Fitting Objects Into Holes: On the Development of Spatial Cognition Skills

Children’s ability to manipulate objects is the end-point of several important developments. To imagine objects in different positions greatly improves children’s action capabilities. They can relate objects to each other successfully, and plan actions involving more than one object. We know that one-year-olds can insert an object into an aperture. Earlier research has focused on the start and goal of such actions, but ignored the way in between. This thesis shows that children are unable to fit an object into an aperture unless they can imagine the different projections of the object and rotate it in advance. The problem of how to proceed with an object-aperture matching was studied in 14- to 40-month-old children with a box, different holes and a set of fitting wooden blocks. Study I focused on how to orient a single object to make it fit. Studies II and III added a second object or aperture, introducing choice. In Study I there was a huge difference between 18 and 22 months in solving the fitting problem. Successful insertion was related to appropriate pre-adjustments. The older children pre-adjusted the object orientation before arriving at the aperture(s). The younger used a feedback strategy and that did not work for this task. To choose was more difficult than expected; one must not only choose one alternative, but also inhibit the other…


Fitting objects into holes
The problem with fitting objects into holes
Children’s fascination for fitting objects into holes
Underlying perceptual development
Perception and discrimination of sizes
Development of shape perception
Comparing different shape dimensions
Perception and action
Two visual systems
Action planning
Manipulation of objects
Mental rotation
Perceiving object in different perspectives
Perceiving how an object fits in another one
Perceiving one object in another
Mental rotation and sex differences
Choosing between two object
Executive control
Working memory
Inhibition of actions on alternative objects
General Aims
Experimental Setup and Stimuli
Data Analysis
Object Orientation (Study I)
Successful Insertions and Appropriate Pre-Adjustments
Shape Discrimination and Choice (Study II)
Correct Decision
Successful Insertion
Duration Measures
Size and form (Study III)
Correct match
Positive and negative space (Study in preparation)
Introductory remarks
General Discussion
Representational problems
Sex differences in spatial ability
Making a choice
References .

Author: Ornkloo, Helena

Source: Uppsala University Library

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