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    A computational and neuropsychological account of object-oriented behaviours in infancy

    Mareschal, Denis and Plunkett, K. and Harris, P. (1999) A computational and neuropsychological account of object-oriented behaviours in infancy. Developmental Science 2 (3), pp. 306-317. ISSN 1363-755x.

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    Infants under 7 months of age fail to reach behind an occluding screen to retrieve a desired toy even though they possess sufficient motor skills to do so. However, even by 3.5 months of age they show surprise if the solidity of the hidden toy is violated, suggesting that they know that the hidden toy still exists. We describe a connectionist model that learns to predict the position of objects and to initiate a response towards these objects. The model embodies the dual-route principle of object information processing characteristic of the cortex. One route develops a spatially invariant surface feature representation of the object whereas the other route develops a feature blind spatial–temporal representation of the object. The model provides an account of the developmental lag between infants’ knowledge of hidden objects and their ability to demonstrate that knowledge in an active retrieval task, in terms of the need to integrate information across multiple object representations using (associative) connectionist learning algorithms. Finally, the model predicts the presence of an early dissociation between infants’ ability to use surface features (e.g. colour) and spatial–temporal features (e.g. position) when reasoning about hidden objects. Evidence supporting this prediction has now been reported.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2017 09:42
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:34


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