22-02-2016 | Original Article
Operational momentum and size ordering in preverbal infants
Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 3/2016Log in om toegang te krijgen
Recent evidence has shown that, like adults and children, 9-month-old infants manifest an operational momentum (OM) effect during non-symbolic arithmetic, whereby they overestimate the outcomes to addition problems, and underestimate the outcomes to subtraction problems. Here we provide the first evidence that OM occurs for transformations of non-numerical magnitudes (i.e., spatial extent) during ordering operations. Twelve-month-old infants were tested in an ordinal task in which they detected and represented ascension or descension in physical size, and then responded to ordinal sequences that exhibited greater or lesser sizes. Infants displayed longer looking time to the size change whose direction violated the operational momentum experienced during habituation (i.e., the smaller sequence in the ascension condition and the larger sequence in the descension condition). The presence of momentum for ordering size during infancy suggests that continuous quantities are represented spatially during the first year of life.