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Cognition in infants and children > Spatial cognition > Flashcards

Flashcards in Spatial cognition Deck (19)
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1

What are the 3 ways of representing spatial info?

Egocentric spatial representations
Allocentric spatial representations
Landmark-based representations

2

What are egocentric spatial representations?

Encoding spatial info in relation to your body (problematic when you move)

3

What task demonstrates egocentric spatial representations?
How do younger infants perform in this task compared to older infants?
What does this tell us?

Y/T maze - an infant is placed at one arm of a maze (top left) and reaches a decision point where they must choose a direction to turn to find a teddy; over trials, the infant learns where the teddy is and can decide which direction to turn; then move the infant to another arm of the maze (top right) so they can see the whole maze; upon reaching the decision point, younger infants (6-11mo) make a systematic error by doing what they did before and turning right (wrong direction), older infants (16mo) pass (Acredolo, 1978)
Children can use egocentric spatial representations at young ages

4

What are landmark-based spatial representations?

Encoding spatial info in relation to landmarks (this works well as long as landmarks don't move)

5

What task demonstrates landmark-based spatial representations?
How do younger children perform in this task compared to older children?
What does this tell us?

Sandpit task - sandpit with 2 landmarks; an infant starts at one point and sees a target hidden in the sandpit; then move child to a different point, from here they must find the target; 1yo can use relation to 1 landmark to find target, by 5yo can use relation to 2+ landmarks to find target (Huttenlocher et al., 1994)
Children can use landmark-based spatial representations even at young ages but these are limited

6

What are allocentric spatial representations?

Encoding spatial info in terms of abstract/geometric relations (e.g. points of a compass)

7

What task demonstrates allocentric spatial representations?
How do young children and rats perform in this task?
What does this tell us?

Re-orientation task - a target is hidden in one location in a rectangular space, which is then rotated so infants can't use egocentric representations and has no landmarks; the location of the target and the diagonally opposite location are symmetrical when rotated 180°
Rats (Cheng, 1986) and 21mo (Hermer and Spelke, 1996) search in both locations to find the target
Infants can use allocentric spatial representations, though these are limited

8

When a landmark is included in the re-orientation task, how do rats and young children perform compared to adults and older children?
What does this tell us?

Older children and adults combine the landmark-based info and allocentric info so search in only target location Rats (Cheng, 1986) and 21mo (Hermer and Spelke, 1996) still search in both target location and diagonally opposite location
Rats and young children can perceive and use landmark-based representations but can't combine landmark-based info and allocentric info

9

How do we know that language allows adults to combine different spatial representations (Hermer-Vasquez et al., 2000)?

Performing a verbal interference/verbal shadowing task (spoke along with audiotaped rhythm) and re-orientation task impaired adults' ability to combine landmark-based info and allocentric info
Performing a non-verbal inteference/rhythm shadowing task (clapping along with audiotaped rhythm) and re-orientation task didn't impair adults' ability to combine landmark-based info and allocentric info

10

Is language necessary for combining different spatial representations?

No - goldfish (non-verbal animals) can integrate landmark-based and allocentric info, children can combine cues when the room is larger, over repeated trials, and when given specific instructions
Language is simply an efficient means of combining spatial representations

11

Flexibility in choosing which spatial info to use depends on what (Ratliff and Newcombe, 2008)?

Salience of different spatial representations

12

What are spatial frames of reference?

Encode spatial relations between two objects

13

What is an intrinsic spatial frame of reference?

Uses the location of figure object in relation to inherent properties of a ground object

14

What is a relative spatial frame of reference?
Speakers of which 3 languages use this primarily?

Uses the relation between a figure object and ground object in terms of a viewpoint
English, Dutch and Japanese native speakers primarily use this

15

What is an absolute spatial frame of reference?
Speakers of which 3 languages use this primarily?

Uses fixed cardinal directions (e.g. south)
Tzeltal, Arandic and Longgu native speakers primarily use this

16

What are rotation problems?
What does this tell us about which languages use which spatial frames of reference (Levinson, 1996)?

Study objects on table then reconstruct the objects positions after the table is rotated 180°
Dutch speakers preferred relative strategy, Tzeltal speakers preferred absolute strategy (Levinson, 1996)

17

Evaluate rotation tasks
If task demands and instructions are made clearer...

Rotation tasks are ambiguous and different frames of reference are equally plausible solutions
If task demands and instructions are made clearer, differences in spatial frames of reference may disappear

18

What did Li et al. (2011) find when Tzeltal speakers completed unambiguous rotation tasks?

Tzeltal speakers could use either a relative or absolute frame of reference depending on task requirements

19

What did Li and Abarbanell (2016) find when Tzeltal-speaking children and English-speaking children completed unambiguous rotation tasks?

English-speaking children could easily and flexibly switch from a relative to an absolute frame of reference
Tzeltal-speaking children struggled to switch from an absolute to a relative frame of reference but instructions for the latter were in Spanish and many children couldn't understand them (inflexibility with switching may have been due to limited understanding of verbal instructions - when given different instructions that they could understand, Tzeltal-speaking children could easily and flexibly switch to relative frame of reference )