Although the physical organization of spatialinformation clearly influences how it is recognized,recalled, and mentally transformed, few studies haveexplored how different levels of organizationinteract. This study focused on 4- and 6-year-oldchildren's memory for spatial configurations andexamined the relative influence of two levels oforganization: symmetry (vertical, horizontal, or none)and codability (verbal or nonverbal). We predictedthat the influence of symmetry would be lesspronounced among the older children for whom thepatterns were more codable. The results partiallysupported this prediction: Older children'sreconstructions were accurate regardless of patternsymmetry; younger children's reconstructions ofvertically-symmetric patterns were more accurate thantheir reconstructions of horizontally-symmetric andasymmetric patterns. Taken together, the resultsrevealed an interaction between age and symmetry onthe accuracy of children's reconstructions, suggestingthat younger children were more sensitive than olderchildren to differences in pattern symmetry. Thus,different levels of organization may influencechildren's ability to recall spatial information andthe relative influence of these levels may changeduring development.
Spatial Cognition and Computation – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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