The errors made by infants in the AB task were taken by Piaget as an indication of an inability to update their representations of the spatial location of a hidden object. This paper presents an experiment designed to further investigate the role of spatial representations in the production of the error. The introduction of strong visual cues to spatial location was found to reduce the traditional A-not-B search error. However, it also increased perseveration when a 'lids-only' analogue of the AB task was used, in which infants are simply cued to pick up lids rather than encouraged to search for a hidden object. These results present a challenge to the dynamic systems account of the error given by Smith, Thelen, Titzer and McLin (Psychological Review, 106 (1999), 235-260), and indicate that the traditional A-not-B search error arises from a difficulty in updating representations of the spatial location of hidden objects. The relation of these results to Munakata's PDP model (Developmental Science, 1 (1998), 161-211) and Thelen, Schöner, Scheier and Smith's (Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 24 (2001), 1-86) most recent dynamic systems model of the A-not-B error is also discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience