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Comprehension of Euclidean space in young children: the early emergence of understanding and its limits

Comprehension of Euclidean space in young children: the early emergence of understanding and its limits

Genetic Psychology Monographs 110(1st Half): 21-41

In two studies Ss (N = 114) aged 3-5 years of age were assessed as to their ability to reconstruct or recognize spatial displays depicting Euclidean geometric features. The Ss responded either with the standard display present or in its absence, a memory condition. Items differed as to whether the objects located in the plane required attention to either one axis, the horizontal or vertical, or to both. In Study I Ss constructed their matches with an open-ended assessment device, while in Study II, they selected the match from a field of four distractors. Results from both studies were convergent despite differences in assessment technique and specifics of data analysis, and indicated an effect for age and condition, and that children do less well when dealing with double-axis displays in the memory condition. In addition, it appears that males were less attentive to display orientation cues than were females. Results are discussed in terms of Piagetian theoretical formulations about children's spatial development, their sensitivity to Euclidean spatial features, and the lack of synchrony between perceptual abilities and memory.

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Accession: 005024253

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PMID: 6468925

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