Mental Imagery; Preschool; Children; Spatial Cognition; Cognitive Development; Object Representation; Infants
Möhring Wenke, Ishihara Masami, Curiger Jacqueline, Frick Andrea (2019), Spatial-numerical associations in 1st-graders: Evidence from a manual-pointing task, in Psychological Research
, 83, 885-893.
Frick Andrea (2018), Spatial transformation abilities and their relation to later mathematics performance, in Psychological Research
Newcombe Nora S., Möhring Wenke, Frick Andrea (2018), How big is many? Development of spatial and numerical magnitude understanding, in Henkik A., Fias W. (ed.), Elsevier, San Diego, 157-176.
Möhring Wenke, Frick Andrea, Newcombe Nora S. (2018), Spatial scaling, proportional thinking, and numerical understanding in 5- to 7-year-old children, in Cognitive Development
, 45, 57-67.
Möhring Wenke, Newcombe Nora S., Frick Andrea (2016), Using mental transformation strategies for spatial scaling: Evidence from a discrimination task., in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
, 42, 1473-1479.
Frick Andrea, Newcombe Nora S. (2015), Young children's perception of diagrammatic representations, in Spatial Cognition & Computation
, 15(4), 227-245.
Möhring Wenke, Newcombe Nora S., Levine Susan C., Frick Andrea (2015), Spatial proportional reasoning is associated with formal knowledge about fractions, in Journal of Cognition and Development
, 17, 67-84.
Möhring Wenke, Newcombe Nora S., Frick Andrea (2015), The relation between spatial thinking and proportional reasoning in preschoolers, in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
, 132, 213-220.
Developmental studies of a number of cognitive abilities have shown that infants appear to have astonishing early competencies, whereas much older children seem unable to succeed at tasks requiring the same competencies. These paradoxical results raise the question of whether the same abilities are measured in studies of different age groups, or of whether the infant results index a different kind of knowledge than assessed in tasks used with older children. The proposed project aims to systematically investigate early origins and developmental change in one of these fundamental cognitive abilities: the ability to represent and mentally transform objects. Building on my previous research on infants’ and young children’s ability to mentally transform (e.g. mentally rotate) objects, I plan to investigate the development of this ability in an age range from 4 months to 5 years. I will examine which task factors are crucial for infants’ and young children’s mental rotation performance, and how these competencies are related to the development of thier memory capacity. This research will increase our understanding of how infants and young children think about objects that are not currently seen or sensed, and whether they are able to flexibly transform such mental representations. Furthermore, I will investigate how objects are recognized despite differences in viewing orientation, thus shedding light on the characteristics of object representations early in life. The planned studies will be highly relevant for theory development, yield methodological insights with general implications for cognitive development research, and have important practical implications. This project will provide unique learning opportunities for master and Ph.D. students and strengthen infant research in Switzerland.