Uneven integration for perception and action cues in children's working memory.
Nardini M., Braddick O., Atkinson J., Cowie DA., Ahmed T., Reidy H.
We examined the development of visual cue integration in a desktop working-memory task using boxes with different visual action cues (opening actions) and perceptual surface cues (colours, monochromatic textures, or images of faces). Children had to recall which box held a hidden toy, based on (a) the action cue, (b) the surface cue, or (c) a conjunction of the two. Results from three experiments show a set of asymmetries in children's integration of action and surface cues. The 18-24-month-olds disregarded colour in conjunction judgements with action; 30-36-month-olds used colour but disregarded texture. Images of faces were not disregarded at either age. We suggest that 18-24-month-olds' disregard of colour, seen previously in reorientation tasks (Hermer & Spelke, 1994), may represent a general phenomenon, likened to uneven integration between the dorsal and ventral streams in early development.