Infant Perception and Cognition Recent Advances, Emerging Theories, and Future Directions

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-10-14
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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The cognitive revolution in the 1950s and 1960s led researchers to view the human mind--like a computer--as an information-processing system that encodes, represents, and stores information and is constrained by limits on hardware (the brain) and software (learning strategies and rules). The emergence of new behavioral, computational, and neuroscience methodologies, has deeply expanded psychologists' understanding of the workings of the infant, child, and adult mind. One result is that research has focused on mechanisms of change, over developmental time, in the information-processing mind. In this book, Lisa Oakes, Cara Cashon, Marianella Casasola, and David Rakison bring together the recent findings and theories about the origins and early development of the information-processing mind, and provide insight into the future directions in the study of infant perception and cognition. The contributors represent a wide-range of research areas in the study of infant perception and cognition, who emphasize the use of diverse methodological techniques to address key questions about development. Their chapters demonstrate how the combination of historical perspectives on the information-processing approach to cognition and recent advances in behavioral, computational, and neuroscience approaches to cognition has contributed to our understanding of how abilities ranging from visual attention to face processing to object categorization have developed during infancy. Across this broad range of topics, it is clear that much of our modern understanding of infant perceptual and cognitive development emerges from the foundation of classic information-processing models of development, such as that of Leslie B. Cohen (1991). The recent advances illustrated in this book show how researchers have built on this foundation to uncover the mechanisms that drive developmental change.

Author Biography

Lisa Oakes is Professor of Psychology and Faculty Researcher at the Center for Mind and Brain, University of California at Davis. She received her doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin. She was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at The University of Iowa before joining the faculty at the University of California at Davis. Her work examines many aspects of infant cognition, including categorization, visual short-term memory, and visual perception.
Cara H. Cashon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Louisville. She received her doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on the developmental changes in infant perception and cognition, particularly face processing. In her most recent work she has focused on non-linear changes in face processing and their relation to the development of motor skills.

Marianella Casasola is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University, where she has been teaching since earning her doctorate in Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research examines aspects of infant spatial cognition, young children's acquisition of spatial language, and the interplay between language and cognition during the first two years of development.

David H. Rakison is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his doctorate at the University of Sussex and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin. His research is in the area of infant perception and cognition with a focus on categorization, induction, the development of the animate-inanimate distinction, and mechanisms of cognitive change.

Table of Contents

Contributorsp. xv
Varieties of Attention in Infancyp. 3
Infant Attention, Arousal, and the Brainp. 27
A Constructivist View of Object Perception in Infancyp. 51
Development of Specialized Face Perception in Infants: An Information-Processing Perspectivep. 69
The Role of Perceptual Processes in Infant Addition/Subtraction Experimentsp. 85
Perceptual Constraints on Implicit Memory for Visual Features: Statistical Learning in Human Infantsp. 111
Computational Modeling of Infant Concept Learning: The Developmental Shift from Features to Correlationsp. 125
Information-Processing Approaches to Infants' Developing Representation of Dynamic Featuresp. 153
Infant Spatial Categorization from an Information Processing Approachp. 179
The Role of Auditory Stimuli in Infant Categorizationp. 203
The Development of Categorization and Facial Knowledge: Implications for the Study of Autismp. 223
Emerging Competence with Symbolic Artifacts: Implications for the Study of Categorization and Concept Developmentp. 261
Author Indexp. 285
Subject Indexp. 293
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