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Ashley H. Brock

Conceptual Primitives. Ashley H. Brock. February 28 th , 2006. Mandler, J. M. (1992). How to build a baby: II. Conceptual primitives. Psychological Review , 99, pp. 587-604. Conceptual Primitives. Adults think in abstract concepts and categories

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Ashley H. Brock

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  1. Conceptual Primitives Ashley H. Brock February 28th, 2006

  2. Mandler, J. M. (1992). How to build a baby: II. Conceptual primitives. Psychological Review, 99, pp. 587-604. Conceptual Primitives

  3. Adults think in abstract concepts and categories Abstract – dealing with relationships between objects or entities that transcend the properties of the objects themselves Young children think in natural categories, which are sensory in nature Natural categories are based on the physical properties of objects Many species of animals are able to group objects into natural categories based on perceptual similarity Concepts and Categories

  4. How do infants begin to form concepts of natural categories? How do these perceptually-based concepts develop into abstract concepts? How are concepts structured in the mental architecture of infants who have not yet acquired language? Where do concepts come from?

  5. Conceptual information is necessary for preverbal thought The first concepts understood by preverbal infants are often those involving animacy, containment, and agency (causality) Infants are thought to use image-schemas to create mental representations of these concepts Preverbal Thought

  6. The first 1.5 years of life constitute the sensorimotor stage Infants in this stage develop perceptual categories Infants can abstract central tendencies of perceptual patterns to create prototypes But these categories are limited to sensory information Piaget’s View of Conceptual Development

  7. Sensorimotor-stage infants’ categories are only perceptual motor schemas that enable them to recognize objects and act appropriately towards them No evidence that infants in this stage have any conceptual representation that would allow them to think about objects Real concepts first develop in the transition from the sensorimotor to the preoperational stage at about 1.5 years of age Action schemas become speeded up and freed from their sensorimotor limitations Imitation from imagery is interiorized to form concepts Piaget’s View of Conceptual Development

  8. Assumes that infants younger than 1.5 years old do not have the ability to use imagery to re-present objects and events to themselves in memory Assumes that younger infants do not have concepts of object characteristics (solidity, permanence, etc.) or causality and motion that they can think of independently Problems with Piaget’s View

  9. It is now known that infants begin to understand these concepts by 5 months of age Evidence of symbolic thought (sign language) and sophisticated declarative memory exists for infants at 6 to 8 months of age This is contrary to Piaget’s view because infants of this age are not skilled at manipulating objects and have not yet begun to move around their environment, which Piaget claimed was necessary for “preoperational” thought Problems with Piaget’s View

  10. Mandler proposes that infants begin to form concepts using image schemas Image schemas are condensed redescriptions of spatial structure that are stored in memory and can be accessed independently Image Schemas

  11. Image schemas are created by perceptual analysis Perceptual analysis differs from perceptual processing, which occurs automatically In perceptual analysis, a perceptual array or image is attentively analyzed New information is abstracted Pieces of perceptual information are recoded into non-perceptual form Formation of Image Schemas

  12. Comparison and contrast are two methods of perceptual analysis Information abstracted from perceptual analysis is available to the conscious mind Beginning of the explicit knowledge system Vocabulary of meanings Semantic primitives Formation of Image Schemas

  13. Image schemas are crude representations with few details Image schemas do not require symbols or other interpretive systems Image schemas are dynamic and have a relational nature Concepts are created from the relationships between image schemas Image Schemas

  14. Image schema – self-motion (starts on its own) Image schema – animate motion (rhythmic and regular but unpredictable) Concept – self-moving animate motion Category – animate objects/animals Example:

  15. Image schemas are later recoded with language They become more elaborated and detailed Image schemas eventually develop into abstract concepts Concepts

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