The developmental origins of animal and artifact concepts

Kristin Shutts, Lori Markson and Elizabeth S. Spelke

in The Origins of Object Knowledge

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199216895
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191696039 | DOI:
The developmental origins of animal and artifact concepts

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Human infants have a core capacity for representing objects and their motions. The authors in this chapter discuss a new line of experiments on infants probing the infants' concepts of autonomously moving objects that are natural such as animals or artifacts such as vehicles. The authors consider these concepts in relation to two more general ones: the concept self-propelled object, which includes both animals and vehicles, and the concept object, which includes both self-propelled objects and inert objects such as plants, cups, etc. This chapter exemplifies a strategy for investigating the origins and early development of category-specific knowledge, modeled on strategies that have been used in recent years to investigate the development of many other aspects of object cognition that are treated in this book.

Keywords: objects; autonomously moving objects; self-propelled object; category-specific knowledge; inert objects; object cognition; infants

Chapter.  8737 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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