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Journal Article

Show me the world: Object categorization and socially guided object learning in infancy

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Pauen, S., Träuble, B., Hoehl, S., & Bechtel, S. (2015). Show me the world: Object categorization and socially guided object learning in infancy. Child Development Perspectives, 9(2), 111-116. doi:10.1111/cdep.12119.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-B015-C
How infants acquire knowledge about animate beings and physical objects has been of interest to developmental psychologists for many years. In this article, we provide evidence suggesting that by 7 months, infants have formed a global animate-inanimate distinction that seems to be based on previously acquired knowledge. This knowledge may allow infants to analyze triadic social interactions involving another animate being and a physical object in more complex ways. Whereas 3- to 4-month-olds respond to object-directed social cues such as eye gaze or facial expressions more or less automatically, 9- to 12-month-olds seem to integrate social and object knowledge to allocate their attentional resources. Twelve-month-olds can even detect person-specific preferences for an entire category of objects. Based on this evidence, we conclude that infants’ learning about social beings and physical objects is closely related, but changes substantially in preverbal children.