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WIREs Cogn Sci
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Infant categorization

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Abstract In this article, we review the principal findings on infant categorization from the last 30 years. The review focuses on behaviorally based experiments with visual preference, habituation, object examining, sequential touching, and inductive generalization procedures. We propose that although this research has helped to elucidate the ‘what’ and ‘when’ of infant categorization, it has failed to clarify the mechanisms that underpin this behavior and the development of concepts. We outline a number of reasons for why the field has failed in this regard, most notably because of the context‐specific nature of infant categorization and a lack of ground rules in interpreting data. We conclude by suggesting that one remedy for this issue is for infant categorization researchers to adopt more of an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating imaging and computational methods into their current methodological arsenal. WIREs Cogn Sci 2010 1 894–905 This article is categorized under: Psychology > Development and Aging

Habituation and test stimuli used by Younger and Cohen.14 Infants at 10 months of age looked longer at the switched stimulus than the familiar stimulus, which indicated that they learned the correlation between the type of tail and the length of the neck of the schematic animals.

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Example of stimulus used by Rakison and Butterworth.51 Infants at 14 and 18 months of age categorized such stimuli on the basis of their parts (e.g., legs).

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