Perspectives on Spatial Development

Janellen Huttenlocher, Stella F. Lourenco and Marina Vasilyeva

in The Spatial Foundations of Language and Cognition

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199553242
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191720444 | DOI:

Series: Explorations in Language and Space

 Perspectives on Spatial Development

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The ability to locate objects in the environment is adaptively important for mobile organisms. Research on location coding reveals that even toddlers have considerable spatial skill. Important information has been obtained using a ‘disorientation’ task in which children watch a target object being hidden and are then blindfolded and rotated so they cannot track their changing relation to the target. Even toddlers under 2 years search successfully for the hidden object, showing that they can use geometric features of the spatial environment to determine object location. It has been claimed that these results show innate geometric abilities, but there is evidence that these early spatial skills are not simply geometric. The abilities toddlers exhibit involve the ability to use scalar cues to determine object location.

Keywords: spatial coding; disorientation; geometric cues; object location

Chapter.  6164 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Semantics

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