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    General magnitude representation in human infants

    Lourenco, S.F. and Longo, Matthew R. (2010) General magnitude representation in human infants. Psychological Science 21 (6), pp. 873-881. ISSN 0956-7976.

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    Behavioral demonstrations of reciprocal interactions among the dimensions of space, number, and time, along with evidence of shared neural mechanisms in posterior parietal cortex, are consistent with a common representational code for general magnitude information. Although much recent speculation has concerned the developmental origins of a system of general magnitude representation, direct evidence in preverbal infants is lacking. Here we show that 9-month-olds transfer associative learning across magnitude dimensions. For example, if shown that larger objects were black and had stripes and that smaller objects were white and had dots, infants expected the same color-pattern mapping to hold for numerosity (i.e., greater numerosity: black with stripes; smaller numerosity: white with dots) and duration (i.e., longer-lasting objects: black with stripes; shorter-lasting objects: white with dots). Cross-dimensional transfer occurred bidirectionally for all combinations of size, numerosity, and duration. These results provide support for the existence of an early-developing and prelinguistic general magnitude system, whereby representations of magnitude information are (at least partially) abstracted from the specific dimensions.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): magnitude representation, space, number, and time, infants
    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: Matthew Longo
    Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2012 10:52
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:59


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