David C. Witherington

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An important issue for understanding early cognition is why very young children's real-world representations do not get confused by pretense events. One possible source of information for children is the pretender's behaviors. Pretender behaviors may vary systematically across real and pretend scenarios, perhaps signaling to toddlers to interpret certain(More)
Pretend play appears to be important to a theory of mind, but exactly how or why has been controversial. One widely entertained hypothesis about why pretense is important to understanding minds is termed the Metarepresentational Model. According to this model, children knowingly consider and manipulate mental representations during pretense. Children(More)
The onset of locomotion heralds one of the major life transitions in early development and involves a pervasive set of changes in perception, spatial cognition, and social and emotional development. Through a synthesis of published and hitherto unpublished findings, gathered from a number of converging research designs and methods, this article provides a(More)
The possible role of motor development on psychological function is once again a topic of great theoretical and practical importance. The revival of this issue has stemmed from a different approach to the topic, away from Gesell's interest in the long-term prediction of psychological functions from early motoric assessments, toward an attempt to understand(More)
Two studies investigated the role of locomotor experience on visual proprioception in 8-month-old infants. Visual proprioception refers to the sense of self-motion induced in a static person by patterns of optic flow. A moving room apparatus permitted displacement of an entire enclosure (except for the floor) or the side walls and ceiling. In Study 1,(More)
The commentators on our target article have raised some excellent points relative to our article, and we are gratified to see the generally positive tone of the replies. All of the commentators have offered overall support for our framework, although there are differences of opinion with us on some issues. Because the commentaries raised questions in(More)
This commentary endorses J. Kagan's (2008) conclusion that many of the most dramatic findings on early perceptual, cognitive, and social competencies are ambiguous. It supports his call for converging research operations to disambiguate findings from single paradigms and single response indices. The commentary also argues that early competencies must be(More)
Human infants with little or no crawling experience surprisingly show no wariness of heights, but such wariness becomes exceptionally strong over the life span. Neither depth perception nor falling experiences explain this extraordinary developmental shift; however, something about locomotor experience does. The crucial component of locomotor experience in(More)
Human infants show a peak in postural compensation to optic flow at approximately nine months of age. The current experiment tested whether the magnitude of visual-postural coupling in 9-month-olds increases when terrestrial optic flow is added to a moving room. A secondary objective was to explore whether locomotor experience plays any role in enhancing(More)
In recent years, both functionalist and dynamic systems approaches have assumed increasing prominence in the study of emotion and its development, but the similarities and differences between these perspectives remain largely unexplored and open to more systematic examination. In this article, the authors argue that both approaches share a systems view of(More)