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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)
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)
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)
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)
Previous research has established that infants are unable to perceive causality until 6¼ months of age. The current experiments examined whether infants' ability to engage in causal action could facilitate causal perception prior to this age. In Experiment 1, 4½-month-olds were randomly assigned to engage in causal action experience via Velcro sticky(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)
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)
Previous studies with various non-human animals have revealed that they possess an evolved predator recognition mechanism that specifies the appearance of recurring threats. We used the preferential looking and habituation paradigms in three experiments to investigate whether 5-month-old human infants have a perceptual template for spiders that generalizes(More)
In 3 experiments, the author investigated 16- to 20-month-old infants' attention to dynamic and static parts in learning about self-propelled objects. In Experiment 1, infants were habituated to simple noncausal events in which a geometric figure with a single moving part started to move without physical contact from an identical geometric figure that(More)