Making Space: The Development of Spatial Representation and Reasoning

Making Space: The Development of Spatial Representation and Reasoning

by Nora S. Newcombe, Janellen Huttenlocher
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262640503

ISBN-13: 9780262640503

Pub. Date: 03/01/2003

Publisher: MIT Press

Spatial competence is a central aspect of human adaptation. To understand human cognitive functioning, we must understand how people code the locations of things, how they navigate in the world, and how they represent and mentally manipulate spatial information. Until recently three approaches have dominated thinking about spatial development. Followers of Piaget

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Overview

Spatial competence is a central aspect of human adaptation. To understand human cognitive functioning, we must understand how people code the locations of things, how they navigate in the world, and how they represent and mentally manipulate spatial information. Until recently three approaches have dominated thinking about spatial development. Followers of Piaget claim that infants are born without knowledge of space or a conception of permanent objects that occupy space.
They develop such knowledge through experience and manipulation of their environment. Nativists suggest that the essential aspects of spatial understanding are innate and that biological maturation of specific brain areas can account for whatever aspects of spatial development are not accounted for at birth. The
Vygotskan approach emphasizes the cultural transmission of spatial skills.

Nora Newcombe and Janellen Huttenlocher argue for an interactionist approach to spatial development that incorporates and integrates essential insights of the classic three approaches. They show how biological preparedness interacts with the spatial environment that infants encounter after birth to create spatial development and mature spatial competence. Topics covered include spatial coding during infancy and childhood; the early origins of coding distance in continuous space, of coding location with respect to distal external landmarks, and of hierarchical combination of information; the mental processes that operate on stored spatial information; spatial information as encoded in models and maps; and spatial information as encoded in language. In conclusion, the authors discuss their account of spatial development in relation to various approaches to cognitive development in other domains, including quantitative development, theory of mind, and language acquisition.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262640503
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
03/01/2003
Series:
Learning, Development, and Conceptual Change
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
276
Sales rank:
1,138,883
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Series Forewordix
Acknowledgmentsxi
Chapter 1Introduction1
Chapter 2Thinking about Space13
Chapter 3Two Hypotheses about Infant Location Coding39
Chapter 4Three Other Important Questions about the Development of Location Coding (and an Epilogue on Automaticity)73
Chapter 5Development of Spatial Thought109
Chapter 6Models and Maps145
Chapter 7Space and Language179
Chapter 8Thinking about Development207
References227
Index253

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