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Maciej Haman

Internally-driven change and feature correspondence in object representation: A key to children's essentialism?

Two experiments were run to investigate how preschoolers use the pattern of an object's change as a cue to noticing correlations among the object's subsequent features. Four-year-old children were familiarized with either an internally or externally-driven transformation of an object, and tested for identification of an animation that did not match the familiar sequence of the object's features. In both experiments children in the internal-change group identified the incorrect sequence significantly more quickly than in the external-change condition. These results strongly suggest that perception of internally-driven transformation facilitates the formation of and/or access to a representation of correspondences between subsequent features of an object. The possible role of this mechanism in essentialist thinking is discussed at the end of the paper.

Open access

Monika Malinowska and Maciej Haman

Subfocal Color Categorization and Naming: The Role of Exposure to Language and Professional Experience

The current state of the debate on the linguistic factors in color perception and categorization is reviewed. Developmental and learning studies were hitherto almost ignored in this debate. A simple experiment is reported in which 20 Academy of Fine Arts, Faculty of Painting students' performance in color discrimination and naming tasks was compared to the performance of 20 Technical University students. Subfocal colors (different hues of red and blue) were used. While there was no difference in overall discrimination ability, AFA students had a much richer and specialized color vocabulary. Both groups also applied different strategies of discrimination and naming. However, naming system in neither group was coherent. This suggests that naming played primarily the role of markers for control processes rather than names for categories. It is concluded that up-to-date debate is too simplified and a complex model of interrelations between perceptual categorization and naming framed in the developmental context is needed rather than the search for a simple answer "language", "environment", or "perceptual universals".

Open access

Katarzyna Patro and Maciej Haman


Literate subjects from Western cultures form spatial-numerical associations (SNA) in left-to-right direction, which follows their reading habits. In preliterate children, sources of SNA directionality are more disputable. One possibility is that SNA follows children's early knowledge about text orientation. It could also reflect ipsilateral/contralateral tendencies in manual task execution. Furthermore, SNA's characteristics could differ depending on the evaluation method used. In this study, we test SNA in preliterate preschoolers using object counting, finger counting, and numerosity arrangement tasks. We examined the relations of SNA to children's directional reading knowledge and their manual response tendencies. Left-to-right SNA was pronounced for object counting, disappeared for the numerosity task, and was reversed for finger counting. In all tasks, left-to-right SNA dominated in children who responded contralaterally with their hand. Reading knowledge was partially related to numerosity-based SNA, but not to other SNAs. Based on these findings, we discuss developmental characteristics of different forms of number-space associations.