In Experiment 1, groups of 6 and 7 year-old and of 8 and 9year-old children showed very accurate memory for literal spatial andnon-spatial information contained in descriptions of environments, butthey generally had difficulty making spatial inferences based on suchdescriptions. The first indications of inference-making ability wereshown by 8 and 9 year-olds on spatial inference and map placement tasksafter hearing descriptions incorporating a vantage-point perspective. InExperiment 2, map placement performance by 6 and 7 year-olds wasimproved by a brief intervention involving spatial terminology. Overall,the findings suggest that the construction of discourse-based images ofsmall-scale environments normally emerges around 8 or 9 years of age andis facilitated by viewer-centered vantage-point descriptions. Althoughcognitive resources such as working memory capability apparentlyconstrain this construction process, relevant information in the tasksetting can facilitate children's performance.
Spatial Cognition and Computation – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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