The relationship between the perception of axes of symmetry and spatial memory during early childhood

Margaret R. Ortmann, Anne R. Schutte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Early in development, there is a transition in spatial working memory (SWM). When remembering a location in a homogeneous space (e.g., in a sandbox), young children are biased toward the midline symmetry axis of the space. Over development, a transition occurs that leads to older children being biased away from midline. The dynamic field theory (DFT) explains this transition in biases as being caused by a change in the precision of neural interaction in SWM and improvements in the perception of midline. According to the DFT, young children perceive midline, but there is a quantitative improvement in the perception of midline over development. In the experiment reported here, children and adults needed to determine on which half of a large monitor a target was located. In support of the DFT, even the youngest children performed above chance at most locations, but performance also improved gradually with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-376
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume107
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • Development
  • Dynamic systems
  • Perception
  • Spatial cognition
  • Spatial memory
  • Symmetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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