Origins of Cognitive Skills: The Eighteenth Annual Carnegie Symposium on Cognition

Origins of Cognitive Skills: The Eighteenth Annual Carnegie Symposium on Cognition

Origins of Cognitive Skills: The Eighteenth Annual Carnegie Symposium on Cognition

Origins of Cognitive Skills: The Eighteenth Annual Carnegie Symposium on Cognition

Excerpt

How does the infant develop into a child? Despite accumulating research on both infant cognition and cognitive development in childhood, the course of development linking the two is not well understood. The chapters in this volume represent an initial effort to integrate research with infants and young children into a more coherent picture of early cognitive development.

The volume is based on the proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Carnegie Symposium on Cognition, which was held in Pittsburgh in May, 1983. The book, like the symposium, is divided into three parts, each addressing a different area of early cognitive development. A final commentary then raises some general issues that span all the papers.

The three topics around which the book is structured are spatial development, number development, and the development of categorisation. These topics were chosen because they represent areas that are currently receiving active study both with infants and with young children. Each section of the book spans these age groups, presenting both infancy research and research on later cognitive development, often in the same chapters. A commentary at the end of each section brings together the different lines of research discussed in the preceding chapters.

The section on spatial development includes chapters by Lockman and Pick, Sophian, Deloache, and Huttenlocher and Newcombe. They consider abilities ranging from the young infant's perception of how far away an object is to the elementary school child's (still limited) ability to infer how an array of objects would look from a different perspective. In between, we see a whole progression of skills for getting from one place to another and for finding objects that have been moved from one place to another. In his commen-

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