Infants' reasoning about physical entities: Insights from their tracking of objects and collections
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this project was to investigate 8-month-old infants' representation and tracking of objects in occlusion events. Recent research has shown that young infants are able to reason about various aspects of physical objects' behavior. This project further explores this ability and delineates some limits to it. Specifically, the first set of studies (1A-1F) investigated whether infants' apply spatiotemporal continuity to collections of objects as they do to single objects. Because to adults a collection can be viewed as multiple objects as well as a non-object individual, infants' tracking of a collection may thus inform us not only about their representation of objects but also about their representation of non-object entities. The second set of studies (2A and 2B) focused on infants' detection of spatiotemporal discontinuity in object behavior in different situations: The disappearance versus appearance situation. These two sets of studies revealed two limitations in infants' application of spatiotemporal continuity: While 8-month-old infants are able to detect the discontinuous disappearance of single objects, they (a) do not readily detect the discontinuous disappearance of a collection but succeed only in certain circumstances, and (b) do not detect the discontinuous appearance of single objects. These limitations have important implications for infants' knowledge of and tracking systems for objects. Finally, some general issues arising from the current project are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College