seconds when we blink. Do very young infants realize that they are viewing the same object before and after a blink?

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?

-Matt

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First, a pretty small question from Ch. 8: in the categorization section, "basic" categories are defined as those in which cue validity is high; however, the fact that so-called child-basic categories do not overlap with adult basic categories might seem to contradict that (because validity is constant over time!). Doesn't it make more sense, given the developmental findings described in the next paragraphs, to use attention as well in defining what makes a "basic" category?


Second, this is just a more general question / observation: it seems like many of the areas of conceptual development we've discussed so far, like number, categorization, and space, can be taught / trained to a level that would be unexpected at the child's developmental stage. However, it seems like this training effect, in addition to just providing more experience with the world, is also reducing the cognitive load on the child: does it make sense to make that distinction (experience vs. reduced cognitive load)? Are there tasks in which the two types of performance enhancers could be teased apart? What different predictions would those two mechanisms of change over time make?

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If infants that are born having cataracts who have experienced years of blindness are given corrective surgery, how do they respond to the onset of sight? You would assume that their brain has been rewired in order to compensate for the deficit. With the onset of sight, are these visual areas reclaimed? This question can also be extended to babies who get hearing aids.

The data showing the infants eyetracking behavior of triangles at 1 and 2 months support the gestalt approach that as we grow through infancy, we follow the principle that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. At the age of 2, are other gestalt principles being acquired such as law of closure, similiarity, proximity, etc?

-Jaime

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It seems like that "motion" or "action" plays a huge role in children's perception (more interesting than still objects) and conception (establishing animate vs. inanimate categories). So in the textbook (p. 281), infants do not imitate movements made by inanimate objects. Also Mandler's article noted that children (9- and 11-month olds) would refuse to imitate incorrect events - car sleeping in the bed, which shows children can discriminate between animals vs. objects. So if infants are pretty good at categorizing what is living and what is object. However, children put their dolls to sleep with them and give food to them and etc. Does this mean children do not realize dolls are inanimate objects because of the resemblance of dolls and living things to overcome the fact that dolls are inaminate (they cannot make any self-movement)? 

-Sung-joo

-- Edited by 710core at 23:50, 2008-01-30

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Mandlers claimed (also discussed in the Ch 8) that infants formulate conceptual categorization not solely based on perceptual similarities. Even before the age of one, some evidence suggests infants have the knowledge of categories based on causal and functional attributes. This view, however, interferes with the concept of the cue validity for some level. It makes sense that the type of cue change along with the development from simple/concrete to the complex/abstract. But, how can infants select the cue that they can rely on to categorize objects and other things if the process does not simply probabilistic? Does the theory-based representations account compensate this issue?

In the argument of thematic and taxonomic categorization, as the possible misinterpretation, the childrens interest over the true ability of conceptual representation was suggested. In Ch 8, it says this .depends on the context in which the task is presented or on the nature of the task instructions. For the preverbal age children, how can we control and examine the conceptual representation by excluding the childrens tendency of responding based on their interest?

Even in adults, perceiving something does not always mean that they have the conceptual understanding (knowledge). Haith introduced the example of the motion of the apple and Newtons formula. Can we claim that infants seeing as odd is the same phenomenon as seen in the example of the Newtons case in adults?

--Akiko

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