How toddlers represent enclosed spaces

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Recent findings indicate that toddlers can use geometric cues to locate an object hidden in a corner of a rectangular room after being disoriented [Cognition 61 (1996) 195]. It has been suggested that locating the object involves reestablishing one's initial heading. The present experiments examine search behavior after disorientation. We find that toddlers go directly to a particular corner, indicating that they do not have to reestablish their original heading. It also has been suggested that toddlers ability to use geometric cues is limited to surrounding spaces. We find that toddlers can locate an object from outside as well as from inside a space, although the task is harder from outside. Based on these results, we argue that while toddlers do not represent their position relative to a particular portion of a space, they nevertheless may represent their position relative to the entire space (i.e., outside vs. inside). © 2003 Cognitive Science Society, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Huttenlocher, J., & Vasilyeva, M. (2003). How toddlers represent enclosed spaces. Cognitive Science, 27(5), 749–766.

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