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The authors examine recent theoretical perspectives of the development of the animate-inanimate distinction in infancy. From these theoretical views emerge 7 characteristic properties, each related to physical or psychological causality, that distinguish animates from inanimates. The literature is reviewed for evidence of infants' ability to perceive and(More)
Two experiments involving object-manipulation tasks were performed to examine whether 1- to 2-year-olds form superordinate-like categories by attending to object parts. In Study 1, 14-, 18-, and 22-month-olds were tested with contrasts of animals, furniture, insects, and vehicles. Fourteen- and 18-month-olds behaved systematically toward categories with(More)
In addition to having communicative functions, verbal labels may play a role in shaping concepts. Two experiments assessed whether the presence of labels affected category formation. Subjects learned to categorize "aliens" as those to be approached or those to be avoided. After accuracy feedback on each response was provided, a nonsense label was either(More)
Three experiments with object-manipulation tasks examined the effect of object structure on 14-, 18-, and 22-month-olds' categorization. In Experiment 1, categorization of animals and vehicles was tested when object structure was normal and when it was violated by moving parts (legs or wheels) into a novel configuration. In Experiment 2, categorization of(More)
The associative learning account of how infants identify human motion rests on the assumption that this knowledge is derived from statistical regularities seen in the world. Yet, no catalog exists of what visual input infants receive of human motion, and of causal and self-propelled motion in particular. In this manuscript, we demonstrate that the frequency(More)
Four experiments utilizing the habituation procedure examined 10- to 18-month-olds' ability to detect and encode correlations among features in a motion event (N = 136). Infants were habituated to two events in which objects-with distinct parts and a distinct body-moved across a screen along a rectilinear or curvilinear motion path. Infants were then tested(More)
We present a domain-general framework called constrained attentional associative learning to provide a developmental account for how and when infants form concepts for animates and inanimates that encapsulate not only their surface appearance but also their movement characteristics. Six simulations with the same general-purpose architecture implement the(More)
Four experiments with the habituation procedure investigated 14-22-month-olds' ability to attend to correlations between static and dynamic features embedded in a category context. In Experiment 1, infants were habituated to four objects that exhibited invariant relations between moving features and motion trajectory. Results revealed that 14-month-olds did(More)
Because we are a cooperative species, understanding the goals and intentions of others is critical for human survival. In this fMRI study, participants viewed reaching behaviors in which one of four animated characters moved a hand towards one of two objects and either (a) picked up the object, (b) missed the object, or (c) changed his path halfway to lift(More)